- Religion and Philosophy
Finding God, It’s Not That Difficult
I have been on a journey of sorts throughout my life looking for God. Through the years, I’ve gone to many different denominational churches who believe they have the “right” path to heaven as taught from their interpretation of Scriptures and their adopted doctrine. I’ve exposed myself to the New Age movement as well as the occult. None of these organizations have brought me even close to knowing God. On the one hand it is taught He is vengeful and jealous, on the other hand He is a loving Father. Some “religions” view God as something more of a Source of all creation. However I have come to a personal spiritual awakening that is leading me to a closer relationship with my Higher Power, my God.
Religion Is Not The Answer
Religion itself is nothing more than an interpretation of Scripture from a few people who then create a denomination around their interpretational doctrine. Religion is man-made philosophy based on inaccuracies and a pull for power. Faith, however, has nothing to do with religion. Faith is the personal relationship you have with your understanding of God. This is how we see it in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Moses, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, David and all of the other patriarchs had a one-on-one relationship with God. So personal was their relationship, they were able to speak and hear from God clearly. They didn’t require a preacher to pray for them. They didn’t need to trust in other men. They trusted the One who created us all and everything that is natural on this earth.
What About The Bible?
In the span of time between the Old Testament and New Testament, we are told that God did not communicate with mankind. Really? Did God shut us out for a period of 400 years? Was mankind placed in “time-out” until God felt like talking to us again? I cannot believe that a God who is loving would not communicate at all with somebody during that time period. When God did speak to us again, we are taught that He came to us as a man named Jesus. “I found Jesus” is what you hear most “born-again” Christians say. As far as I know, he’s never been lost since He came on the scene. Jesus, as we are taught in Sunday school and church, is in plain view in the Bible. Jesus is said to be God here on earth. Jesus shed His blood for all mankinds sins. Jesus taught in the synagogues and on the streets. He preached a message of love and unity, especially of unity between He and God. This unity is not based upon the Bible itself, but rather based on a bond of love so strong that Jesus showed us God through his actions and attitude.
There is no question in my mind about the authenticity of the Scriptures. The Old Testament is rich in history of how mankind and God interacted. It lays down the moral compass for all of mankind to strive for in building a relationship with God. But it is still a history lesson. The same is true of the New Testament. It is also a history lesson, but a lesson of Gods’ love for mankind. Although the Scriptures are said to be “God breathed”, they were still written by men. The Bible, as we know, does not even contain all of the letters and accounts that were written. It contains 66 “books” that a group of people decided were good enough and authentic enough to be canonized. Again you have men deciding for all mankind just what is or is not from God. Yet even Jesus quoted Scripture from the Old Testament during His short ministry. Jesus did more than just read the Scripture….He lived what he taught.
Example Lived By Jesus
Many believe that Jesus Christ was God made flesh to be here on earth. I have a different opinion of Jesus, and again it is only my opinion. Jesus Christ was a great man, filled with deep compassion and love for his fellow man. Jesus had a deep-rooted connection with God. Jesus Christ lived a life so pure and so open that there was a continual flow of communication between God and himself. Jesus knew what it meant to “be at one with God”. Jesus taught us how to accomplish this “oneness” in our own lives. Jesus lived a life devoted to the Creator. He taught us, through a living example, how to live a life completely fulfilled. He says to the disciples in John:
Joh 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Joh 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Joh 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
The word “abide” comes from the Greek word men’-o which is a primary verb meaning “to stay” in a given place, state, relation or expectancy. Jesus is speaking of the unity of life between ourselves and God. Continue to live by his example.
Finding God In Your Life
God doesn’t live in a church. God is not up in heaven with a checklist of wrongs and rights. God is with you always. God created you and therefore you are a part of Him. God isn’t concerned with the person you were, rather He is interested in the person you are right now. It takes time and a little bit of patience so that we can realize that we already have that oneness with the Creator. Truly connecting with God, or finding God, is simply a matter of honest prayer and expectant meditation.
We pray when we are in trouble or in need. Usually it is a quick ‘gimme” prayer and ending the conversation. How often do we pray simply because we are grateful for being alive today? How much of our time praying is spent with us talking instead of patiently listening? I don’t mean just that small inner voice, but listening to God with all of our senses. Listening to the birds, feeling the warmth of the morning sun, smelling the fresh air, seeing a doe and her fawn and tasting the wonderful fruits, vegetables and water that God provides. God does speak with us every moment of the day. We just don’t listen because we are to wrapped up in our busyness that we don’t take the time to just be. Active communication requires participation between two individuals. It is the same between each of us and God.
Finding God in your life is not difficult. It is a matter of communicating with Him. It is necessary to make time for this heartfelt communication in our daily lives. Only a personal relationship between you and God is going to fill that spiritual void within you. You have the power inside you already. The presence of God is within you. Like any other relationship, you must work and nurture two-way communication. Pray to God prayers of gratitude, but also spend time in quiet meditation to listen to God speaking to you. You’ll soon realize that you never had to find God, He is already with you every moment of every day.
© 2014 Ken Crawford