I have studied a number of other beliefs and faiths in this world. While I don’t claim to be an expert, I find it interesting to understand other people’s perspectives. After all of this, though, I find that the God that I need isn’t quite like any of the other faiths that I have learned about. Let me explain:
In some faiths, God is beyond comprehension. With a god like this, the best that humankind can hope for is to stumble across a piece of him (or her), and try to worship this fraction of what we can know.
- I certainly agree that created beings cannot fully comprehend a transcendent creator from our human perspective. God is bigger and more complex than we can understand with finite minds, limited perception, and mortal lives. (See Ephesians 3:14-21)
- However, I need a God who is not unknowable, because He chose to reveal Himself to humankind,(and not because I’m smart enough to figure Him out, which would really limit the kind of god that I serve!) We probably couldn’t handle all of the details, but we have more than enough facts, evidence, and revelation to appreciate so many aspects of God’s character.
- This was true in the Garden of Eden, as God walked in the same garden as the people He had created (see Genesis 3:8). It was true when God came to earth as an infant. And, it is true when God lives in the hearts of those who follow Him today, providing insight and guidance – not just about the path we should take, but about who He is.
In some faiths, God is awesome and holy, and can never be approached. His standards are perfect, and human beings can only try vainly to meet them.
- I certainly agree that God’s holiness and glory are worthy of great honor. In fact, I wish that many Christians would spend more time pondering the sovereignty and majesty of God, in order to naturally cultivate our respect for Him.
- In fact, I believe that God’s nature means that His standards are “ultimate”, meaning that being “51% good” or “good enough” isn’t even remotely close to justifying our ability to be in His presence.
- However, I need a God whose holiness is closely tied with love, and – in one of the most unfair decisions that God ever made – He took on the punishment that we deserve, and gave us the grace that we absolutely did not deserve.
- God’s plan didn’t start or end with Jesus’ birth, but His arrival in Bethlehem was a key moment in bridging the gap between centuries of preparation and the salvation that He would bring (to all who will accept it, including you) just a few short decades later.
In some faiths, God wound things up and walked away. Maybe this sort of god did big things once, like creating the universe, allowing for human beings to come into existence, or defining right and wrong. In this scenario, though, once things were set in motion, there’s no more engagement or interaction.
- I certainly agree that God created an amazing universe, and that it runs well. The “laws of physics” (which, as I read recently, are really just our interpretations and models of how things appear to work) keep things running, and living things continue to be born, grow, and serve their role in God’s creation in a beautiful mystery of unfathomable complexity.
- However, I need a God who not only still exists after getting things started, but also remains engaged in His creation. God still intervenes when His people call upon Him, aligning or bending the natural order of things for His plan (we could call these miracles; I would also call them the Creator’s intervention in His creation). God still spends time with the people He created in His own image, and seeks to have a relationship with them.
- The birth of Jesus confirmed not only that God was still around (long after He created the world), but also that He still cared about us.
In some faiths, God is an idea or a force, or maybe a “thing”: an impersonal entity that exists.
- I certainly agree that God exists, and that He is everywhere. We might think of as “extra-dimensional”, such that He can see all of time and space at the same time, but this is merely a human construct to try and understanding something beyond our ability to observe.
- However, I need a God who is personal, and who gives us a purpose. With only a vague force around me, I couldn’t relate to God as His personal creation, nor would there be any person of God to glorify, praise, and even talk with.
- Jesus showed us that God is personal. Jesus showed us emotion, truth, purpose, sacrifice, humility, and many other aspects of God that we could either relate to or aspire to.
I’m not sure about you (well, OK, I’m pretty sure about you), but I need a God that is personal, relational, compassionate, loving, and gracious. In fact, I need a God like that just as much as I need a God that is all-powerful, holy, and perfect. I need some good news like this:
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11 NIV
Praise be to God that He is all of these things, and that He proved it not only when Jesus Christ was born as a human baby (while still being divine and fully God), but also when he – God the Son – remained faithful for a lifetime and gave His perfect life up for us, so that we could be restored to Himself and live forever with the God for whom we were created.
I pray that you will know Jesus Christ, and enjoy what it means to live the life for which you were created by a holy God. I need Him, and I know that you need Him, too. (If you would like to learn more, please let me know, or reach out to a trusted Christian friend or family member.)
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2 thoughts on “That’s the Kind of God I Need!”
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Merry Christmas all, indeed! Thank you