Beliefs and the characteristics of God have been on my mind lately. If spirituality and theology are foreign or uncomfortable for you, don’t worry. This is just a few basic ideas on the subject worth thinking about. Feel free to eavesdrop if it’s not your usual fare.
I recently read A.W. Tozer’s “Knowledge of the Holy” and listened to the audiobook of “The Holiness of God” by R.C. Sproul. Both were great in their own way. I appreciate when authors communicate big, complex ideas in concise, understandable ways.
The Power of Belief
Everyone believes in something. Even people who say they don’t have any beliefs have beliefs, because they believe they don’t believe anything (funny, isn’t it?).
There’s great power in belief. A quote from one of the books I read reminded me how essential beliefs are.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
– A.W. Tozer
Tozer wants us to understand that what we believe about God is more important than who we think we are, what we think the world is really like, and what we value. This is because what we believe about God will directly impact how we see the world and all these other things.
Our beliefs, specifically our beliefs about God, impact our perspective. And our perspective determines the actions we take.
In other words, our theology informs our doxology.
Faith and Actions
In Christian spirituality, this means the faith we confess should inform the things we do. The actions I take should line up with what I believe. If they don’t, I’m in trouble (and probably have lots of deeper issues going on).
“A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well…I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.”
– A.W. Tozer
If I believe Jesus is God who came to rescue us and give us new life, then my life should speak to that message. My life should be a picture of God’s love and grace, His heart for justice and truth. If I’ve been impacted spiritually by God working in my life, I should be eager to give Him credit and share with others the story God’s writing in me. Faith is meant to be shared.
Belief and Behavior
Beliefs, the things we hold to be true, are so vital because they direct all the other components of our lives.
We are meant to live out what we believe. None of this believe-one-thing-but-live-another-way. Ignoring what we sense to be true is a terrible mistake that leads to internal disconnection and confusion. We are meant to be whole, united, body and mind people. We are meant to grasp truths and live accordingly.
“The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.”
– R.C. Sproul
Do your beliefs and actions line up? What beliefs do you think you should change? What actions?
PS. I’m writing a book. Learn more about it here.