Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I wonder how someone knows God.

We certainly can learn about God in the Bible, we certainly can speak to God in prayer, but how do we know God?
I think we might know God as He is in us. The Biblical example is the Lord God breathing into Adam, making him a living being, Genesis 2.7. The breath that was in the Lord God is in Adam. And through Adam, this is true of everyone. In 1 Cor. 2.12 Paul writes that we have received--the spirit who is from God that we might know the things freely given to us by God. What has been given to us is that God is in us. The Greek poet Aretus said that in Him we live and breathe and have our being.

This is a great insight into the truth that what we contemplate of God we have in us. It is already there. What this means is there really is no great pilgrimmage to a place, there are no stages of spiritual growth to be attained. Meditation is already knowing we have God in us, it is a coming forth.

But we don't sit still. The result of this knowing what we already have is to see God in us more clearly, in closer detail, in particular use. So we study the Scriptures to learn that God is the Trinity. We pray to God to be aware of His closeness. We tell others about God as the way to reveal Him to others.

So we see from this that meditation is seeing what's already there, to see it more clearly, to know God more dearly, to make Him known to those around us. It is somewhat like this. If it is night, all is dark. But if one by one everyone in the world lit a candle, the night would turn to day. This is the coming forth of God in us which is Christian meditation.

We might compare it to waking up in the morning, when we see first light and merely 'know' it is day. One might make the case that all men and women everywhere simply 'know' that God is good. When my daughters were young, they drew pictures which they colored. They always put in the pictures a sun, yellow, and above all. They just knew there was a God, a source, a point of beginning of all things.

And we simply know that we are made in His image. If we are honest about the world in which we live, we simply know that we are not perfect in all our ways, that the world reflects what we are.

These things are not manufactured, they are realized. We meditate on these things in order to hold them within, and when we do God gives us more understanding of Himself that we might become more like Him even as we are.

Yet, while we are living on this planet time inserts itself between our thoughts of God like chaff amid wheat. It delays us, it distracts us, it makes us feel uncomfortable in our meditation until we prefer the world over God. We'd like for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to disappear so we could get right to the weekend, but we need those days to put our humanity before God. This is our preparation to meet God who is without the same time which distracts us. In time we come so that God would be in us without time.

As time is a gift, so is place. This means that a place exists when God comes. We often think that God can be anywhere; this is because when God comes, that is our place with Him. He prefers, as the poet Milton said, the upright heart and pure over any temple, but He comes when He comes.

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