Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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What is God really like?

A planet in spaceWhen we ask the question; ‘What is God like?’ We immediately hit a problem.
Why?
Because God fills the universe, He’s in all places at any given moment.

He is also outside of time. Everything from the beginning of eternity, to the end of eternity, is set out in front of Him.
All knowledge and wisdom that is to know, He knows, and lots more besides that.
All the actions and thoughts of every single person, that has lived, and who will live in the future is known by Him.

Ask the caterpillar what he sees!

A green and yellow stripy caterpillarSo when we say; ‘What is God like?’ it’s rather like us asking a caterpillar to describe the view, from the top of Mount Everest!
It’s totally beyond the mind of the caterpillar.
It cannot see any further than the nearest stone, let alone to be able to answer the question!
And so it is with us!
We are limited, and mortal.

God is unlimited, – infinite, – eternal, – and invisible.
So, we recognise that we have a problem.
Left to our own devises, we would never be able to grasp what is God like.
We need HELP!

I know how an engine works!

A stripped down engineImagine a very young child asking how a car engine works.
The father could start talking about pistons, crankshafts, valves, etc.
And within a few seconds the child would have got totally lost, and wouldn’t have grasped any of it.
But if the father said: ‘Well Tommy, we give you food to keep you going through the day, and it’s the same with a car. The car needs food to keep it going, and that food is the petrol.’
Tommy goes away HAPPY. He now knows how an engine works!

That is how God has dealt with our question: ‘What is God like?’

He Himself is too difficult to comprehend, but He has chosen to reveal Himself in a simple way that we can understand.
He gives illustrations, and He describes Himself as having bodily parts.
It is so we can understand a little about Him.
He went about this in 2 ways:

Firstly:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways ..”
Hebrews 1:1

He spoke to individuals, who then spoke out what they had been told, and they also wrote it down. This is recorded in the Old Testament, the first 70% of the Bible.

Secondly:

.. but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, (Jesus Christ) whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.”
Hebrews 1:2-3

So the invisible God, the One who fills the universe, sent His Son Jesus to this earth.
Jesus is totally, and completely God, but He humbled Himself, and He took on human form.
And yet, even in this limited expression of God, the Bible tells us that Jesus exactly represents the Being of the Almighty, invisible God!
What Jesus said, was what God was saying.
What He did, was what God wanted Him to do.
He is perfect in all His ways, and in all His thoughts.
These things are recorded in the New Testament, which is the last 30% of the Bible.

So when we ask the question, ‘What is God like?’
We know that God has chosen to explain Himself through the pages of the Bible.
By reading the Bible we can come to realise that God has certain qualities that can only refer to Himself.
These are that the three in one God, that is; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; exists totally independently of any other thing, or person.
They alone are the source, and fountain of all life, and everything that exists.
God is a Divine Spirit, without bodily parts. And being of Divine Spirit He is infinite, without limit.
Everything about Him is limitless.
He is bigger than the universe.
All things are suspended in His constant Presence.
Wherever we go, wherever angels go, He is always there.
He is infinite in time, because He is eternal. Without beginning, and without end. And He is unchanging.
He is perfect, so He would have been imperfect if He has changed or has altered in any way.
That does not mean that He is static.
He is always active, upholding things by His power, and working His purposes out.
He observes and responds to sin, either to punish sooner or later, or to forgive those who turn from their sin and who turn to Him.

By reading the Bible, we can also realise that God has certain QUALITIES that can refer to ourselves, as well as Himself.
Obviously these qualities are minute in us, but limitless in God.
For example, power, knowledge, goodness, love, etc.

I’m so clever building with Lego!

Do you realise that mobile phones, computers, and DNA research, do not leave God baffled! He made ALL the elements, so that we could make these sorts of things.
A toddler playing with some toysThat would be like Tommy, feeling that no-one in the world was as clever as him, just because he had made a little car from Lego bricks!
Tommy would feel that not even the person who designed the Lego bricks, could ever understand how Tommy had made such a wonderful car!
That sounds funny, but that is how a lot of people see our modern world in relation to God.
But He knows far more than all the scientists will ever know.

So, while we are looking at all these qualities that God has, the important thing to realise is that He is PERFECT, and that we can TOTALLY trust Him.
He is totally committed to what He has said in His Word, the Bible.
We can totally trust and rely upon His promises.

Peter Reason

December 2011

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