pentecost

Which is better: to know that God exists or having faith that tells us that God exists? It is, I believe, a very interesting point to think about. My initial instincts and possibly yours immediately lean towards knowing that God exists. And maybe, that is correct, I really don’t know for sure. But, consider what knowledge is, and how it is obtained. We study and we gain knowledge. We experience things and gain knowledge. Once we have learned something, we know it (or at least we retain it for a while…until we forget it).

We know things only because our mind has observed, studied and experienced different facets of temporal life. We know that the Sun can produce extremely hot, uncomfortable days and so we adjust and wear cooler clothing on those days. We know that concrete is hard and so we try not to fall onto it. Our mind is filled with all sorts of knowledge. Now let’s say, somehow we KNOW that God exists. We absolutely know and have proof that He is. We know it, end of story. I won’t get into the “how we know it”. We just know it.

Now I play the role of the devil’s advocate. Because we know the speed limit, do we follow it all the time? We know we are too heavy or too thin, do we faithfully adjust our diet accordingly? Those times, when we go against any of these things that we know, why do we allow ourselves to vary the course? Did we stop knowing? Did we forget it for that brief moment?

I believe the answer to this is found in the sentence above about “faithfully adjusting our diet”. Knowledge is good. Our mind must have the facts all the time, so it can make decisions. But sometimes those decisions will actually go counter to what our mind tells us. Knowledge is simply that …knowledge. It provides us information. It tells us the correct route to follow in order to get to work each day. It tells us how much of each ingredient is to be used in baking a cake. But you and I both know that there are times when we will go against what our brain is telling us. Why we alter our path, is probably because of our emotions. Knowledge does not deal in emotions, it just deals with facts.

Faith, on the other hand, does not come from our brain. Oh yes, there is much truth to be found in the words, and life of Jesus. And these truths are stored carefully in our brain. But the emotions that these release, these arise from our hearts, and our souls. We know that Jesus walked this earth, there are secular proofs that He existed. We believe, however, that this Man was also God. And, at that, our intellect balks. The thought that Jesus, a man, is also the Son of God, is too much for our logical brain. The Trinity, three persons in one God is also incomprehensible to our finite, limited brain. These can only be accepted through our faith.

Faith is a gift that God has given to each of us. We can use it, pray for it to grow within us, and love the possession of it. Or, we can solely depend on our brain, our logic. We can accept only that which we can understand, what we see, but not what we feel. Our intellect will not move us to tears. It will not feel the warmth of a loved one. Knowledge and facts will not direct our feet to help a drug addict lying in the street. Our intelligence, our brain, our knowledge will make us draw back from that person. Thomas A Kempis writes in his Imitations of Christ, “I would rather feel compunction, than know how to define it”. (Heart and soul over knowledge.)

The brain, as powerful as it is, as important as it is, is not the engine that brings us to love one another. The Apostles saw Jesus every day for three years. They heard His words. They saw His actions and His way of life. But it wasn’t until Pentecost that they understood what it all meant to them, to the world. The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, came to them and filled them with, not more knowledge, but with the ability to take all that they had learned and store it in their hearts and become part of them. If our Christianity consists only of what we know, and of what rules to follow, it will be sadly missing the mark. This Pentecost pray for the Holy Spirit to come to you and let your knowledge of Christ and His way of life fill the recesses of your heart. Pray that your faith is not limited to what you know, but expands into how you live your life. It is only with Jesus being in our heart, can we become united with our God. This union is what all of us require, need and live for. The circle of life is nothing more than coming from God and making our way back to God. This is our journey on earth. This is the journey of life.

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) Head or Gut: Brain or Heart
2) Suffering
3) Belief in Jesus
4) Help My Unbelief

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