Learning a language is a humbling experience. I realized the other day I was erroneously defining a word that was foundational to my faith. The word was “believe.” If you would have asked me to define “believe,” I would have said that it means to accept something as true. If asked what I believe, I would have immediately begun listing the tenets of my faith. While this definition of “believe” is true, it is only a shadow of what God meant when He told us to believe in Him. My time with God that afternoon turned into a language lesson, and I walked away realizing that my spiritual dictionary wasn’t as exhaustive as I had first thought.
Belief, especially in the book of John, is defined as being so convinced of something that we give over our whole selves to it. According to the Greek lexicon, to believe means “to be persuaded of, to put confidence in; to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something.” When God calls on us to believe in Him, He is asking us to do more than just mentally assent to certain doctrines and decrees. He is commanding us to be so convinced of who He is that we allow the truths of His words to transform our life and mind.
It isn’t enough to believe something is true; we must live out that truth. Actions are the best reflections of our true beliefs. Words alone will never be proof enough of our convictions. If we say one thing but do another, we are liars, and the truth is not reflected accurately in us. It is difficult to admit sometimes that we are lying to ourselves and to God.
But belief is a process. It begins with assent and is realized with action. It can be a long, difficult and painful process, but one that is essential if we are to become the people God longs for us to be. Belief in God, who He is and who He calls us to be must be lived out in word, thought and deed.
Father, I believe in who You are and who You have called me to be. Teach me how to live out my beliefs in my daily life. May my words and actions be in agreement with one another.