Far too many soul-searching questions about God and His plan for us are answered with generic "run of the mill" answers. It breaks my heart to think of a sincere person working up the courage to ask a deep and stirring question from the bottom of their heart just to be told the answer is a "mystery", or that they just have to believe. Is it any wonder why they stop asking questions? I can't say as though I blame them. But I suggest to you that the answers are there and they're just waiting to be given to us! However, there's a lot of spiritual information and receiving it is a process; Just like the old saying goes, "You can't drink out of a fire hydrant". But let's move on.
--You should read below before going to the Q&A's--
--It's a little lengthy but discussing the creator of the universe is a heavy subject :) --
Besides flesh and bone, we all have a soul, which is spirit. The reason we know the soul exists is because we humans are given the gift of faith, which is designed to be placed in God. Our faith is delivered to us from God and through our soul...it's inherent. So even though we all have faith, some of us don't place our faith in God (as it was designed), some of us place our faith in self, or people, or nature, etc. No matter where we place our faith, we can agree that we all have it. Faith is wonderful and it's exclusive to humans; Animals don't operate on faith, they don't need it; they funtion on instinct (I know we love our little cuddle buddies and they love us too, but they don't have a soul like we do). The soul is something special and particular that was given to mankind alone. And like every other part of our body, the soul has a basic and vital purpose. The soul exists so that it can reach out and connect with God the Father. This purpose is programmed into the DNA of the soul...it's instinctual.
Unfortunately, the Father isn't present to connect with our yearning soul. If He were here in person to do so, it would be as if we were standing next to a nuclear blast...we'd be consumed. The reason we'd be consumed is sin cannot be in God's presence, and we're infested with it. Ever since mankind's fall from grace we've been born into a sinful rebellious nature which gets even stronger as we get older. We're born into this terrible cycle and therefore it's in our nature. For example: Have you ever had to teach a small child how to be mean, or selfish? Of course not. Nastiness and selfishness runs in our veins. We are so compelled to sin you'd think we were under demonic spell, but nope, it's natural. Just like a fish is compelled to swim, a sinner is compelled to sin. Our sin prevents the intimate co-existence God wants with us because He cannot allow sin to go unchallenged in His presence. This is because God is Holy (good in perfectness and righteousness...devine), and any sin in the presence of holiness must be judged and dessimated. Otherwise the holiness isn't holy. And since every one of His kids has sinned, we too would be judged and dessimated.
Although God is holy (and we are not worthy of Him), He does NOT desire for His children to perish, quite the contrary. Like any parent, He loves His children and wants the best for us. This shouldn't be too hard to imagine; How many of us have been hurt by our own children but yet we'd die in order to save them? We'd sacrifice ourselves for our kids without hesitation, and we aren't even holy! We inherit this powerful love for our children from our Father. In fact, we were created in God's image and we've inherited many of His traits. However, we fell from grace and we are not worthy to receive some of the things we desire: to be praised, acknowleged, idolized, and so on (a topic for another time). God's holy love comes from a position of being holy and righteous. This means His love is more intense than we, who are unholy, could even possibly fathom.
But that same holiness serves as a double edged sword for His children. Becuase of holiness, God cannot just sweep sin under the rug. It cannot be forgiven or nonchalantly dismissed, sin must be judged and sentenced (you must keep in mind what holiness is, I'll create a post later). For God not to contend with sin in His presence would not only make God unholy, it would also make Him more like us, which would be very bad for us. There'd be no salvation. Now don't get me wrong, some of us are pretty good. But we, who are not holy, fail miserably when it comes to being righteous and perfect. Sure, we can do some good deeds or we can overlook some wrongdoings here and there, which is nice of us, but this is a far cry from making us holy (even though some of us act like it does), and it only gets worse from there. With very little effort, we'll sin at the drop of a hat, it's a simple matter of us acting upon an urge or temptation. We'll lie, steal, kill, bare false witness, gossip, you name it, and all without being chained to holiness like the Father. He is righteous and not capable of being unjust. If our soul actually reached him, it would be destroyed. For our own sake, no matter how much our soul yearns to reach Him, sin keeps us separated from Him, which is better than oblivion.
But He doesn't stop there. No sir. With a holy love, He provides an alternative solution for His beloved children to reach Him. It is impossible for His love to fail His children. After all, when God says "Let there be light", the science and the physics of this physical universe reacts and creates light. Now imagine how strong love must be from this holy being. This love will not fail, it's truly not possible. So with immeasurable wisdom and boundless mercy, He put forth His wonderful will.
For our benefit, God provided His children something our soul could grab when it reached out. Something that'll allow us to walk with Him and learn from Him without being consumed. Our Dad found a way, He uses a "buffer". The "buffer" that God put forth is His Holy Spirit, which is all also God, and It is all over the Earth. The Holy Spirit is a comforter, an intermediary, a liason, etc. When we connect with the Holy Spirit, we see and feel the grace of our Lord (God the Son). Even though we control our flesh, if we let Him, God will control the soul, which is the soul's purpose. The soul yearns to submit to His will; When we allow our soul to reach for God and it links to His Holy Spirit, we find ourselves on a spiritual cruise-control as we move through this life with our spirit linked to His spirit. He uses this spirit as the common denominator between Him and us so that He can bond with his children. Amen! In turn, our sould becomes the conduit between The Holy Spirit and our brain. The soul talks to our brain, which gives us thought. We then begin to realize the difference between thoughts that originate from our own understanding versus thoughts that are given to us from the Holy Spirit. Then things start really lining up for us: we begin to think out the consequences of things more clearly, we become a more caring person in general, we begin to see this life and this world through a spritual lens, and we even begin to see other people as their loving parents see them instead of just seeing them as a stranger in traffic. Before we know it, we are living a more harmonious life, not just for ourselves but for all those around us.
Of course we still must struggle with tragedy and heartache in a world that fell from God's grace, but because of the Holy Spirt, we can endure. Without the Holy Spirit, so many will succumb to vice in order to deal with their tragedy; Some of the usual suspects being: alcoholism, drugs, divorce, bitterness, darkness, depression, etc. But we weren't designed to fight against these heavy issues let alone defeat them. The plan was for God the Father to be with us from the very beginning, even while we were growing in the womb. But the world fell. And now, without God's direct protection or guidance, we are susceptible not only in the womb to sickness and behaviour issues, but as adults who must deal with loss and tragedy. We turn to counselers and self-help books only to achieve marginal success at best. But through the Holy Spirit, we come through the tragedies, not unscathed mind you, but we will come through. Instead of trying to come up with our own strength, or joy, or peace to get through terrible situations, we can lean into the Holy Spirit, which is where things like strength, job, and peace come from. The Holy Spirit, which is God we can commune with, is the source for all good and needed thinhgs. Having the Holy Spirit is such a wonderful "plab B" that the Father gave us. Praise God!
We have the Holy Spirit available to us because God the Father came to earth as God the Son and paid the heavy price of holy judgement against the sins of the world; A perfect and sinless sacrifice, without blemish, just as instructed in the old traditions. Both Islam and Judaism (from which we have Christianity) teaches us about the perfect sacrifices that must be offered to God in order to pay for sin, only a sacrifice without blemish would be acceptable. This would atone for sin of the individual or the family of the individual. But what about God's family, His children all over the world, for all time? What sacrifice on the earth would be pure enough to atone for all this sin? There isn't one. Only God in human form, never sinning, could be strong enough to live a life without sin and be a perfect and WILLING sacrifice for such a heavy task. His sacrifice would pay sin debts for all people throughout all time, living and dead.
This perfect and righteous being is the Son of God, who is Jesus of Nazereth and the Christ (saviour). Jesus (also God) didn't forgive our sins, instead He took the penalty for our sins. He paid mightily for our sins which would keep us from God the Father for all eternity. Just to put this into terms that help us understand, imagine your good friend putting on your clothes and a mask that looks like you just so he/she can go to the gas chamber while you were sleeping. You'd cry from receivng this kind of love. That's Jesus! Thank you Lord! When Jesus did what He did at the cross, the Holy Spirit became completely available to us. This is the same Holy Spirit that comforted Jesus while He was a physical human being and gave Him not only power to heal some people, but to raise other people from the dead. This same Holy Spirit is here today and He is at the ready. But it's up to us to allow our soul to connect with Him. Remember, God is Holy and he gave us the free will to choose Him. It's up to us to come to the table because He's already there, sitting and waiting. Even though He loves you as a Father, and will try again and again to be there for you, it's ultimately your call. Otherwise, you guessed it, He wouldn't be holy.
But sometimes we prevent our soul from making a connection with God the Father. When we do this, we allow various substitutes to fill a spiritual void that our souls yearn to fill. Throughout the world and its history, people have failed to connect with our Father in heaven (we'll discuss why later). When a connection is not made with our true Father, the human soul won't just shut down. Our spirit will look to make a spiritual connection with something...with anything (the human spirit seeks spirit just like human lungs seek oxygen). So instead, we are urged to create something spiritual, an idol, or we'll turn to something not of God for our spiritual comaraderie. It's no wonder why we see cultures both past and present assign diety to so many things, not only inaminate objects like trees, crystals, or rocks, but dynamic objects also, such as water, the wind, or the sun. Even animals have been drafted to serve as our divine substitutes; there are some in Egypt that still worhip the modern house cat to this day! Yes, you heard that right.
So, let's dive in. I would be honored if you were to spend some of your valuable time perusing this ever growing site. My hope is that you'll find something that helps you and your circle. You'll surely disagree with some things, but I have no doubt that you'll gain more than you lose. As for any benefit you might receive from this site, all glory to God!
I am not a pastor, nor do I have a formal education in divinity. I simply want to share with you some of the answers the Spirit has given me. (Thank you, Lord). Additionaly, I was never a great student of grammar; you'll have to pardon improper paragraph structures, spelling errors, run-on sentences, etc.
Let me say this: You must accept that God loves you and He loves everyone else too---each and every one of us. Yes, even that guy or girl you're thinking of. And yes, even that person that did that terrible thing to you. You need to accept that our father considers all of them, and you, His beloved children. If you have children, you are blessed because being a parent will give you a glimpse, a reflection, of God's love for us, therefore allowing you to relate. But you must position your heart in such a way that you're ready to receive what the Holy Spirit wants to give you (much like a receiver on a football team trains to receive passes, but a kicker does not...don't be a kicker).
God's Holy Spirit is sent here to help us receive these glimpses and reflections of God's truth. The Spirit is sent here to help us get through the hurt of this world and to walk closer with the Father. The Spirit is available to us because of what God did on the cross as a human...as the Son serving the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit teaches us things of Christ and Christ's nature, and to see things through a loving parent's lens so we can learn, love, and even forgive (which is impossible for us to do in some cases since the flesh wants things like revenge). The Holy Spirit has a job to do in this world (Yes, we'll discuss the Trinity of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit/Ghost further down the road). But just know for now that God the Father cannot be here with us in the "flesh". Imagine standing next to a 1,000,000 volt power supply; Unless you too are electricity, you're in danger if you're too close. However, He is spirit and he put spirit in us. Spirit is the common denominator and through spirit we can commune with Him. Ergo, the Holy Spirit.
Any question you have about God, you can find the answer by equating how you feel about your own children. This applies to any subject; discipline, love, worry, pain, recognition, honor, rebellion, etc. A couple of examples; I remember one Christmas how a feeling of jealousy came over me when my wife suggested that one of the big presents for our daughters should read that it came from Santa Claus. "Whoa! Hold on a second!" I said. "We work very hard for the girls and I don't think Santa should be getting the credit". It was then that I realized that I'm a jealous father. The Holy Spirit connected the thought to my spirit and made me realize what God meant when He said He's a jealous God. He wants recognition from the children He loves just like we want recognition from the children we love. HOWEVER, He is Holy, righteous, and worthy of all glory, we are not. This was humbling to me as the Spirit delivered the message to my heart. The other example; I remember talking to my daughter because she was hurting my other daughter's feelings. I told her that my heart breaks in two if somebody hurts my child, and my heartbreak is doubled if the one hurting my child is one of my other children. I literally paused as the Holy Spirit smacked me in the face with truth as my heart realized the comparison of God loving His children. This is what I mean when I say we can relate to God's love for us if we simply factor our feelings towards our own children. This really works. However, God has many more than just two daughters. He currently has about 7 billion children on the earth right now, and none of them are grandchildren, step children, or foster children; we are all His kids, His pride and joy. If God had a wallet it'd be stuffed with pictures of His boys and girls and He'd be stopping every angel that went by so that He could show us off. The angels would be over it...LOL. The Holy Spirit will give you revelations on how to appreciate and receive understanding of God's love but you have to get yourself out of the way. But like I said, this is a process.