If you are new to this blog, Welcome. You may want to start reading the series of articles at the beginning, or pick an article from the Table of Contents.
In Part I, we established that God exists. This part depends on the existence of God to make any sense. If you, dear reader, have not read Part I, I suggest that you go back and read it before completing Part II. If you have read Part I and are still not ready to accept that God exists (even for the sake of our discussion), then I may not be able to do as much for you.
What is God like?
For my part, this article is much more speculative than Part I. Let me say right up front that I do not claim to know exactly what God is like. I know, and have experienced, God in bits and pieces. In other words, I have seen glimpses of God. You have, too, even if you don’t realize it. So, I will attempt to impart some of my bits of knowledge (or opinion, if you insist), and leave it to other authors to add their bits to your total understanding. By the way, some of the other authors you should consult wrote a long time ago – Biblical times, even. If you or I study for the rest of our lives (as some have), we will likely not reach a full and complete understanding of God. The mystery of God is that vast and complex!
God is Love
Certainly, you have heard this saying before. To love is to have care and concern for someone (or something) more than you care for yourself. It is putting the other first. Many of us are awkward, or too often neglectful, in expressing our love, but most of us do love someone or something in our own imperfect way. Think about love perfected and you start to get an idea of God’s love for us – all of us – even you!
God is Truth
I love truth. I seek truth. The recent election process, and its aftermath, has my stomach churning because there is so much untruth from all sides. God will never lie to us! When you have an inner voice that tells you what is right and what is wrong, listen to it! Some may say that is your conscience. OK, but I believe it is more than that. It is God speaking!
In order to develop a conscience, and a good inner sense of right and wrong, you have to learn some of the moral truths that God wants us to know. Hopefully, your parents instilled a lot of this in you during your upbringing. Unfortunately, too many parents in today’s society don’t know enough of these truths or don’t care enough to teach them. The schools are becoming less and less dependable as a source of moral truths as well. The more you learn and know of God, the better your understanding of moral concepts. They go hand-in-hand.
God is everywhere, all at one time and always
How can this be? We mortals are familiar with 3 spatial dimensions, plus a 4th dimension that we call time. Our movements and our presence are constrained by them. We can only be in one physical place at any given time. God is not so limited.
It is hard for us to get our minds around this concept, but there well may be other dimensions in God’s total universe than the 4 we are familiar with. Another way to look at it is that God may have other ways of negotiating through space and time, which we do not have the capacity to understand. The universe that God knows is likely to be much bigger than ours.
If you can accept the concepts that I have just hinted at, your mind might be able to deal with the idea that God was hanging around somewhere in His vast universe when He designed and built that huge firecracker that the secular folks call the “Big Bang”. I always thought the the Big Bang theory needed an explanation of what was there before, and who set it off.
Seriously, those who say that science and religion are mutually exclusive just don’t know what they are talking about. Science explains the details of the mechanisms, but is God who designed those mechanisms and put them in place!
God is the Creator
Maybe I should have listed this one first. The more you learn about the marvels and beauty of nature, the structure of molecules and atoms (and the particles and forces that they are made of), the discoveries in astronomy (check out some of the photos made with the Hubble telescope), etc., the more you begin to understand that there is NO WAY that this all resulted from a series of random accidents and mutations. There HAD TO BE an intelligent designer responsible for it all. That intelligence was far greater than we humans possess. That intelligence was God.
God is Mercy and Grace
This one is an extension of “God is Love.” Not one of us humans is perfect. We would have no hope of meeting God’s standards, and being adopted into His family, if it were not for His Grace. The Christian churches have this as a centerpiece of their philosophy. They have the topic well covered, but I’ll give my own particular slant on it in a future article. I hope to point out some aspects of God’s grace that you hadn’t though about.
God wears glasses, smokes a cigar, and looks like George Burns
OK, I threw that one in to see if you were still awake. However, it has more relevance than you might think. Some of you younger readers might not even know who George Burns was. He was one of the best of many great comedians who have passed on during my lifetime.
Oh, God! is a 1977 American comedy film starring George Burns and John Denver. It may be a comedy, but it has a lot of truth in it. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch. If you have seen it years ago, you ought to watch it again. I think I’ll do that this very afternoon!
God is a Spirit Being
We have spirits (souls) as well. However there is much more to the Spirit of God than to our meager souls. Some of us have bits and pieces of knowledge about this. I don’t have much of this knowledge, but I believe that God’s Spirit does some kind of meld with our soul and becomes part of us. This is how I (and others) can truthfully say “He lives within my heart.” (Heart, in this context means approximately the same as soul or spirit.)
Now, here is a mind-blower! Not only is God part of us, we are part of Him! Consider the following quote from Jesus:
“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:13-16 ESV)
When I first read and really understood this passage a couple of years ago, I was awe-struck. I shared it with my wife (who has more religious background than me) and she acted as if it were no big deal. It’s a big deal to me! I am part of God??!!! Awesome!!!!!
I have only scratched the surface of describing what God is like. Do you have some thoughts on the matter? Do you have something to contribute that I may have missed? Leave a comment below. I would love to read it!