Knowing and Believing — The Great Divide

Here’s a Scripture passage from Isaiah 43:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God.” Do you believe that?

This is one of many promises of God. It’s a comforting passage we can read and feel good about. We can memorize it and hide it in our hearts. We can include it as part of our knowledge base in our memory’s hard drive.

The question becomes, do you believe it? Do you live it? When you walk through the surging waters of life, are you looking more towards the surging waters, or towards God? God has promised to get you safely through the waters and the rivers and the fires of life. You know that from the Bible, but do you believe it and live like you believe it?

We know lots of things: we know we’re supposed to tithe, but do we?
We know we’re commissioned to tell others about Jesus, but do we?  We know we’re supposed to pray without ceasing, but do we, or do we only pray when we’re in crisis? Is our focus more on the crisis than on God?
We do what we love. We take a vacation from God if we’re not living out of what we know. We can know a lot about the Bible, but if we don’t do what it says to do, we really don’t believe it.

Romans 8:28 helps us conquer the Great Divide between knowing and believing. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” If we really grasp this verse we will believe what it says to us and respond differently.

When you live through something inexplicable how do you respond?  Your daughter has run away and is living with her boyfriend somewhere. Your son struggles with addiction and petty theft. Your husband works 80 hours a week and never sees the children. We know Romans 8:28, but when that beautiful daughter walks out and you don’t see or hear from her for five years, emotions get in the way. Whatever is happening, God is using it for good. That’s the promise. We know it, but do we believe it? If we did we would respond with confidence and peace to the circumstances we face in life that might otherwise threaten to destroy us.

If we truly believe that God is in control, then when we go through life’s trials we also believe we can trust Him.

In the last half of Romans 8:28 we read, “those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” That means we have the responsibility to not only know God’s Word, but to believe what it says, and live like we believe it.  If we know God’s Word and believe it, then live it out, it will open doors for God to do more in our lives than we could think or imagine.

Believing God and living like we believe will open the door for us to be more effective; it will open the door to forgiveness; it will open the door to experiencing the peace that passes all understanding; it will open the door to His Word and His Will for our lives; and it will open the door to His calling on our lives.

God promises all that will happen if we know His Word, believe His Word, love Him and follow His calling.
God has a perfect plan set in the center of His purpose for our lives, “for those who are called according to His purpose”.
If you know what He says, start Believing that He is who He says He is and He’ll do what He says He will do.

A message by Gearl Spicer, Senior Pastor at One Heart Church in Norcross, Georgia, inspired this blog.

2 thoughts on “Knowing and Believing — The Great Divide

  1. Yes, I believe with my whole heart that passage from Isaiah…I no longer believe that Jesus is God though so I can not take it to the end conclusion as you do. God is ONE, and ONLY God to me. I can not believe in a trinity of separate yet equal Gods creating one God. That, to me, is polytheism and makes as much sense to me as worshiping a cow or a many- breasted statue. I do not see the new testament as being the “word of God”…it is the writings of many men who were trying to make sense of the times they were living in and the teachings of a great man. It was written over many hundreds of years, translated poorly, had words added to go along with the morality and laws of the day and as such is not IMO inviolate. I make the attempt to live as Jesus did, loving everyone as a fellow human, giving respect. granted I fail mightily at times but the fact is I try to do it instead of talking about it. I am pretty darned sure Jesus would be as disgusted as he was with the moneylenders with the vast majority of the rules and teachings of Christianity today.


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