Unbelief is really just faith going in the wrong direction; as in Eden, we make an unconscious or conscious choice to go with Satan’s word rather than God’s Facts. Unbelief leads to bondage. The cycle of unbelief has become apparent in my own life many times as God has replaced old thinking patterns with new. I’ve finally encapsulated it in this brief summary.
1. Unbelief is the swallowing of a lie.
2. The lie generates fear.
3. Fear births the desire to control.
4. The desire to control prompts self-effort.
5. Self-effort produces tension in the body and mind.
6. Tension puts a lid or a cap on our abilities.
I’ve seen this truth lately regarding the music I play. Lies I swallowed 25 years ago generated fear (“maybe I won’t succeed”). The fear birthed a desire to control (“I must do something to insure I succeed”); this desire produced self-effort (practicing feverishly). The self-effort ended up producing certain amounts of tension in my mind and in my hands, arms, and shoulders. That tension kept me from achieving the speed I’d had in the early few years before I swallowed the lies, before “grown up” thinking infected the childlike wonder with which I was learning to play banjo and guitar.
Think about this paradigm in your own life. Marriage relationships. Parenting. Jobs. And especially our relationship with God.
The lighting of the bomb fuse that blows up this false self is to replace wrongly directed faith with true faith. The lies in me have been replaced with truth – faith in the God who has given me a certain set of abilities for certain good reasons. This leads to a whole new set of inner and outer actions.
The new paradigm looks like this:
1. Faith is the swallowing of the truth.
2. This truth generates a sense of sufficiency.
3. A sense of sufficiency births a God-confident attitude about playing music.
4. The God-confident attitude causes me to play music with more of a sense of joy and purpose.
5. The sense of joy and purpose creates ease and spontaneity in playing as I look to reprogram the tension in my body with this new restful, confident sufficiency.
6. The clearing of tension takes the cap off my abilities.
7. I more fully enter into my God-given purpose in life.
So we ask ourselves, “Where else is the unbelief paradigm affecting my life?” The answer is that wherever there is fear, strain, and tension in the life of a believer, there is an inner lie causing it.
It all starts with our identity in Christ, which is the subject of the last installment of Two.
Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.