When I was in high school one of my favorite past times was going out to the lake with my friends and cliff jumping during the summer. Now, looking back, it wasn’t the safest choice yet the story remains the same. It’s just what we did.
One of the scariest parts of it was no matter how many different cliffs we went to, each new cliff was a new terrifying adventure. Each new cliff took an amount of courage to finally get off of. It didn’t matter that I knew the water was deep enough, that it wasn’t any higher than some high dives, or any of the other facts that could be presented. It was still terrifying. But eventually one of my braver buddies would get a running start and go for it. Every time I held my breath as I watched the fall to the water, the splash, and waiting for their head to come back up.
After seeing the first, second, and even third guy go I had finally built up the courage to go myself and guess what? I survived every time.
In our latest series we’re discussing words in Christianity that may mean something different in our sphere of influence. This week we talked about the word “believe”. If you look up that word online or in a dictionary you’ll see that it references the acceptance of a set of facts. It’s based off of knowledge and accepting that knowledge as true.
Yet there is something about believing that is deeper than knowledge. In Luke we see two moments in chapter 9 and then again in 22. One statement by two different people. The first is Peter proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ. The second are those that reject Jesus and later put him on the cross. They also say that he’s the Son of God. One is filled with belief while the other Jesus explicitly says they won’t believe no matter what he tells them.
In faith we can’t argue someone to believe. They can have all the knowledge and facts in the world but to believe is different. To believe is literally to believe IN someone. To believe that they are who they say they are and will do what they say they will do. Belief is about relationship and experiences.
Much like jumping off the cliffs, it took more than facts and knowledge. I had to see the experience and then experience it myself to jump. Some of us are first jumpers. We experience the Holy Spirit calling us and we respond and start our faith journey. Some of us hear the testimony of someone elses experience and we are second jumpers. We experience Jesus through someone elses story and commit our life to Christ and a journey of our own experiences and relationships.
So maybe belief is more than accumulating knowledge and just knowing that Jesus is real.
Maybe the path from knowledge to belief is paved with relationship and experiences with Jesus. May we experience him the first time in a moment of salvation so we can experience him and grow in the fullness of faith for the rest of our lives.
What will you do to dive deeper in to belief by experiencing Jesus this week?