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 …