Does belief come spontaneously or by effort?
Belief comes spontaneously. Belief comes by effort. In the spiritual life, a sincere, advanced and surrendered seeker can and will have spontaneous belief. Belief by personal effort, without the divine grace and God's unconditional protection, cannot be as effective as spontaneous belief. We have two principal organs: the eye and the ear. Our eyes quite often, if not always, believe themselves. Our ears very often believe others. These are our human eyes and our human ears. But the divine eye, the third eye, will believe only in the vision of Divinity, and the divine ears will believe only in the truth of reality. When we listen to the inner command, when we have the capacity to grow into constant obedience to our Inner Pilot, we feel within and without the presence of spontaneous belief. Belief is the reality of our inner obedience. This is divine belief, spontaneous belief. Belief by effort is a restricted, disciplined human understanding.
Belief is power. A real seeker of the infinite Truth knows this. An insincere and unaspiring seeker is aware of the truth that belief is power, but he cannot go beyond understanding or awareness; whereas a sincere, genuine, devoted and surrendered seeker knows that belief is dynamic power, and he has this power as his very own.
We see a tree. The tree bears flowers, and soon afterwards we see fruits. The flower is the harbinger of the fruit. In the spiritual life, belief is the flower. Belief is a divine angel which enters into us as the harbinger of the Lord Supreme.
If we do not have belief, we can develop belief. How? We can do it by mixing with sincere spiritual people who care more for God than for pleasure. There are also people who care only for God in human beings, and if we mix with those people we can cultivate belief. When we have belief, we can walk with God in His Garden of Light and Delight.