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Believing vs. Knowing
by John Fautley

All you have to do is believe! Is that all? Maybe! Is that enough? Maybe, just believing is enough. God makes the promises, if we accept His promises then that surely is enough. But does that mean we know? How do we know? Obviously we couldn't possibly know anything without first believing it to be a possibility.

When I was a kid and went to school I walked out of many lessons feeling bad (stupid, dim), about myself because I did not understand what the teacher was saying. The 'penny' did not drop. Was that truly because I really was dumb, stupid, dim, or was it perhaps because the teacher was a bad teacher, or was it perhaps neither of these. Maybe in the scheme of the universe and planet Earth in particular it wasn't my time to 'hear' it. After all if everybody understood first time round what was being shown them, the world would be full of Scientists, Surgeons and Professors, then where we would we find the people to do the more menial jobs? Maybe the 'penny' drops as and when it is supposed to, whatever the subject matter may be.

I, myself, now teach in a college and have done so for the past 17 years and it never ceases to amaze me how I can deliver a controlled, slow, methodical lecture to my students, making it as obvious and as basic as I can. Yet when I am through, I find that only a certain element of the class heard me and 'know' what I said. How do I know that they know? I know because they are the ones going from desk to desk showing the others (who didn't hear), how to do it. They heard. For them the 'penny' dropped. They heard.

I am in this instance of course, taking it as read, that the class, believe me. Believe what I am saying. I do not believe that any student thinks I am a charlatan and wonders whether I have the ability to teach such a lesson in the first place. I am sure they all assume that because I am a lecturer for the college I have the credentials to teach what I teach. So they do believe what I say, but some do not hear what I say. Because they do not hear me, they cannot truly believe me. As soon as they do 'hear', they then put into practise what they have heard, because they know, and then they prove to themselves that what I told them was true, because they then prove it for themselves by doing it. (Does this sound a bit like faith with works is alive)? As opposed to faith without works is dead.

So, how many people have heard about Jesus Christ dying on a cross and rising again that they may have Eternal Life, (His own Life)? Many have. But have they 'heard'? Or did they just hear the words? Are they, were they, like my students who heard the words, but didn't really dig deeper to hear what the words were really getting at? They may have believed the speaker as bona fide, and listened to every syllable. But did they really believe? Did they truly believe? Could they? If it wasn't time for the 'penny' to drop for them, then they couldn't hear, even if they exerted all the mental energy they had.
But does that mean that one gives up, thinking, "I am never gonna understand, (hear), this. Of course one doesn't. My students, if they truly want to KNOW, and I assume they do, that's why they are on the course in the first place, keep, keeping on, digging in, listening, again, trying again, until they do get it, until the penny eventually does drop.

So, how can you 'know anything, if you are not told. How can you believe anything if you do not 'hear'? And how can you 'KNOW' anything, if you do not put into practise what you have heard, once the 'penny' has dropped?

You tell me.