What’s taking these brownies so long to bake? I wondered. It was the fifth time I’d opened the oven door and peered inside—but after forty-five minutes, my lovingly greased pan of butterscotch brownies was still bubbling in a state of molten goo. Stumped, I began retracing my steps. I checked the recipe again and discovered to my dismay that I’d forgotten to add the flour! I had left out a very important ingredient.
As each ingredient of a recipe is needed to produce a delicious finished product, there are necessary ingredients to receive God’s abundant goodness in our lives—and the Bible clearly tells us what they are. We need to mix the Word we hear with believing for it to profit us.
The Word of God is filled with benefits and blessings that will warm our hearts and profit our lives in every category. Yet hearing the Word is only one part of the recipe for results in our lives.
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [believing] in them that heard it.
This verse in Hebrews sets forth two essential ingredients for a successful walk. A person needs to hear “the word preached” and then to mix it with “faith,” or more accurately, “believing.” Also, two groups of people are mentioned: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them.” “Us” refers to the Apostle Paul and the born-again believers, and “them” refers to those “that believed not” from Hebrews 3:18.
The “us” group received the benefits of the Word, but the results fell flat for them that believed not. The Word preached did not profit them because they had left out a very important ingredient—it wasn’t mixed with believing. We definitely want to be part of the “us” group when it comes to believing the Word, so let’s take a closer look into what our recipe calls for.
The Word needs to be mixed with believing to profit us. “Mixed with,” according to E. W. Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, means “to mix together, to mingle with; to temper, blend.”
When I think of mixing together and mingling, some fun occasions come to mind. One of those occasions is the Winter Staff Dance we’ve enjoyed for several years at Headquarters. At one dance, we were instructed on the basics of square dancing. Each of us had a partner, and four couples joined together to form a square. When our square dance caller gave the direction, we would gleefully clasp our partner’s hand and promenade, circling to the next move. We’d “circle to the left,” “circle to the right,” “do-si-do”—all according to the directions of the caller. The four couples really “mixed it up” together. God wants us to mix together the Word we hear with believing!
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament adds that to mix is “to unite one thing to another.” Because those hearers in Hebrews 4:2 had not let the Word that was preached to them unite with believing, they did not receive the rich profit available to them. When we hear the Word, we want to mix it, mingle it, unite it, with believing.
Let’s look at another group who wasn’t getting the recipe right and see what more we can learn.
And he [Jesus] did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Jesus had done many mighty signs, miracles, and wonders in the region of Galilee in places like Capernaum; but in Nazareth, his own hometown, there was little he could do for the people. One ingredient was missing: believing. Their “unbelief” would not allow them to hear enough to believe. The word “unbelief” in Matthew 13:58 is the Greek word apistia. Our ministry’s Founding President, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, explained that apistia is the unbelief of those who have never heard or who have not heard in enough detail to believe. Jesus could not communicate with those in his own hometown because they believed he was conceived illegitimately. They were offended by him and would not listen to hear enough to believe when he spoke.
In the booklet Keys to Spiritual Light by Dorothy Owens, we read:
He was the same Jesus who had done mighty miracles in other places. In each instance where mighty works were done, the person or persons believed—they acted upon the words Jesus spoke…. What we believe does not change God’s Word, but what we believe does determine what we receive. We say we will believe when we see—the Word of God says we believe (act), then we see.
The records in Hebrews and Matthew show us that many were receiving great benefits from God’s Word, while others were not. We want to be like the former, receiving the rich profit from the Word we hear. Some simple keys to help us mix the Word with believing in our walk are (1) hear in enough detail to believe and (2) take a practical step now.
Hearing in enough detail to believe is our first key to mixing the Word with believing. Are there areas we want to see results in or to strengthen in our life? Dr. Wierwille shared in The Bible Tells Me So, “Get God’s Word of deliverance and release into your mind and into your heart; eat it, drink it, sleep it, and walk with it.” When we immerse ourselves in the abundance of that truth we need, we are applying Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of [pertaining to] Christ dwell in you richly….” We are practicing the great key in I Timothy 4:15: “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” As we get the details of God’s delivering Word in our minds so that it may dwell richly in our hearts, we will see the profit, the results we desire, because we have what we need to believe.
The second key is to take a practical step now. The person who said, “I think and I think and I think, and all I ever get is a pain in my thinker,” was making a good observation. There comes a point when we’ve heard enough—now it’s time to move, to act on the Word we’ve heard. Often a problem or task can look insurmountable before we’ve started working at it. But here are a few pointers from the poem “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar A. Guest: “But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, / Just take off your coat and go to it; / Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing / That ‘cannot be done,’ and you’ll do it.”
What step do we need to take? It can be as simple as making a phone call, being bolstered by a promise like “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13), or lifting a situation in prayer as we enter into it. Each time we hear the Word in enough detail and take a practical step now, we can be confident that we are mixing the Word with believing—and the results are guaranteed by God Himself.
The Word is filled with benefits and promises that will profit our lives in every category. To receive these positive results in our lives, we mix the vital ingredient of believing with the Word we hear. God, our heavenly Father, delights in performing His Word for us who believe—He loves to see His sons and daughters succeed. So let’s “mix it up” even greater in our believing walk, hearing the Word in enough detail and taking a practical step now. Continue mixing the Word with believing, and see God’s mighty results in your life!
This is a reprint from the May/June 2009 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2009 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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