August 11, 2010

I Believe in God - The implications of a belief in God

So I believe in a creator God. More importantly is the question, "What are the implications of this belief and how does it impact my life?" 

There was a book several years ago titled "Your God Is Too Small". We often limit God to those things we see as being possible for humans to do.  For many, God is nothing more than an over-sized, very powerful human.  So our requests of God are often limited to those thing we think are possible for humans. Seldom do we ask for or expect to receive those things which we perceive to be impossible. We underestimate a God who is powerful enough to create the earth and the universe from nothing. So the first implication of the creator God is that nothing is impossible with God. As an aside, realizing that nothing is impossible with God is not the same as expecting to receive everything we ask of God even those things which are for a good purpose. Can God heal? Can God move mountains? Can God keep our loved ones safe in a war?  The answer is yes to all three.  But the real question is not can He, but does He in all cases? I think the answer is probably no.  These are things we want but are they the things God wants? Unfortunately, we do not know the details of God's will.  But we do trust that God has our best interest at heart and the things that happen do so for a reason although the reason may be unknown to us.

The creator God does not have a time table for this earth. As humans, we are constrained by the limits of time, minutes, hours, days, years. Thus when we write of the creation of the earth we are limited to the use of words such as, "On the third day...". When in fact, a God unlimited by time, may have taken a billion years of human time to accomplish the task of creation.

The natural sciences suggest that the earth has taken millions of our years to develop and evolve. That evolution extends to the development of  humans as well. Natural scientist have discovered the bones of prehistoric humans, often different or varying species of human-like creatures they estimate are the steps in the evolution of mankind as we know it today. Through carbon dating they have  determined the period of time when these various prehistoric humans lived.  These estimates are given in human concepts of time.  Interestingly, the dating is in increments of tens of thousands of years; this species of human lived between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, etc. so far there have been discoveries of at least three fossil remains of variational of humans.

Since God is not constrained by the limits of human time, why it so hard for us to believe that God used  all of these variations in humans to test and refine us as we are today?  What to us is 200,000 year ago might be a mere second in God's time table. The fossil remains may, indeed, be evidence of God's craftsmanship.

To believe in a creator God, we must not restrict God to the limits of our understanding of Time nor must we gauge His handiwork on our scale of the possible.

We are also limited to concepts of the past, which we can not change, the present, which is ever changing and the future, which we can not foresee. I believe God is not constrained by these concepts. To God, the past, the present and the future are all visible in one panorama.  This gives God the ability to intervene at any time in any part of our lives. It also sets up another concept that I have trouble understanding. If God knows the choices I will make, then do I truly have free will to make choices? (Please allow me to postpone discussion of this topic to a later time.)

To bring order to His creation, God established thousands rules of nature. These are the cause and effects that rule all of God's works.  If I am cut, I bleed; water evaporates; sunshine causes some plants to grow and some to wilt; water flows downhill; etc. The wonder of it all is that the earth operates in a balance. God rarely chooses to suspend the laws of nature.  When they are suspended, we refer to it as a miracle. 

If we disobey or ignore these laws, the results can be a tragedy. A small boy runs after a ball that rolls into the street.  He is hit by a speeding car and injured.  He is rushed to the hospital and we begin praying for his survival. Depending on the extent of the injuries, loss of blood, damage to vital organs, the skill of the surgical team and any number of other  factors, the boy may survive or may not.  But the results depend largely on the laws of nature.  

Why does God allow these things to happen is the subject of a later post.  But sufficient it to say, the laws of nature are the rules God set in motion to govern this world and we ignore them at our peril.
    There are other considerations about the nature of God.  What does it mean to be created in the image of God?  Does man have free will and why did God see fit to give it to humans?  Can man's free will alter Gods will and plans for the earth? What is God's relationship to mankind; is it evil, good or neutral? These are pretty heady subjects and will be subjects of later posts.


    1. If God forced His creation to love Him is that true love? Then would we not be robots to be ordered at His command? that would not be very loving would it? There something about choice to choose to love God or not.Good versus evil,to believe or not to believe.I think God wants us to love him for who He is and what He has done.God is Holy without sin yet commanded adam and eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil thus allowing a potential choice to be made,to obey or to sin.We know what happened.I want to be clear God did not create evil,there is no evil in the God of the universe,but He allowed his creation the choice to choose to obey or to sin.Just as lucifer, a magnificent angel had the choice to love God or rebell against Him.Without free will how can there be the freedom to freely love truly love? This is something to think about even though God knew His creation would sin from the beginning and fail over and over again-Why not just wipe out all of creation? He still loved us so much that He was willing to send a Savior to suffer for us and take our punishment upon Himself. Now, that is True love!!! and the (free will) choice that God made and have we not been made in his image?-If God chose to save his creation would He not then give His creation the choice to choose and make decisions for ourselves?

    2. I think the whole discussion of man's free will is interesting.. There is a book by Leslie Weatherhead (I believe that's his name)called the Will of God. In one of my future posts, I want very much to discuss the question, 'Can men who have free will, frustrate the will of God? I suspect that the answer is yes only in the short term but not in the long term.
      I would appreciate your thoughts on the will of God and the potential comflict when man's will is in conflict with God's will.
      (On a personal note, what are you doing up at 3 o'clock in the morning? Of course you could be half way around the world from me and it is really mid morning where you are. God Bless you in your efforts to live a life pleasing to God.)


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