a christian perspective on the world today

What is God Really Like?

Some ideas are too big for my mind to get around. One is the immensity of the universe. Its radius, by some estimates, is 78 billion light-years. Double that for the diameter. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year (from our sun to earth is just eight minutes and 20 seconds). Imagine how long it would take to travel 78 billion light-years! Not only that, this universe is filled with millions of galaxies and billions of stars and planets!

I can read those numbers, but the universe is too vast for me to understand it.

God is another idea that’s too big for me to get my mind around. The Bible says that God created the universe. “By him,” Paul said, “all things were created: things in heaven and on earth” (Colossians 1:16). The vastness of the universe—how could anyone possibly understand a God like that?

Fortunately, there’s help, because God has told us a lot about Himself in the Bible. And it’s very important that we understand the truth about God, because it gets scary if we don’t.

Allow me to explain.

God Is All Powerful

God is omnipotent—a word that means “all powerful.” The words all powerful and almighty are used of God 10 times in the New Testament. For example, God says in Revelation, “ ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’ ” (Revelation 1:8; emphasis added). And the Hebrew word El-Shaddai, which means “God Almighty,” is used 17 times in the Old Testament.

God is so powerful that He created a vast universe, and our planet is only a tiny speck on the edge of one of the smaller galaxies. To make a good comparison, pick up a single grain of sand on the beach and hold it up against our world.

That’s how our world stacks up against the universe.

And God made the universe!

Now think of this: if God made it, He can destroy it!

When my granddaughter, Mia, was a little over two years old, she loved playing with blocks. If I can brag a bit, she could even stack up half a dozen blocks all by herself and they’d stay upright. But then she liked to swing her arms and tumble them down.

The truth is that if God wanted to, He could zap our world out of existence in a second. Or He could zap you and me and any other human being. Boom! Gone! He’s that powerful.

That’s scary!

God Is All Knowing

And I’ve just started giving you the bad news. God is also omniscient—a word that means He knows everything there is to know. Pick up your newspaper and read about the latest astounding scientific discovery. God knew that eons ago.

God knows where every human being is at every moment. Psalm 139 says, “You know when I sit and when I rise” (verse 2). He even knows your thoughts! The same psalm also says, “You perceive my thoughts from afar,” and, “before a word is on my tongue you know it completely” (verses 2, 4). God knows what you’re going to say before you say it!

Talk about Big Brother! I have news for those who are so concerned about the government finding out too much about us. God already knows it all!

That’s scary!

God Is Everywhere Present

Finally, according to the Bible, God is also omnipresent, which, as the word itself suggests, means that He’s everywhere at once. Throughout the vast universe!

Solomon said, speaking of God, that “the heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you” (1 Kings 8:27). And, again, speaking of God, Isaiah said, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool” (Isaiah 66:1).

Within a few months after September 11, 2001, American and Pakistani soldiers were hunting Osama bin Laden in the wild mountains of eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan. Ten years later, he was found. But wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the American and Pakistani military could not only have known where Osama was but could have gone to where he was and caught him back then? Yet God knew where Osama was, and He was there with him. If governments could put God on their payroll, they could shut down the CIA, MI5 and ASIO!

But now think of this: not only does God know everything about you, He’s there with you. The apostle Paul says that God “is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). And the psalmist asked, “Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7, 8).

Wherever you are, there God is. You can’t get away from Him. He’s the Divine Stalker!

That’s scary!

Why It’s Scary

My wife, Lois, and I used to have a cat that loved to hunt birds and mice, and every now and then he’d drag one of the poor creatures into the house through the cat door. One day as I was searching for something in the refrigerator in our kitchen, I heard a noise. I looked to my right, and I saw a bird fluttering on the kitchen bench. Our cat had apparently caught it and brought it inside, but it had escaped and flown away to safety.

I managed to catch the bird. It struggled for a few seconds and then it quieted down. My fingers easily surrounded it. It cocked its head, and I held it up and looked it in the eye. I could easily have squeezed the life from the bird, but I went outside, opened my hand and let it fly away.

Now here’s my point: God is your Divine Stalker. He knows what you do and even what you think. He knows where you are—He’s even there Himself. And He has the power to squeeze the life out of you in a flash. Zap! You’re history! It’s no wonder that some religions in the world teach people to be afraid of God!

What God Is Really Like

Do you understand now why it’s so important that you understand the truth about God—what He’s really like? Yes, He’s all powerful. Yes, He knows everything. And yes, He’s everywhere present.

But He isn’t vengeful. He doesn’t hate you. The God you read about in the Bible loves you! The Bible says it outright: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Come to think about it, God’s great power, His infinite knowledge and His ability to follow wherever you go really is good news because when you combine that with His love, it means He understands you, cares about you and is beside you every moment to help you. He’s on your side. Even when bad things happen to you, you can trust that He had a reason for allowing them to happen so.

God wants to be your Friend. However, He won’t force Himself on you. He’s much too much of a Gentleman for that. He’s waiting for you to say Yes. And, with a God like that, why wait?

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