Experience Not Belief

Most everyone I know believes in God. That really doesn’t mean very much. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.” James 2:19. It’s not that big a deal because Jesus came not to establish a new religion but to facilitate relationship. Frankly, I don’t understand how anyone could take a long hard look at this creation and not conclude that there was a creator. That alone doesn’t establish much about that creator. Whether He is still involved in His creation, whether He is a good and loving creator.

What we need is not belief but experience. No one who has experienced God denies His existence. That experience, and even relationship, is made possible by the life and death of Jesus. Consider how important the “experience” reality is. It changes the whole nature of the great commission. We are called to “make disciples.” That doesn’t mean to teach facts, explain history or explore theology. It means to introduce as many as possible to God, most easily in the form of the Son, Jesus.

It also means that the Great Commission is not as difficult as it may at first appear. Our task is not to convince or cajole. We don’t need to be attorneys; we need to be witnesses. We testify about our experience with Jesus. That can’t be denied or argued against. It’s both deeply personal, yet sublimely universal. The experience I have had, you can have. It won’t be exactly the same, because our salvation and our Savior are deeply personal. The experience will be the same in the ways that count. It will be life changing and life-giving.

Let’s worry much less about what we and others believe. Let’s focus on what we have experienced and let us be eternally grateful.


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