To become conscious of God, to become God's consciousness, to become God, to be God and to be beyond God, God being beyond God, God having an existence separate from the creation, to be that, to merge with that, to lose one's self and find one's self endlessly again and again in that is self-realization.
The atheist does not say 'there is no God,' but he says 'I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God'; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.
The whole story of creation, incarnation, and our incorporation into the fellowship of Christ's body tells us that God desires us, as if we were God, as if we were that unconditional response to God's giving that God's self makes in the life of the Trinity. We are created so that we may be caught up in this, so that we may grow into the wholehearted love of God by learning that God loves us as God loves God.
Do you know God? Do you know there is a power greater than ourselves which manifests itself within us as well as everywhere else in the universe? This I call God. Do you know what it is to know God, to have God's constant guidance, a constant awareness of God's presence? To know God is to reflect love toward all people and all creations. To know God is to feel peace within - a calmness, a serenity, an unshakeableness which enables you to face any situation. To know God is to be so filled with joy that it bubbles over and goes forth to bless the world.
I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is...God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see
Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time.
We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God - which is another way of saying that all our seeking will fall short unless God starts and finishes the search. The decisive part of our seeking is not our human ascent to God, but His descent to us. Without God's descent there is no human ascent. The secret of the quest lies not in our brilliance but in His grace.
the very minute we think we 'have' God, God will surprise us. As we search in fire and earthquakes, God will be in the still small voice. As we listen in silent meditation, God will be shouting protests in the street. God is warning us that we had best not try to find our security in any well-defined concept or category of what is Godly - for the minute we believe we are into God, God is off again and calling us forth into some unknown place.
And there is something profoundly humbling about knowing God. I'm not talking about the trinket God or the genie-in-a-lamp God. I mean the God who invented the tree in my front yard, the beauty of my sweetheart, the taste of a blueberry, the violence of a river at flood. There are a lot of religious trends that would have us controlling God, telling us that if we do this that and the other, God will jump through our hoops like a monkey. But this other God, this real God, is awesome and strong, all-encompassing and passionate, and for reasons I will never understand, he wants to father us.
Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.
Sunday morning in America is the greatest hour of idolatry in the whole week. Why? Because most people who are even worshiping God, are worshiping a God they don't know. They're worshiping a god that looks more like Santa Claus than the God of Scripture. They're worshiping a god that is a figment of their own imagination. They created a god in their own likeness and they worship the god they've made.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a world where everybody said, 'We don't know?' The fact is that you're surrounded -God and you don't see God, because you KNOW ABOUT God. The final barrier to the vision of God is your God concept. You miss God because you think you know. The highest knowledge of God is to know God as unknowable. All revelations, however divine, are never any more than a finger pointing at the moon. As we say in the East, 'When the sage points to the moon, all the idiot sees is the finger'.
If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God, or saw God, or had a particular relationship with God, I would reply that I don't separate God from my world in my thinking. I feel that God is everywhere. That's why I never feel separated from God or feel I must seek God, any more than a fish in the ocean feels it must seek water. In a sense, God is the "ocean" in which we live.
That experience showed me that I-from moment to moment-am the only person in control of my connection to God. It's not that God is deciding to connect with me, depending on whether I had a good day, or did good or bad deeds. It's all up to me. God, the awareness of God, the love of God, the blessings of God-that lively ecstasy-is always there. It's me who separates from God by judging, by indulging in negativity, by criticizing myself, as well as others.
Somewhere, sometime, somehow you got tangled up in garbage, and you've been avoiding God. You've allowed a veil of guilt to come between you and your Father. You wonder if you could ever feel close to God again. The message of the torn flesh is you can. God welcomes you. God is not avoiding you. God is not resisting you. The curtain is down, the door is open, and God invites you in
If we are in Christ the whole basis of our goings is God, not conceptions of God, not ideas of God, but God Himself. We do not need any more ideas about God, the world is full of ideas about God, they are all worthless, because the ideas of God in anyone's head are of no more use than our own ideas. What we need is a real God, not more ideas about Him.
<< previousnext >>