Is Your Belief in God Meaningless?

Our churches and communities are filled with people who say, “I believe in God,” but do not believe in the Word of God. How can that be? They speak with a sense of assurance that it is well with their soul, but are bothered when someone questions them. They do not understand why someone would. They are firm in their belief, that they believe in God and are confident they have a relationship with Him.
Jesus had regular encounters with the religious leaders who thought similarly. They once questioned Him about His followers, “Why do your disciples break the traditions of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” (Matthew 15:2) Jesus, using their own words against them responded wisely and boldly with a similar question, “Why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matt. 15:3) Then Jesus laid out a specific command they regularly broke, while teaching others to do the same. Having their direct attention after exposing their hypocrisy He summarized, “So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” (Matt. 15:6)
The religious leaders believed in God, but they put their traditions above the Word of God, giving legitimate reason to question their spiritual condition.
Where did the traditions they promoted come from? Their own reasoning. Where does the Word of God come from? The one who created the heavens and earth. So even though they claimed to be children of God, their practices showed otherwise. They were unashamedly putting themselves above God. Perhaps they were ignorant, not realizing what they were doing.
Like the religious leaders, there are many today who put their personal practices above their belief in God. The command of God says, “. . . that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:27) In another place the Lord commands, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . .” (Matt. 5:44) And the Word also declares, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up . . .” (Ephesians 4:29) The one who confidently speaks of their belief in God, but then regularly permits themselves to lust, be filled with anger at others or use profane speech makes void the Word of God. The reasoning for the lifestyle choices they make have a higher value than what God says. They say they believe in God, or are Christians, but their own desires, habits, wants and needs take precedence over God’s commands.
Why did Jesus point this out? Because it revealed something of grave eternal significance that affected the destiny of their souls, and the souls of those whom they influenced. He strongly condemned them, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me . . .” (Matt. 15:8) When we say with our lips, “I believe in God”, but put our personal lifestyle above His Word, we are illustrating that our heart is far from the one we profess to believe in. Jesus does not want our professions; He wants our heart. Why? Because when He gets our heart, He has our entire life. Jesus told His disciples once, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Do you love Jesus? This is not a statement of feelings or emotions, but one of the heart, where one is willing to submit their whole life under the authority of Jesus by faith. Because Jesus suffered, died and rose again for us, and loved us while we were still sinners, we should be willing to yield our lives unto Him, no matter the cost. A prayer for you. “Lord God, I pray you will search our hearts and point out if we are putting any part of our life, above your Word. Show us if we are making void your Word, by our daily choices. Today, we give you our hearts, not just our lips. Take all of us Jesus. In your holy name. Amen.”