Far too many soul-searching questions about God are answered with generic "run of the mill" answers. It's so hearbreaking when a sincere person works up enough courage to ask a deep and stirring question about God just to be told the answer is simply a "mystery". With answers like this, is it any wonder why people stop asking questions? Of course some answers are indeed mysterious but the word "mystery" has become a crutch that far too many people use simply because they don't have an answer. I promise you it's not God's will for us to have no answers, especially when it involves His children seeking after Him.
Whether you're a person with questions about God or a fellow believer that needs to dig a little deeper, I hope you'll find this site useful. The spiritual mechanisms our Father has put in place are not as mysterious as some would profess, but a little critical thinking and some time in God's word are required. There's a lot of spiritual answers for us to receive but receiving those answers is a process; Just like the old saying goes, "You can't drink from 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 :) --
God is not flesh and bone as we are, He is Spirit. But He placed spirit in us (a soul). Spirit is the common denominator between us and the Almighty, it is the conduit in which we can communicate with God, and vice versa. After connecting with God's Holy Spirity, we become aware of His love and His peace, which convinces us that what we are receiving is the absolute truth. Attributes such as true revelation, wisdom, or compassion, which were dormant in our spirit before, now leap to life within us. It's at this point that we realize how just how true He is and how strong His love is for us. When people speak of having a true and personal relationship with God, this is what they mean. Without this revelation of truth, many Christians are merely parroting what their pastors and kinsmen have said and they have no real answers to provide to those who have questions.
By starting first with our willingness to simply believe, the Holy Spirit can start awakening the faith within us. Once this happens, our faith becomes the super highway on which the Holy Spirit uses to abide in our own spirit. The Holy Spirit can then comfort us and bestow fruits upon us, and even gifts. Our hearts and minds become transformed by this process, furthering our confidence that what we are receiving is Holy truth as our doubts and uncertainties become illiminated (for comparison, think of your mother's love for you. Her love for you is real and pure and you're at ease when you're around it...you know it's true).
But staying connected to the Holy Spirit through faith is not easy. Being creatures of flesh we have desires of flesh, not just phyiscal desires but mental and emotional desires. When flesh rules over our decisions (following our will instead of His), our connection to the The Holy Spirit is diminished and our spirit cannot live up to its true potential. Instead, it will lay dormant within us. In order to hear God and receive wisdom from Him, we must be willing to let our spirit, when in sync with the Holy Spirit, be in the driver's seat. When our flesh, which can never be in sync with the Holy Spirit, is in charge, the path is much more treacherous. Although God loves us, the wants of our flesh draw us away from him which in turn limits the things He can show us or teach us. The spiritual mechanism in this case is basically that the spirit must lead the flesh in order for God to abide in you. God cannot give you the keys to the universe if you succumb to yourself (flesh) instead of Him. This spiritual mechanism, or more accurately said, a spiritual law, applies to all peoples of the earth, even those that have been in sync with the Holy Spirit and have fallen back to the flesh, or even those that have never walked in the Holy Spirit in the first place. The Holy Spirit cannot follow us into our fleshly actions and thoughts because it's Holy, it's OF God and it IS God. Once we fall back to the flesh the link that connects the spiritual common denominator between us and God becomes weakened, thus we are separated from Him as if a great river runs between us.
Faith, like all good things, comes from God. It is so vital that we use faith to keep a strong link to God. Faith must be utilized to receive understanding from Him and to hear Him. I'm sorry to say that there won't be a holy bolt of lightning sent from upon high to convince you of the truth, nor will there be a glorious appearance of an angel to alleviate your doubts. The only way for an unholy creation to learn from a Holy and loving Creator is through this wonderous gift, the amazing conduit called faith (of course there are exceptions to this, but that's a different conversation).
Our faith is inherent in us, we're born with it and it's printed onto our spiritual DNA. Because of grace and mercy we are blessed with faith and through faith we continue to receive grace and mercy (praise God), this is what happens when faith is applied properly. Faith is meant to be placed in God, that's why it exists. But some of us don't place our faith in God. Instead, we place our faith in ourselves (I believe I make my own desting), or maybe in other people (pators, popes, evangelists), or perhaps nature (the great mother earth), etc. But no matter where you choose to place your faith, we can all agree that we all have faith. Faith is wonderful and it's exclusive to humans, just like our soul (side note: animals don't operate on faith, they don't need to; they function on mere instinct. God created the animals of course, but they do not have a "human" soul as we understand it...that too is a different conversation). So, faith, preceded by a willingness to believe, is the key to receiving from God. He uses His Holy Spirit to minister to our spirit and faith is the mechanism (the switch) that makes it happen.
We were created to be in the presence of God, but mankind fell. We can no longer be in His presence. If He were here in the "physcial" it would be as if we were standing next to a nuclear blast...we'd be consumed. The reason we'd be consumed is because of sin, God's holiness will always irradicate sin, and, unfortunately for us, anything sin infests gets destroyed as well (mankinds wicked heart). But can't God just look the other way? No, He cannot. We can look the other way because we are not holy. God is holy and His holiness prevents Him from sweeping sin under the rug. Sin must be weighed, judged, and sentenced. This is justice, and justice is a righteous concept...and God is righteous. Our sin prevents the intimate co-existence that He wants to have with us. His holy nature cannot allow sin to go unchallenged in His presence. Being holy (good in perfectness and righteousness, & being divine), any sin in His presence cannot be overlooked or dismissed. Otherwise, His holy nature wouldn't be absolute, it would be faulty...like our nature.
Ever since mankind's fall from grace we've been born into a sinful rebellious nature which only gets stronger as we get older. We're born into this terrible cycle and therefore sin is in our nature even as toddlers. 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 commit sin you'd think we were under a demonic spell, but no, it's natural. Just like a fish is compelled to swim, a sinner is compelled to sin. The ONLY way we can dwell with the Holy Father is to be without sin. Which is impossible for us. But just like we wouldn't abandon our our children, He doesn't abandon us.
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 good parent, He loves His children and wants the best for us in spite of the fact we don't acknowledge Him or listen to Him. This shouldn't be a foreign concept to any of us that have had children of our own. How many of us have been hurt by our own children but yet we'd still die in order to save them? Most of us would undoubtedly sacrifice ourselves for our kids sake, even if they were to reject us. We'd do this without a moment's hesitation in spite of the fact that we have a sinful nature. If we can feel this way towards our own children, imagine the intense love that comes a Father that has a perfect and holy nature.
God's holy nature means He cannot unlove us even if He wanted to! Our own kids don't realize that we desire nothing but good things in their lives. We know the pitfalls and repercussions of this life and we want to help our kids avoid such heartbreaking events so they can have a good and meaningful existence. We should see our Father the same way. He knows what's best for us. But we're stubborn and we don't follow His will for us just like our kids don't follow our will for them. That being said, we still can't stop loving them. Even when our kids choose to follow their own paths instead of the paths we wish for them, our love is still present. It's so incredibly simple: compare your love for your children to gain perspective on God's love for you. Think of how you feel when your child is heartbroken, or happy, or needs discipline, or needs love, etc. Now think of all you want to do to help them, or share joy with them, or laugh with them, or take away their pain if you could. Now imagine you're the child...you have a Heavenly Father that has those same feelings for you but there's no trappings of a sinful nature that comes with it. You see how it works? Apply this in All matters. If you do, so many things fall into place.
We are created in God's image. We've inherited the power to love our children in much the same way that we inherit our eye color from our physical parent. In fact, we've inherited many spiritual desires from our spiritual parent; We wish to be praised, to be acknowledged, to be recognized, to be respected, etc. However, we fell from grace and we are not nearly as worthy as we'd like to think we are to those desires fulfilled. But nevertheless, these inherited spiritual traits work their way into our flesh and we want them (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 ever possibly fathom. But being made in His image and having kids of our own, we can relate to how He feels even though it's in a limited capacity.
But God's 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 because 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). 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 is. He is righteous and not capable of being unjust. If our soul actually reached him, it would be vaporized. For our own sake, no matter how much our soul yearns to reach Him, sin keeps us separated from Him. But separation from God with a chance to be with Him is much better than the alternative, which is 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. When God says "Let there be light", all the science and the physics of the physical universe reacts so that light will emerge. If God has this ability, just imagine how strong His love must be when he moves it towards his sons and daughters, which are his babies. This holy love will not fail, it's simply not possible. So with immeasurable wisdom and boundless mercy, He puts forth His wonderful will, which is to love us.
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.