My spiritual calling is no longer to believe in Jesus. I know that might sound shocking and if I was preaching, I would give that opening phrase a LONG and pregnant pause in order to savor the gasps from the horrified crowd. Then very delicately, I would say it again: “No, I am no longer called to believe IN Jesus – I now must believe AS Jesus.
With a sigh of relief now being audible, I would then continue. Perhaps those walking toward the door might even stop and return to their pews.
I have believed in Jesus from my earliest recollection as a child. First experiencing a visitation of some sort when I was five years of age, and again at 15 and 24 and so on, I have never had a doubt in the power and presence of Our Lord. I see him, feel his touch, hear his laugh, catch his wit and never tire of his remarkable stories. He is the Lord Almighty, the Savior and the Cosmic Christ all in one package.
And yet, believing IN him is just a beginning of the spiritual path. Believing AS him means that we turn our attention, as He did, to the source of all life and wisdom, putting aside all worry and concern and trusting in the Lord of Abundance. “Into your hands Father, I commit my spirit.”
King David, as stellar a poet and king as he was, occasionally forgot to trust in the Lord.
“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” -1 Chronicles 21:1
God Almighty requires a complete trust in Him alone for our life victories. Holy Scripture consistently reminds us not to place our trust in “the strength of horses, armies or our own abilities”. David’s decision to take a census for determining the number of soldiers available for his next campaign exemplified a failure to keep his trust completely upon the Lord. He eventually learned a hard lesson.
If we believe AS Jesus, we turn water into wine without a moment of wondering if “this will work”; we heal the lame and the blind because we know that our Creator God so enjoys wholeness; we raise our cousin from the dead because “with God all things are possible.” When we teach the crowds, there is no need to prepare “our speech” as the source of all wisdom is about to flow through us. And as we love, we do so as a representative of all love and there are no limitations.
In summary, I believe. And because I believe, I entertain hope. I hope that your belief is sustained through the times of doubt – deepened with moments of awe – celebrated with new wine – and shared by your very example of believing. Believe IN Jesus, but also give a try to believe AS Jesus. With such a faith, you no longer will need to climb mountains; you will be able to move them.