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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Is There a God? - Meyer

Recently, a popular Christian radio host (http://www.thedrewmarshallshow.com/) posed the question: “How do you know there is a God?”
It was suggested that if God is real, then he would personally contact us in such a way that we would know unmistakably that it was God speaking to us. It was further suggested that He would converse with us in a voice that our ears could hear or in written words that our eyes could see – but again, with a personal message just for us.

Well, actually, it has happened before in human history but not very often.
And what has been our reaction as human beings?
1. Disbelief – in the Bible in the book of John, chapter 12 and verses 28 and 29, there is an account of some people who heard a voice from heaven speaking. Their reaction – they said it was thunder.
2. Worshipping the messenger instead of the God who sent the message – when Paul the Apostle healed a man at Lystra who had been crippled all his life, the people began to worship Paul saying: “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.”
3. Making the place the message was received into a place of worship – When Peter was up on the mountain and Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus, Peter right away wanted to build three tabernacles (places of worship) on that site.
When we look down through history and around the world at special things (miracles) God has done, going against the laws of nature that he has put in place, our human reaction has invariably been one of these three.

So, what would happen if God, wanting to convince a person named Sarah that He loved her, wrote a big message in the clouds: “Dear Sarah, I love you very much. From God.”
What would be the human reaction?
1. Disbelief – most people (including Sarah perhaps) would believe it was some kind of hoax.
2. Worshipping the messenger or person to whom the message was given. Can you imagine the books that would be written about Sarah and her wonderful experience? And the talk shows? Can you imagine Sarah’s inbox or her Facebook account?
3. Making the place the message was received into a place of worship. The area over which the clouds had appeared would be considered a sacred and most blessed land – a destination for pilgrimages for many years to come.

Well, maybe something quieter then. How about a hand coming out of nowhere and carving a message on a tabletop in Sarah’s house, right before her very eyes?
What would be the result of this?
1. Disbelief – Sarah would quite likely question her sanity. Others would question her sanity if she told them what had happened.
2. Worshipping the message, messenger or person who received the message. If people did become convinced that God had actually written a message on the table, that table would be put under glass and put in a church somewhere. People would come from around the world to touch the table (or the glass surrounding it), hoping to have their prayers answered, hoping for miracles, etc.
3. Making the place the message was received into a place of worship. Sarah’s home and her family and perhaps even her city and her country would be deemed sacred. Again, the pilgrimages would begin.

So, maybe if God wrote to all of us everyday on rocks or tables or clouds, then it wouldn’t be so special and we would just get used to getting our daily messages from Him. Yeah, I think we can all see the problem with that. The skies would be so full of cloud messages, we’d never see the sun and all of our tabletops would be ruined. And if God wrote to us in more traditional ways (like email), what would happen if we accidently deleted a message from Him – would that be like the unforgiveable sin? What if our computers crashed? Would he call us on the phone instead?

So, before this blog post gets too crazy, let’s just back up a bit. God is God. If He wants to communicate with us, He can devise a way that is not dependant on cloud cover, Bell Telephone, your local Internet provider (which is very unreliable where I live) or… tabletops. God could, and has, devised a way to speak to us that works even if we are in the dark or in the middle of an ocean and even if we are deaf or blind or incapacitated in some other way. God can use this to speak to us in any language, dialect and accent (yep, it’s true!). God speaks in such a personal way that often we are at a loss to explain the “conversation” to others.

What is this “device”? Well, actually, there isn’t a device. It is a direct communication with God himself, one that bypasses our ears, eyes and other senses, and goes directly to our spirits. As it says in the Bible in the eighth chapter of Romans and the sixteenth verse: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
There are many other verses about the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Romans 8:16, Luke 12:12, John 14:17, 26, 1 John 2:27, John 16:13, etc.) but don’t expect to understand everything all at once. For starters, it will be difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that God exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. That’s why the Holy Spirit could descend on top of Jesus in the form of a dove while a voice from Heaven said, “This is my beloved Son.”
The reason we can’t wrap our minds around God and who He is and how He speaks to us is, quite simply, weren’t not God. We’re just itty bitty humans. I don’t know how God, the Holy Spirit, can be speaking into my heart while at the very same time, He is watching over the universe, keeping track of sparrows (Matthew 10:29) and the number of hairs on my head! (Matthew 10:30) AND speaking into the hearts of thousands or perhaps millions of others all over the world. But there’s a whole bunch of other things I can’t understand either. Did you ever try to think what is beyond infinity or what comes after eternity?
At least, I have the assurance that someday, I will understand everything. The Bible says (in 1 Corinthians 13:12) that “now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Beautiful words and reassuring words. Someday we will understand everything… All the pieces will fall into place. All our questions will be answered.
But for now, today, in this very moment, we have the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who speaks to our hearts, reassuring us that there is a God and that He loves us so much that we are privileged to call Him, Abba (Daddy), Father. (Galatians 4:6)

Dorene Meyer
http://www.dorenemeyer.com/

Author of The Little Ones and Jasmine
Now in book stores across Canada
Distributed by Word Alive Press http://www.wordalivepress.ca/.
Available online and as ebook on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/ (key in title of book and publisher: Word Alive Press).

9 comments:

praz said...

Hi Dorene

I am Prasenna from Sri Lanka.nice comments. But few doubts...

God is ulmighty right?

So why did he made some of bad and some us good?

Whats the fun God gets when he suffer or worship him?

He can communicate to us in by writing in the clouds which is only visible to relevent person?

You say that if we regularly receive his message , we want take it serious. But why cant the god change make us think it as serious?

Please understand following facts

1. God exist. But not the one you refer. It is not he or she... Its not it.. its everything but nothing

2. We are not children of god.. We are the gods... Actualy a part of god... but we did not realise it yet..

3. There is no infinity or eternity... no need for it


above are my thinking.. I woulfd like to receive a reply from you cause it may help me to think properly

Dorene Meyer said...

Dear Praz,
Thank you so much for your comments!
Thank you for taking the time to think about my words even though we disagree on some things.
I can see you have an open heart and mind, and that you are a seeker of truth.
I would like to think a bit about your questions and comments and get back to you later today with a reply.

Dorene

Dorene Meyer said...

Hi again,

These are such good questions that you asked! I wanted to take some time to think through the answers.

1. Why did God make some of us bad and some of us good?

God made everything perfect but we have all of us chosen our own way instead of God’s way. We want to be comfortable, happy, entertained… We don’t care about other people as much as we care about ourselves. We only rarely give God a passing thought. ALL of us are like this. Though it may seem on the surface that some of us are good and some are bad, when you look closer, all of us are bad. Jesus said that if you lust after (desire) a woman, you have committed adultery. He said that if you hate someone, you have committed murder in your heart. Again, God sees right down into our spirits to who we really are. Left to ourselves, we go on doing more and more bad things. And in this just and perfect world that God made, we would get what we deserved at the end of our lives. We who have lived in luxury while others suffered will experience suffering ourselves (for reference on this, read: Luke 16: 19-31, Matthew 25:31-46).
The good news is that God loved us so much that he chose to pay the price for all of the bad that we have done. When Jesus, who had never once done anything bad because He is God, died on the cross, he took all of our sins on Himself. He paid the price for all of the bad things done by all the people who have ever lived or will live in the future. God did this so that we could be totally forgiven, totally made clean. Jesus said it was like being born again. Because Jesus paid the price for all the bad things we have done, those bad things no longer exist. It is as if we had never done them. It is at this point that we can have that open line of communication with God through the Holy Spirit.
God still gives each of us humans a choice though. We can choose to believe or disbelieve.
We can choose to accept or reject His great love.

Dorene

Dorene Meyer said...

2. What’s the fun God gets when he suffer or worship him?

This is such an excellent question also, Praz. It is a question that many people struggle with. I see so much suffering in this world and I don’t understand why God doesn’t just stop it. But again, I think the answer lies in the fact that we are not God. We can’t see the bigger picture. We can only see the small part that we can see and try to understand it. In our world of mass communication, we see more suffering than we should. There is so much that we can do nothing about.
When we do experience suffering ourselves or in those that we are close to, we often do see the reason for the suffering. There are many people who have written about their experiences with suffering and how it has brought them closer to God, closer to other people or has in some other way enriched their lives.

Ah, the fun God gets when we worship him! That is why it is said that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame – for “the joy that was set before Him” (see Hebrews 12:2). I feel His joy in my spirit when we communicate. In the Bible, the relationship we can have with God is compared sometimes to that of a bride and bridegroom; sometimes to that of a child and a Father; and sometimes just as a friendship. It is hard to describe this relationship that we can have with God. It goes beyond what I feel for my husband, my children or even my grandchildren. It goes beyond human experience. This joy that we share is what I live, and would gladly die, for. And… it’s what Jesus did die for.
Dorene

Anonymous said...

It's a good post! thanks a lot.

Dorene Meyer said...

3. If we were to regularly receive his message in the clouds or on a tabletop, we wouldn’t take it seriously. But why couldn’t God make us take it seriously?

This is again a good question, Praz. Sometimes, I wonder why God doesn’t just flip a switch in us somewhere and make us all obedient little followers of Him. Then I think about the wonderful rich relationships that I have – and I know they would not be the same if someone was forced or hardwired to love me. It is those wonderful spontaneous moments in life that make everything worthwhile – when my grandson stops his play to pick a flower for me or when my son calls just to say hello or when I receive a compliment from a friend. In the same way, when we see a beautiful sunset and compliment God on his artwork, or take a moment out of our busy days just to talk to Him, or have a sudden impulse to give a gift to God just because we know it will please Him – that’s the kind of love that can’t be forced. It just wouldn’t be the same.

Peter Black said...

Dorene, thank you for this interesting and thought-provoking post. The discussion that has arisen around Praz's questions and your responses is just great.

praz said...

Hi Dorene

Thanks alot for your replies.I was born as a hindu. But currently am not following any religion but very much interested in knowing the truth.

I know people should be lucky to have faith in god. But realy I still did not get that so called faith.

Few comments on your reply

1. God made everything perfect but we have all of us chosen our own way instead of God’s way.

This one i didnt get properly. He made everything and he gave choice.. isn't?



why did he gave a choice? Why he want us to choose? why cant he give us only one option?

If he has given us only one option all of us would have been good right?

Lets say god created us. Then why did he made us think in the bad way? why cant he make us think in the good way only?

I am not going to ask other questions.

You may be very busy Dorene. But thank you for answering my questions. Your answers made me think in new angles. But still I did not get the faith.

I know if the religions or god concept is lie, it cant survive for centuries. But I dont get it

Dorene Meyer said...

Dear Praz,

One way to understand why God gave us a choice is to look at human relationships. We are made in the image of God. The relationships we have on earth are then in some ways similar to the relationship we can have with God. In the Bible, our relationship with God is compared at times to a marriage, to a father-child relationship and sometimes just as a friendship or someone whom you work for.
In all of these earthly relationships, we get glimpses of what we can have with God. We can confide our deepest thoughts and feelings as a wife would to her husband. We can trust in confidence as a child does to her father. We can have carefree conversation and shared experiences as in a friendship.
As with earthly relationships, we may not choose who they are (we are born into a family and we may not have a choice over our other relationships either) but we can choose to love – a little, a lot or not at all.

Love is a mysterious thing and I don’t fully understand it. The Bible says “God is love.” Not just that He loves but He is love. For myself, I know I am not always loving. It is there in my heart, sometimes stronger at times than others and for certain people more than for others. This is human love. It’s the best we can do while on this earth. God’s love is so far beyond what we can begin to understand. But I feel it in my heart. And because of that love from Him, I feel love towards Him also.

Sometimes love comes spontaneously and sometimes love is a choice. And I think this is the main reason why God gave us choice – so that we could choose to love Him. We could choose to have a relationship with Him.

Faith is like love. It can come spontaneously but is more often a choice that we make. We decide to trust someone. That decision is usually based on good sound logic and reasoning. Also often some emotion. But in the end, it is a choice we make. We take a risk. When we choose to trust someone, they might let us down. There is always that risk that we take. We jump off a cliff and trust in our parachute to open up at the right time. But that’s life, full of risks, full of moments of faith.

When my husband asked me to marry him, I was very fearful because of my parents’ bad marriage. John said to me: “I can’t prove my love to you. You’ll just have to trust me.” Years later, walking out under the stars, I heard an echo of his words in my heart, God saying, “I can’t prove my love to you, Dorene. You’ll just have to trust me.”