Someone once asked me to preach on, "Why I believe in God". I thought it would be an easy easy task. Ideas began to flash before me...thoughts of theology, arguments I learned in defending existence of God, and works I studied that affirmed my belief and faith.
But then I realized I believed in God...long before theology became important to me. I knew that it is necessary for me to breathe and that without air I would die. I was nurtured in a home where simple prayers were recited daily, icons were displayed throughout, the smell of incense filled the air, and faith in action. I was taken to church and that seemed right to me. I felt at home in my church and never questioned my faith.
I love Christ and am grateful for the gift of Grace enabling me to work out my salvation. I recalled that in an American court, a person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty. So it is with my own belief in God. Instead of saying I will not believe in God until his existence is proved, I will continue to believe, until it is proven that there is no God.
The Bible does not attempt to prove God's existence. The first words are: "IN THE BEGINNING GOD"...and it goes on to give us a progressive revelation of God. Some great Saints in the Bible had spectacular conversions...Matthew, the tax collector, Zaccheus the tax collector of Jericho, Mary the Harlot, and the Apostle Paul. Examples in our age might include, Thomas Jefferson, a great intellectual whom many describe as agnostic, whom I believe was a believer in God...C.S. Lewis of recent times and many more.
For most of us God is just there. We seldom give it a second thought. Some go away to school and we become confused...we see the church and the faithful leading double standards. We take note of inconsistencies that have nothing to do with the belief in God. Pain and suffering cause us to ask painful questions about God's love and we simply do not understand.
Most of us cannot explain the composition of water, but we drink it. None of us know what electricity is, but we use it. Who can understand the process of love? Yet many have given their lives in sacrifice because they loved. Though we cannot explain God, most of us agree with Christopher Morley..."I had a thousand questions to ask God; but when I met him, they all fled and didn't seem to matter." To say I believe in God means more than just an intellectual assent to the existence of God. It means to trust in Him and to commit our lives to His will. We trust in God because we know our own weaknesses and inadequacies. As long as we feel sufficient to ourselves we do not need God; we call upon our own god. No person ever really discovers God until there is a felt need in his life that only God can fill.
Until you need him. you won't have him.....
We sometimes say it is our duty to go to church, and it is; but few go for this reason. I would prefer that no one come to church just for a sense of duty. A duty-bound Christian is not a committed soul. The ones who come just from a sense of duty come to criticize. They won't sense the presence of God.
When one sings in the liturgy, one senses the voice that rings out of devotion and need and not a duty hymn. You have expressed your belief in God in the Creed...there is much more to it than that. When Peter confessed.."Lord Save Me", Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. When you say I need you God, that is belief, simply going through the motions of lighting candles and making token gifts to the church is not belief . And the superstitious beliefs is dangerous. Just making the cross three times, bowing like a robot, belief is deeper than that.
The nominal Christians are in danger of losing their salvation. Belief begins by knowing God. I hear a person say, I believe in so and so...why because of an acquaintance. God has revealed himself to us...there is a matter of struggling in ourselves. Never know all of Him. Stand before the ocean, now carry me, taste the salt, I know not the entire ocean.
The man who came to Jesus....Lord, I know I have no faith, help me to believe...worship, prayer, confession. and bible reading will enable us to meet and know the God of whom we have said since childhood...I BELIEVE.