You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:19, NIV
If you were a child in the ’80′s, you might remember a cartoon called G.I. Joe. I used to watch it most every afternoon with my father. Every episode ended with a little life lesson and the phrase, “And knowing is half the battle!” That came to mind earlier this month after a Facebook conversation with a cousin.
You see, our uncle is ill. He is in his mid-seventies, has cancer, heart problems, diabetes…. The doctors are not giving much hope at the moment. I asked for prayers for him on Facebook and commented that he doesn’t have a relationship with Christ. My cousin made sure to tell me that his family and her family and the family of another aunt all believe in God.
“Great,” I wanted to say. “Believing is a wonderful thing. But that doesn’t mean you have a relationship with Him.”
If belief meant relationship, wow! I’d not be married to the man I am today. I mean, I believe that Jordan Knight and Nick Lachey exist. Doesn’t mean that I know them, let alone have a relationship with them.
Believing in God is half the battle. It is what one does with that belief that makes a difference.
For years, I believed in God. Every now and again, I even prayed to him—mostly when I wanted something. I guess I kind of viewed God as a fast-food drive-thru—there if I wanted a quick pick-me-up, but not something that I needed to deal with daily. I believed in God, but I can’t say that I knew Him. For years, I thought believing was enough. But I always felt more than just a little empty.
I can’t say that I know God as well as I would like to. I certainly do not know Him as well as He knows me. Sometimes, I wish He didn’t know me nearly so well! Sometimes I can’t help but think that God must look at me and actually feel sorry that He allowed His Son to die in my place. Yet it is because I know Him that I can say I am not a disappointment to Him. God sees what I will one day be, not what I am now. And because He knows the plans He has for my future (Jeremiah 29:11 says so!), it gives Him the patience to guide me to where He needs me to be.
Believing in God is a great start. Knowing He is real is an awesome second step. But believing and knowing are not enough. It is the relationship with Him that matters. It is my prayer that Uncle Bob, Aunt Cookie, and my cousins all have a relationship with Christ. And if they don’t, I pray that they will allow Him into their hearts and lives.