There are many Christian devotions, such as the Apostles Creed, hymns and contemporary songs that include lines or lyrics such as: “I believe in God the Father, I believe in Christ the Son, I believe in the Holy Spirit…” I was singing one of them one day, and it suddenly struck me that it was wrong. I do not believe in God the Father, I do not believe in Christ the Son, I do not believe in the Holy Spirit—I know them, intimately and personally. I know them more intimately than anyone or anything in life.
There is a significant difference between believing and knowing something. We know the law of gravity exists; we believe the lights will come on when we flip the switch. When it comes to God, we do not accept Him as true, or hold an opinion, thought or supposition about Him—in faith we know Him—we know He is God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and our Father. In faith, we know Jesus is our Best Friend, Brother, Redeemer and Lord; and we know the Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, Guide, Gift-Giver and Fruit Bearer.
To Believe is to accept (something) as true—feel sure of the truth of; or to hold (something) as an opinion—think or suppose.
To Know is to be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information; or to have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; to be familiar or friendly with.
Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
People who know God, know Him. We have a deep personal relationship with Him, we communicate with Him and He communicates with us (in many different ways). We know Him through observation of His creation and how He manages and works in and through it. We know Him from personal inquiry and through His amazing answers. We know Him most informationally through His Word, the Bible—His autobiography—which tells us everything we need to know in order to know Him. We know Him most intimately through His Son, Jesus, who came so that we might know and be reconciled with Him. “I and the Father are one.” “If you know me you will know the Father as well.” “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”
In addition to knowing God intimately through Jesus, we also have complete faith in him. John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” It all begins with faith, that we seek Him in the first place, which He has given us—He has set His eye on us, and given us a heart to know Him. Jeremiah 24:6-7 “For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” He does not say to believe in Him—He says to know Him.
The World on the other hands, does not know God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Trying to explain a relationship with God to the World is akin to trying to explain algebra to a cow; they are incapable of understanding—it is unintelligible gibberish to them because it requires discernment, which they lack.
As we are fully aware because were once of the World, it is only Spirit speaking to spirit that can ever open the door to knowing. And because “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts…” his heart is hardened and his spirit is as though dead, although not dead, or there would be no enmity toward Christians by the World—they would just call us fools and pay us no mind. There is enough God consciousness in their spirits to convict them of their wickedness against God and His Son when they encounter His Spirit in us—worse still if we speak out about Him—that they feel guilty and if guilty enough, angry or even enraged. I can still remember hiding or running the other way when I saw my “hound of Heaven” uncle headed my way before I accepted Christ (I thank God for him being such a determined hound!).
The World at large is made up of believers. They believe in politics, government, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, The System, their right to do as they please, the right to rewrite the Laws of God, global warming or climate change, all manner of gods and deities, and that “they” are the cause of their problems in life.
True Christians on the other hand know. We know God, we know that He is Sovereign, we know that we have been redeemed through Christ, we know that we are children of God—He is our Abba, Father—we know that nothing of the world can touch us because He is our refuge and shelter, our fortress and rock.