A lot of people believe in God. In fact, 8 out of 10 people you might meet, out on the street, will say that they believe in God (at least, some version of Him).
But the Bible points out that believing in God is not enough.
In his letter to believers, James makes the case that even the demons believe in God (James 2:19). They KNOW He is real. They know He is so powerful. Their response to this knowledge? They shudder. They tremble in terror. Their belief in God does not produce a loving relationship – it produces fear and enmity.
The point is that “belief in God” doesn’t get our hearts to where they need to be. Professing a knowledge of, or about, God doesn’t bring us to the place that God is seeking for us.
There is no doubt that belief is central to Christian faith, but true belief is much deeper than most people realize.
It is essential that we understand the depth of belief that God is seeking in us – IF we truly want our belief in Him to make the difference that we desire for our lives.
Jesus talked a lot about belief. Of first importance, Jesus emphasized that true belief must be centered in Him. Hear His words: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst… Everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die…Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” And the most amazing of promises: “Whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…” (John 6:35; 11:26; 7:38; 14:12)
God has spoken His Words of Promise to us. Like Abraham, we must choose to trust God – to believe God at His Word.
And His Word is centered in the Person of Jesus. God calls us all to come to Jesus, receive what He has done for us, and to believe… in Him.
But not just to believe the facts about Jesus. That He was the Son of God. That He lived a sinless life. That He was crucified for our sins. That He died, was buried and rose again. All these things deserve our reflection.
But what Jesus is seeking, is for us to step beyond those facts… and commit our hearts to the Person Who accomplished those things for us.
In every one of Jesus’ “believe in Me” statements, there is a little word (in the original language) that brings a whole new depth of meaning. The word translated “in” is a word that carries the connotations of “union” and “of intimate proximity.” The word is most commonly translated “into.”
What Jesus is really inviting us to do is to believe “into” Him – to come into close and personal union with Him. The belief He seeks from us is more like a marriage (to someone you really love) than to knowing facts about (or being friendly with) a person.
Maybe that is why the culmination of Jesus’ relationship with His Church is a wedding supper (Revelation 19:6-9)?!
Believing in God is generic (anyone can do it). Believing into Jesus is special (only those who truly love Him will do it).
And that is the whole point. Jesus is not calling people to believe in Him (knowing about Him) – He is calling people to believe into Him. To make an eternal bond with Him. To make Him the absolute central Figure of their lives.
When Jesus speaks of believing… this is what He has in Mind. And so should we.
Prayer Focus: Jesus, I seek to believe into You… to make You the most important Person in my life — to make an eternal bond with You… and live in the depths of Your love for me.