Whether we realize it or not, our western culture is dominated by Greco-Roman thinking. Even the United States form of government is based on it, as a Republic with a Senate. Yet, at the same time, we are said to be a Judeo-Christian culture. Our forefathers came to the new land with Bible in hand and a knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). Most of our religious culture has deep roots in Israel.
This combination of Hebraic thought with Greek thinking often causes misconceptions on the simplest of ideas. Take for example, the idea of belief (faith).
The ideal Greek mind was caught up in the pursuit of a state of “epistemological bliss” or nirvana-like experience of the divine. Epistemological certainty was the goal (even those Greeks of the skeptical schools defined themselves in relation to this goal). The contemplation of the eidos (Forms or Ideas), archetypal patterns of all reality, was the good life. Pistis (the Greek word for belief) was merely a means to episteme (knowledge) and represented a lower-level of consciousness. “Faith” was the shadowy realm of the cave, the domain of opinion. Education and rationality were the way out the darkness and into the light… (http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Emunah/emunah.html)
So to the Greeks, faith was merely opinion, not established fact. “Knowledge” was the highest pinnacle someone could achieve and belief really had no place there. Belief was simply hope.
The article continues:
The intellectuals of our day are inheritors (and epigones) of this earlier classical Greek mindset. Like the skeptics, they have abandoned the idea of objective truth, but unlike their predecessors, they redefine it (cynically) as any number of “narratives” which people use to interpret their environment. Even though they disavow allegiance to “truth,” they unapologetically offer up the pretense that their intellectual nihilism is (ahem) true. (http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Emunah/emunah.html)
I would have to agree. Our colleges and universities of higher learning are staffed with “intellectuals” who value knowledge above everything else, and see no value in belief.
What Does Belief Mean in the Bible?
But what did belief mean in the Bible? For instance when we read in Galatians 3:6 the following:
So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
In Greek thought this would mean that Abraham hoped that God existed and because of that he hoped this God would find favor with him. In fact, that is the way most Christians think of their relationship with God today.
But that is NOT what belief means from a Hebraic perspective.
The Hebrew word for faith is אמונה (emunah – Strong’s #530) and is an action oriented word meaning “support”. This is important because the Western concept of faith places the action on the one you have faith in, such as “faith in God”. But, the Hebrew word אמונה places the action on the one who “supports God”. It is not a knowing that God will act, but rather I will do what I can to support God. This idea of support for the word emunah can be seen in Exodus 17:12. (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/emagazine/014.html)
The distinction of belief in Hebraic thought is that action is required by the one who believes!
In Abraham’s case, his belief was demonstrated by his actions. Did you ever wonder why God chose Abraham from all the people on the earth to fulfill His purpose? You don’t have to guess. We are told in Genesis 26 the answer:
2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”(Genesis 26:2-5)
An interesting side note here is that God says Abraham kept His Torah (His Instructions) long BEFORE the giving of the Law to Moses and the people of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Abraham demonstrated his belief (faith) in God with his actions. He kept God’s Laws. And that is why God picked him.
So this points out an important concept regarding belief in Hebraic thought…
Belief means trust and obey.
Belief Requires Action
James, the brother of the Messiah and the head of the church is Jerusalem, wrote something that has been a point of contention for Christians for years, especially for those who believe that you are saved through faith alone. We read it in James, Chapter 2.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a]works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14-26 NKJV)
When I was younger and attended a Baptist church, I actually had a friend of mine from church, who was in seminary, tell me she didn’t believe the book of James because of this scripture. She said she wouldn’t even read from it. How sad.
Because when one understands the Hebraic mindset versus our usual Greek mindset, the scripture makes perfect sense.
If you believe something, then you take the necessary action as proof of that belief.
So how does this relate to your business?
Much of the training provided in Empower Network is about modifying ones mindset. It is a process of going from one of disbelief to belief…of stepping into the vision that you see for yourself in the future.
But having belief isn’t simply wishing or hoping for something to happen as the Greeks believed.
It is taking action (support) to prove to your subconscious mind that you are serious about seeing your vision fulfilled.
That is why you will always hear from the Empower Network leaders that you have to take massive action, even if you aren’t quite sure yet what you are doing. It’s often summarized as “Earn as you learn”.
Building the proper foundation for success by modifying ones mindset is 90% of getting there. Without it, there is no path to success with your business.
So listening to audios in the Inner Circle, reading books like “Think and Grow Rich” and “Psycho-Cybernetics”, and getting to the events is all part of the process of building belief in your vision for success.
Deb and I have our vision.
Join us so we can fulfill them together.
Until next time…