Tuesday, November 01, 2005

#105: The Value and the Reality of God

All people desire to feel (see themselves as) valuable and important to some degree. How and where a person acquires this self-value is most important in the Christian realm. When this value comes from accomplishments, possessions and the opinions of people, the physical world is obviously of greatest importance to that person.

When this value comes from one's connection with God through Christ, then God becomes the thing of greatest value in one's life. In order for God to make one valuable in the spirit world, however, the material world as a thing of value must be eliminated to the greatest degree possible.

How can God make someone feel valuable? Only through the belief process (faith). As long we derive our value from and focus on the physical world, we, though perhaps unknowingly, have no real additional need to feel important in the spiritual world of almighty God. There is no room for both in one person. Jesus said, "You cannot have two masters." To paraphrase what Jesus said: One cannot have two predominant motivating factors in one's life. In fact, God cannot become real until the visible world is devalued. How can a person even start to do this in our modern, materialistic, me-first culture? It's done in two steps. First, we do our part; second, God is allowed to do His part. Repeating, we must eliminate the physical world as a source of value to us. This does, in fact, actually mean separation from many seemingly necessary material things—the more, the better, but of course only with the right motive. Finally, God, by His grace, becomes real to us, above and beyond mere words acknowledging His reality.

In the end, even this desire is given to us from God. All we can do is pray that through our free will, God will give us the desire to do our part.

What Makes God Real?

God does not become real through man-made rules, regulations, knowledge about Him, or good deeds. Holy words, rituals, formalities, and liturgy also do nothing to make God more real to man. Yesterday’s belief may have made God vivid yesterday, but it won't make Him more realistic today. We need a fresh supply of belief every day to keep God real.

Words, written or spoken, do an incomplete job of describing our great and mighty God. Our language tells us a little about God, although it is human words that make us aware of our need for God through our belief in Him. One thing that words—even beautiful, holy words—can never do is to make God real to anyone. We can even believe His Word as Lord and Savior, but even at that, He may not be as realistic as the visible world is to us.

Question: What makes God real to a person? Answer: Only God Himself can make Himself real to a person, and only to the degree that one is aware of a need for Him. God accomplishes this by allowing each of us to actually share His divine nature. Wow! That is hard to believe. Yes, God can become as real to us as the material world, but He will only become real to His chosen, and then only as they permit. God cannot and will not display Himself to anyone who claims to be a Christian but is living for self.

There is much depth of truth in the aforementioned words. It might be necessary to read them over a time or two in order to absorb as much understanding as possible from this extremely pertinent subject.

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