I am God. I am from the beginning and to the end. I am Alpha and Omega. I know all and can be known by all. Come to me and learn.
Today, we hear so much about spirituality and various religions that it can all be confusing. We have different names for if you think we can know if God exists, agnostic, or if you actually don’t think He exists, atheist. On a global level we hear about so many different religions beyond Christianity that claim a god or gods. Where do we start in understanding the Christian idea of God?
There are three points that come under consideration when talking about who God is. Your thoughts and beliefs about these three point define your view not only of God and faith, but also your perspective on the world and often of other people. These three points are:
- God Exists
- God’s Nature
- God Is Involved
In order to continue this discussion, the first point that must be settled is that God exists. I believe that God exists and that impacts all the following beliefs that I have. Many of you will have settled this in your mind, but perhaps some of you haven’t. In addition, you never know when you will encounter someone who hasn’t settled this. I promise, no good comes out of a religious debate where halfway through you realize the other person hasn’t firmly settled on their belief in God’s existence.
I live in the Bible belt, or at least on the edge of it, so I do not often encounter many people who do not believe in the existence of God. The next two points, however, are more likely to be up for debate: God’s nature and God’s involvement.
The Bible says that God is good and kind and loving, among other things. He demands justice, but is merciful. He is all-powerful, but gives choice to people. These kind of nature questions can be difficult to work through, and some we spend the rest of our lives understanding. One common question is, “If God is good, how can he allow bad things to happen to people who follow him?” It’s a difficult question, and one that I won’t dig into right now.
What I do think needs to be settled in our minds is this: we must choose to believe that God’s nature is how the Bible describes it, no matter our own personal feelings or our circumstances. The Bible says that God is good, therefore He is. We may not understand many things that happen to people in our world or to us. However, if we base our view of God’s nature on what we see, our view of Him will shift each time our world does.
God is bigger than everything around us. I choose to remember that He is the creator and not the created. I choose to believe that God is who He says He is in His Word. I don’t claim to understand everything or have all the answers for who He is, but when I find a truth in His word about who He is, I will keep that close and pray about all the things that I don’t understand.
God Is Involved
The final piece is God’s involvement. This again is a simple question with a complicated answer. Many teach that the entirety of creation is like a giant clock, all winding down slowly from the moment of creation with an inevitable outcome and a God that is far off, trusting His machine to do all the work.
I don’t take that view. The fact that we have a Bible, that Jesus came to die for us, that today teachers of the Bible come to help us live closer to Him all convinces me that God wants us to be involved with Him and with each other. I believe in God’s involvement in my life and in the world. I believe in His word being alive to me to help me be transformed to be like Him.
These three points are the foundational point for knowing God. You must settle in your mind where you are on these questions or other beliefs down the road might sink into spiritual quicksand instead of bolstering you up and supporting you. For example, it can be difficult to trust the goodness of God in hard circumstances if you aren’t fully convinced of His goodness.
These beliefs are deeply rooted in our walk with God. As we go daily with Him, we may find holes in these beliefs can bubble up and cause doubt and dismay in what we see in the world around us. Placing these beliefs before Him and choosing to find what the Word says about who God is can set our spiritual feet on solid ground to be able to move through our lives with confidence and surety.