Mental assent looks so much like faith that many people cannot distinguish one from the other. Mental assent agrees with God but doesn’t believe God. When we have mental assent, we merely accept the Word as truth but do not allow it to have an impact on us.
This is the third hurdle to answered prayer we must overcome.
The mental assentor affirms that the entire Bible is God’s infallible revelation. In crises, however, he says, “I believe the Bible is true, but it doesn’t work for me.” He often quotes Scriptures he doesn’t really believe. He might affirm, “God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV), without truly trusting God to do so.
A mental assentor says, “Lord, what You said is wonderful!”—and leaves it at that. He may know much about the Word, but he has failed in his spiritual life. The true believer is a doer of the Word, not a hearer only. (See James 1:22.)
A variation of mental assent is “sense knowledge.” This attitude says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The Bible tells us, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV). Faith and sense knowledge are not compatible. Faith is the substance and evidence of things that your sense knowledge cannot see. (See Hebrews 11:1.) Many of us have been educated to live by our five senses alone. If we cannot analyze something and draw empirical conclusions, we don’t believe it’s real. However, God says that what He has promised is already a reality. Yet it will become a manifested reality only when we believe it is real before we see it—by trusting God and His Word. That’s how faith operates.
Father, I thank You that Your promises are true. Help me to act on Your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thought: Mental assent agrees with God but does not believe God.
Reading: Judges 16–18; Luke 7:1–30
-Daily Power And Prayer Devotional