Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Believing In God vs Believing God

A recent Harris poll found that 74%, of the people polled, believed in God. Sadly, that is down from 82% a few years before, but what I’d like to expound on is the difference between believing in, and believing God.

  Before you get your scriptural panties in a bunch, let me say that I know Jesus tells us to believe in him, but for arguments sake I‘m going to compare these two phrases.  Is there a difference you ask?  Allow me to explain.  To “believe in” something is relatively easy.  In the case of God we usually hear about him from our parents, pastors and Sunday school teachers etc.  These are some of the same folks who taught us about the Easter Bunny and Santa, so it was simple to add Jesus to the list.  For many, that wee bit of childhood knowledge  was all that was necessary to confidently profess, as an adult, “I believe in God.” For those of you agreeing with that, are you aware of this scripture: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” James 2:19

 If all you ever do is believe in, you’re in in a big crowd.  You can’t build a personal, maturing relationship, with anyone, on merely believing in them. So, here’s the rest of my argument, “believing God“.   If you stop at “believing in”, odds are you aren’t studying God’s word, or you‘re relying on an occasional visit to church to keep you connected.  Don’t forget about those shuddering demons, at least they are fully aware of what God has in store for them.  Can you say the same?  Believing God depends on us not only reading his word and directives, but following them.  I can only speak for myself when I say I don’t want to hear this verse aimed at me someday:   Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' Matthew 7:21-23

 These people, that God is referring to, understood the power associated with God’s name, they believed in it, and in Him, but apparently that’s as far as it went.  It’s obvious they only wanted the “goodies” that came along with believing in his name, but refused to believe God, and obey him.  A true relationship with God begins with believing in Him, but is solidified by believing, and obeying Him.  Ignorance of the law never holds up in an earthly courtroom, and ignorance of God’s word won’t stand before his throne.  If you only believe in Him, it’s not enough.  Move up to believing Him.  If you’re not sure, get into his word, seek out believers, and pray.  God longs for you to Believe Him, and wants to welcome you into his kingdom, someday, like this:  'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:23