The Most Important Thing About You—2


Coptic Cathedral, Aswan, Egypt

Last time, we began and ended with the assertion that “the most important thing about you is what you believe about God.”

The most important thing about you is not that you are handsome, smart, went to Princeton, what or who you know; it’s not that you’re healthy and rich, recently divorced, or are about to be married; not that you are an American, Asian, survivor of Alcatraz or fifth grade; not even that you have a loving family and a wealth of devoted friends or fans … All of this pales into dust before the significance of what you believe about God.

Regardless if you are atheist or agnostic, evangelical or charismatic, Hindu or Hare Krishna, you believe something about God. For the atheist, of course, it’s the belief that God is … not. Based on that belief about God—that there is no God—the atheist develops a concept of life which in turn forms his or her worldview.

This isn’t a question of whether or where you attend church, or if you’ve never set foot inside a religious building. You believe something about God. What you believe affects every other aspect of your life. People from the same belief system—let’s say, two evangelicals or two Catholics—would believe that God exists but they likely believe different things about God, his activity in the world or in their lives, whether or how much he loves them, on and on. They may even attend the same church but each may believe different things about God. As a result, those two people attending the same church, professing faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior may perceive God in slightly different ways.

The early part of my life, I thought it was most important what kind of church I attended. But then I did a dangerous thing. I allowed myself to be “contaminated” by people like Mike Gower (now with the Lord) whose lives had been transformed by an encounter with Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Their lives were quite different from mine, although we went to the same church. They believed the same things as I did about God, as far as I could tell, but they had a bigger concept of God. It was more personal, like they knew Jesus. They believed something about God that was out of the scope of my experience. They had a maturing relationship with Jesus; whereas, I had mostly information about him and enough belief to get me into heaven. But while they were enjoying fellowship with him, I had just enough religion to interfere with my conscience.

Not that I was denied the rite of passage to this relationship God, mind you. Jesus was there all the time but when he said follow me, I stopped short—every time. Without thinking, I habitually stayed where I was. Intuitively, I suspected that if I followed this man Jesus, I’d probably have to give up people who accepted me as I was, stop doing the activities I enjoyed, change my priorities re what I did with my money and time and … I could go on but you know what I’m talking about.

To bring this together: I couldn’t believe the things about God that Gower and the others did because, frankly, I didn’t trust God enough. There it was—faith. Without faith that God would do all he said he would do, I was watching from the sidelines. Or rather, until I made the commitment to trust Jesus with my whole life, I wouldn’t know enough to believe that God would take care of my finances, my romances (I was still single.), and my circumstances. (I kinda got carried away there … but this isn’t the place to explain.)

So, this business of believing certain things about God requires commitment and willingness to follow him. As stated in James 2:19: You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

What about you? What do you believe about God? Would you like to have a personal relationship with him? Find a Bible-believing pastor who can show you or email me personally and we can phone, email, or whatever …

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Risking change/changing the risk and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Most Important Thing About You—2

  1. Billie Reynolds says:

    Sam, when we are being the people God intended us to be, because we allow Him to guide us from our hearts and minds, people see something they want. Our happiness, our peace draws people and we can love them and open up dialogue about love. God is love. It’s amazing how growing in love can make other worldly matters seem unimportant and even distasteful. Oh, that we could truly love all we meet without judgment. It is not easy, but gets easier the older I get.
    Grace and peace,
    Billie R.

    • samuelehall says:

      You’re absolutely right, Billie. We should reflect the person of Christ. Easily said but when I realize how little I focus on it, I must acknowledge my preoccupation with myself instead of Him. If I do as you do–in love and humility–I can change that.

  2. Find a Bible believing pastor? . . . Every Christian should be able to share the way to salvation–Jesus. He is the way, the truth, the life. Simple. Get to know Him through His word, the Bible. I suggest starting with the book of John, found in the Bible. It’s a first-hand account of what John witnessed Jesus say and do. John was Jesus’ disciple and close friend. John wrote it so people could believe in Jesus and come to know God personally.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks for the curriculum, Lindy. Your commentary re what every Christian should be able to do falls, unfortunately, outside the reality. Too bad but those are the facts.
      Remember, it’s not our responsibility to straighten everyone out; if church-goers took their calling seriously, then yes, they’d be ready.
      There is another reason to find a pastor: so the new believer will connect with an assembly of believers–a church, if you please–so they can grow in their new life.

  3. Sam, you created an excellent presentation of the concept of a unique relationship with God that could be quite controversial for those who think, “My way or the highway” about everyone needing to believe exactly as they do. Well done.

  4. m kofron says:

    Just finished a book Divine Nobodies Shredding Religon to find God Jim Palmer
    Mega church pastor lost everything after a divorce … story of nobodies that taught him not to know about Jesus but to know him……..he had to unlearn a lot of churchey non biblical concepts, to find God. I could not put it down. I also was captivated with Don Miller’s A thousand Miles in a Million Years. These would give us lots to discuss. God Bless

    • samuelehall says:

      Matt, I like your emphasis of knowing Jesus, rather than just knowing about him.
      Of course, Palmer’s problem sounds like modern-day Pharisee-ism. That’s hindered my spiritual growth, too, but after all, the church is populated by flawed human beings.
      I’ve got 5 books on my reading stack but if you want to put together something for posting, I’d like to see what grabs you.

  5. SilverTill says:

    Nice piece Sam, I hope a lot of people read this.
    Blessings, Bill

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