Years ago when my family was living in southern California a year or so before we moved to Sacramento my brother was running around the house in his superman cape jumping off of couches and punching items and sometimes people. In a moment of cleverness I decided I would show him the “magic mirror in the wall.” Pointing to the mirror I asked him, “Do you know how to become a real super hero?” “No” he said “do you?” I replied, “oh yes, there is a whole world right through that mirror all you have to do it jump through it” Believing this to be true, he ran as fast as he could toward the mirror in a desperate attempt to fulfill his dreams of being “superman.”
As harsh or as funny as this story might sound to you it reveals a very powerful point and that is that true belief produces action. The difference between belief of something and believe in something is one acknowledges and one causes you to act. In the last fifty years we have seen leaders inspire change in a nation, not because they had a belief of something, but because they believed in something. James speaking to a group of Jewish christians in the first century relays a similar idea about belief.
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”(James 2:19)
James’ idea about belief is simple, but keen. He relates their belief in God to the beliefs of demons and demons never claim to work for God. These Christians were claiming to believe God, but not acting on what they claimed to believe. Later in the chapter he gives them examples of pivotal Old Testament characters that exemplify this idea of what it means to truly believe in something (James 2:22-26). So this begs the question, what do you believe in? The challenge now is to test it. Is what you believe in merely a cognitive recognition or is it something that causes you to take action?