From my earliest memories of being in church I heard the message that God loves me. I memorized the scripture that said so and because of my belief that God is real and that scripture is His word to me, I agreed that He loved me. But I didn’t really believe it.
To believe brings with it a confident assurance. I lived most of my life agreeing that God loved me but not living with a confident assurance that He really did. There’s a big difference in the two.
Perhaps you’ve been agreeing with God about some things as well.
You know the scriptures say you’ve been forgiven, but you’re not living like you are. You continue to circle around your mistakes, beating yourself up again and again for your failures.
You know the scriptures say you’ve been made righteous, but you continue to measure whether or not you are right with God by what you “do”, and expect Him to be angry when your actions are less than stellar.
You know the scriptures say God has lavished His grace – undeserved mercy and favor – on you, yet you fear the future and walk through each day expecting the worst.
You know the scriptures say not to worry and to cast your cares because He is taking care of you, but day after day finds you analyzing and planning and stressing over how you will make things work out.
Are you just agreeing with God because the words are there in scripture and you wouldn’t dare say you disagree? Or do you really believe?
I’ve been putting my “beliefs” to the test lately and asking myself “Am I agreeing or believing?”
We come to know Christ by the drawing of His Spirit. Our souls made aware that there is more to this existence than just the natural, we choose to believe in something so wonderful as a God Who sent His Son to save us. We weren’t there. We didn’t see it. Yet we believe. Once we’ve accepted this amazing salvation, there is so much more to be discovered!
So why do we struggle so with truly living our lives with the confident assurance that He is everything He said He is and that He will do everything He said He would do? Why do we passionately believe one part of scripture, but only mentally agree with another?
For me, it’s a matter of a lack of knowledge. The more I study a particular tenet of my faith, the more grounded I become in its truth and the more clearly I hear what God is saying to me about it. This is when I move from agreeing to believing. If I truly want to believe God, I must sacrifice the time to study. Every time I do, it is so very much worth the effort and anything I had to give up to make more time for Him!!
Agreement is important. We obviously will never believe in something we disagree with. But agreement is only the beginning. Jesus didn’t call us to just agree. He called us to believe. He called us to have a confident assurance in Him all the time, in everything and every situation. Agreeing affects my words. Believing affects my words and my actions.
“…And so they believed and trusted and relied on the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.” John 2:22