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Friday, September 14, 2012

I believe in God....do you mean it?

What do you mean, when you say; "I believe in God."

So, to follow up on the issue of believing in God.  When going through those extremely tough times, such as a divorce, we all find ourselves having to make choices.  Choices about time, about money, character issues, friends, and how we handle stress….you know, choices!  We make the same choices when things are going well, perhaps in a different way, but still the same kinds of choices.  Whether we are self sufficient, or dependent on God.   Whether we set aside time for worship, or make leisure and work or things a priority instead. 

  Our proof that we believe in God is demonstrated in these kinds of things.  Do we simply mean that we acknowledge God exists?  Pilate was willing to do that much with Jesus….acknowledge that He existed!  Do we mean that we believe that He exists, and that He will take care of us after we die?  Those who came to Jesus with that notion back in those days found that he usually expected more than that, he expected a lifestyle of following Him.  If we say we believe in God, and demonstrate it every Sunday (or Saturday if that’s when you worship) of our lives, but not on weekdays, does that mean we believe that all God cares about is what we do with worship time? 

My wife says that at one church she used to attend, the minister would cut short his messages if there was a noon kickoff time for the local NFL team.  What in your life is so important that you will let it cut short your time worshipping or serving God? I wonder how my wife or your loved one would feel if we told them we couldn’t spend our usual date time with them today, because kickoff is in 10 minutes.  Probably won’t earn us very many points, huh?  So, what do you mean when you say you believe in God?  When the verse in James says that the demons believe and tremble; I suspect the idea is that they believe that God exists and that God is going to hold them accountable for everything they have done.  Is that what you mean when you say you believe in God?

Is there not a difference between a person saying that he believes in marriage and a person BEING married?  Could that be the distinction God desires of us?  I like the old illustration that it is one thing to say that you believe an elevator can carry you to the 99th floor of the building.  It is another to get on the elevator and trust it to get you there.  My point is this:  are you believing from a distance, in a non-committed observational sort of way, or are you on board for the full experience in a committed relational sort of way?  As near as I can tell, the last one is really the only one the Bible endorses, even if our culture and a lot of our church folks endorse something less. 

For those of you going through a divorce, I just want to urge you NOT to fall prey to those pressures that can cause you to lose track of what is important.  Don’t let yourself end up like those demons, trembling when you realize God is going to expect you to give account for all the choices you are making now.  Just thinking out loud, so to speak.


TL:dr  Discussion of the question, “What does believing in God really mean?”

Picture information:

The actual image is of a nebula surrounding a small pulsar – a stellar remnant, a neutron star – the crushed core of a massive star, spinning and channelling electrons along its magnetic field. Pulsars produce regular radio wave pulses as their polar regions point to us and blast emissions from accelerated electrons in our direction. Radio signals tell us where they are, space telescopes point and check them out in other wavelengths to see what they do. The pulsar doing all this is estimated at a diameter of 12 miles, with the nebula 150 light years across. The entire system is 17,000 light years from us and estimated to be 1,700 years old. The pulsar is called PSR B1509-58, but is known to its friends as B1509.

1 comment:

  1. I heard once that the origin of the word belief actually meant "by life." In other words, what we believe has infiltrated our lives, so that we act in accordance with our beliefs, and that our beliefs are evident to others through the way we live our lives.