God Outside of Religion
God is Just Out There
Common Views about God
Different religions of this world portrays God in ways so impersonal such as a man in the sky, a lonely and angry old man who has never been in love, a cloud rider with a lightning bolt, a bored man who loves to play dice, etc. These kind of views are often unchallenged and worse-- engraved in our society as the foundation of our moral values. However, when we really contemplate on who God is, is He really that distant? Is He some kind of a masochist who loves to see people suffer? Is He an abstract force? A dictator who loves ritualistic sacrifices? A keeper of hierarchy that one needs to submit?
General Distinct Views
God has always been defined by 2 perspectives:
1. Impersonal - There are two system of beliefs under this category. The first, is the notion that God is an abstract force or energy that sets everything in motion or keeps everything in order. The other one is that God is a spirit that created the universe-- alive and set things according to that person's will. The difference between the two is that the former is a concept only while the latter is someone that is worshiped and defined in a religion and has a set of rules and rituals being imposed to the follower of that system and is portrayed to conform to a hierarchy (i.e. lesser god, greater god, only god, etc). However, this two system has a common characteristic: they represent God as someone who is distant and is off-limits, one whose nature cannot relate to a human being.
2. Personal - A belief that God exists in three person that is in relationship to each other and is capable of love, is accessible to every human being and is outside the box of definition set by religions. God is not only the Creator but He wanted and continue to pursue a personal relationship with human beings because His nature is love and fullness of life. Followers of this belief system are called "sons and daughters" and the church is called the "bride". This hub focuses on this kind of God whose nature will be elaborated further below.
Closer than you think
Long Before the Foundation of the World
Of all religions existing in the world, only the God of Christianity fits the Criteria of being loving and personal. Now, how could God be personal if He Himself haven't experience the pleasure and happiness of being in a relationship? How could He say that He is love when He Himself haven't experience the feeling of being in love? Did He created human beings so that He could have an object of His affection?
The answers are all simple if we open up our hearts enough to not consider our religious conditioning about how we perceived God and instead, receive a new perspective of who He is outside our religion, then we'll learn that He is closer than we think!
The Triune God
First, God is only one but He exists in three persons, this is called a trinity. There have been a lot of misconceptions about this topic but when we say trinity, we are not talking about polytheism(multiple gods), modal-ism (God exists as one but only transform to different forms), Arianism(that one form of the trinity created another form), nor adoption-ism (from human to divine form). Trinity is one God in three person and is eternal from the beginning. (Reference verses: Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5, Isa. 9:6, Zech. 12:1, 1 Cor. 2:11).
Second, the members of the trinity composed of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is distinct from each other. We'll not elaborate on their roles but be informed that their position in the trinity is not according to what they do because there is no hierarchy. The Father is not greater than the Son, the Son is not greater than the Holy Spirit nor the Holy Spirit is greater than the Father. They are always equal. (Reference verses: Matthew 3:16-17, John 8:18)
Lastly, because there is no hierarchy in their relationship, they are in submission to one another. Not only they are united but their relationship is full of life and wonder and that they are already sufficiently experienced giving and receiving love from each other.
This nature of God being in love is the most unique characteristic that only He could manifest. The basic pillars of relationship emanates from Him and He is the author of it. (Reference verses: John 14:16-17, 23)
God of Overwhelming Love
This is where we comes in next. God decided to create mankind so that He could share this love to us. He designed us in His image which means that He patterned us in His likeness, capable of loving Him and loving others and ourselves. (Reference verse: Gen. 1:27) The story of this universe doesn't revolve in us but it is all about Him making us part of His love as He invites us into a relationship with His three persons.
Based on the paragraph above, this means the following important points:
1. God loves you - He is chasing you because it is His nature to love you. It's not because He is forced to love you out of His nature but because He truly desires and longs for you. Isn't it a pleasure to share that love when you are so filled it? He wants to have an intimate and personal relationship with you.
2. You are valuable - Too many people think that they are just some random result of an accident and nothing more. So their lives are being wasted and they messed up with others. However, in the midst of every chaos, He never showed any sign of giving up on us. It is always us who failed to acknowledge that He is good. (Reference verse: Psalm 107:1) Beloved, you are valuable to Him and He is thinking about you right now. (Reference verse: Psalm 8:4).
What is God if not of love?
Redefine Him in your life
These are some characteristics of God when it comes to relationship:
1. He is not easily angered - This doesn't mean that God is not experiencing anger but He is slow to anger and abounds on compassion. (Reference: Psalm 145:8) When trials come on our way, we are quick to utter that God is unfair and unreasonable and drift away from Him when He could be our solution instead. If you view God to be good, then are no bad days, there are only days of His grace. Thus, you will be confident in His promises.
2. He is not distant - Most people have bad experience when it comes to their parents especially fathers. This society has gone far away to God because of our own family circumstances. When our earthly fathers are not around to support us growing up, most likely, our view of God as father is distorted and he feels so far away. God however, is not distant, He is near and if we experience His Fatherhood in our lives, we will never be the same. (Reference: John 16:27)
3. God is not please with religion but with relationship - the desire of God is to make Himself known to everyone and that is only possible if we accept to be in an intimate relationship with Him. Intimacy is always the key to knowing God's heart. King David in the Old testament, a worshiper who delights being in the presence of the Lord, is acknowledge as "the man after God's own heart." This is the very design God has in store for us. To live in Him.
Challenge: Your View of God Really Matters..
If you see God as an abstract energy, you will keep on telling yourself you are just a mere accident here on earth. If you see Him as someone who is in a hurrying demand, you will try to hurry in everything you do and will be restless and fearful. The best thing is that, if you view God as Someone who truly loves and values you, your life will never be the same again. The way you see God and the way you think God sees you has a great effect on everything you do. So, I challenge you to just receive His love and seek His goodness today.
I pray that you will encounter the love of God in your life. He is closer than you ever think He is. God bless you reader! :)