I know that vegetables are good for me.
I know that I need prolonged hours of sleep in order to stay healthy.
I know that there are certain things that I do that annoy Jamie.
I know that I should wear ankle braces when I play basketball.
I know that God is good, great, and worthy of praise.
Knowing these things doesn’t lead to change. Not always at least. We can know what is right for our relationships, our health, our hearts, our walk with God, and yet we don’t always and consistently act upon those things. When we obtain knowledge about some aspect of our life, we may or may not implement the necessary steps to live out that knowledge.
I find this especially true for me in Scripture. I can know what Scripture says, whether it be commands or promises or stories or encouragements, and yet still hesitate or be less than great at implementing Scripture into my life. I have been told by mentors in the past that they don’t care how much about Scripture I know if that knowledge doesn’t play itself out in my day to day life.
That’s why we’re called to belief.
You see, belief leads to action. If you truly believe something, you’re going to act on it. I can know what’s right and do nothing. But if I truly, wholly, completely believe something to be true, I’m going to live it out. I’m going to take that belief and run with it. It’s like me sitting in this chair as I type. I can know this chair will hold my wait and not sit down in it. Sitting down in this chair however is believing that it will in fact hold my weight.
The Apostle’s Creed starts with the phrase “I believe” before going into a long and luxurious lists of statements about the Christian worldview. I was listening to a Matt Chandler sermon about this fact and he unpacked the difference between knowledge and belief. He drew my attention to things in my life that I know that I don’t believe. He drew my attention to things in my spiritual life that I know but don’t believe. He also drew my attention to the following passage:
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. – Romans 10:9-10
You see, to be saved, it takes more than just knowledge. I can know that Jesus is Savior and that He should be my Lord. But if I don’t truly, wholly, and genuinely believe that, then I don’t have saving faith. Rather I just know what the demons know, that Jesus is God.
I don’t like when people use this truth to elicit fear, anxiety, and discouragement. I do like when I’m reminded however that it’s not enough to know something in my head and not believe in my heart leading to actions in my hands. I’ve written in length in previous blogs about how we are not to constantly be caught up in looking at the level of our faith. Rather we are to look constantly and consistently at the object of our faith, Jesus. It’s insidious of Satan in how he draws us into looking at and focusing on ourselves even in the midst of trying to grow closer to Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
However, do stop and consider whether you live in your day to day life believing in the promises and commands of God, or if you just know the promises and commands of God.
To grow spiritually, we need to believe.
In His Name,