Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I was formally introduced to God and religion at five in a Catholic school. Soon after I began wondering who is God and when could I see him.
As I got older I realized I was not going to see God, after learning from my teachers that God is a spirit, and I could not see him in the same way as I did my parents and friends. I was disappointed and for a while gave up longing to see God, but in my mind remained the desire to see him, and this desire resurfaced again and again during difficult times in my life.
These difficult times strengthened my desire to see God and have a personal relationship with him. My desire was reinforced when I read Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God". In saying these words Jesus was letting me know my heart is the source of my emotions, thoughts, motivation, courage and actions, and if I could express these in love without harming my neighbors I would see God.
Jesus' promise that I would see God was exhilarating. But how could this be done? How could physical persons like you and I see God who is a spirit? Was Jesus trying to trick us into believing God exists? Or was Jesus telling the truth?
In response to these questions, some biblical scholars argue that Jesus did not mean we would see God, because it is impossible for a physical person to see a spirit. On the contrary, they argue, Jesus meant we would see God through his works in our lives; pressing we needed nothing more than common sense to see the truth in that argument.
In fact, we can see God spiritually. These scholars see the issue solely from a physical perspective, ignoring the spiritual perspective which is paramount on issues relating to God. For starters, how could you have a meaningful discussion about God who is a spirit without talking about the activities of spirits and their effects on our lives?
Not talking about the activities of spirits in the church has diluted the power of our relationship with God. Many believers would be surprised to learn they have nothing more than a physical relationship with God through their priests. If you desire a spiritual relationship with God, it is worth knowing your priest can only show you the way to God, he cannot connect you with God in spirit. Nobody can connect you with God in spirit, only you can, aided by faith.
To have a spiritual relationship with God you should worship him in truth. You can worship God in truth by hearing or reading the gospel daily to find the truth and apply it in your life. This way you will find true love to enable you love your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning doing onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.
Loving your neithbors as you love yourself is the second most important spiritual principle in having a spiritual relationship with God. The first is to become one with God in love. The reason love is important is that it allows the Holy Spirit to live in your soul. Only then can you have a spiritual relationship with God, and be elevated spiritually to see God.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a mystical experience normally not comprehended by human intelligence or senses. When you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit you may see and hear things that people around you cannot see and hear, in which case you would be called a schizophrenia. You may also experience an elated state of mind expressed by feelings of euphoria, lack of fear and an acute mind, in which case you would be called a mania. Is there any wonder why priests don't promote the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as ultimate goal of worshiping God?
You see, there are social disincentives to expressing your experiences with the Holy Spirit. But the good news is the vast majority of people indwelled by the Holy Spirit don't see and hear things. The indwelling Holy Spirit often gives us God's power and wisdom to improve our condition and find happiness.
In my next article I will talk about the difference between revelations from God, and the actual medical illness of schizophrenia and mania. Meanwhile, send me your questions, and read my articles on faith at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith
Monday, September 3, 2012
If you believe in God, you've rid yourself of the problems faced by nonbelievers who don't want to be bothered with questions like: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going, and why are there so much pain and suffering in this life? These are hard questions, and nonbelievers are aware science and phylosophy have no satisfactory answers to them. Yet they reject there is knowledge beyond human knowledge, and life beyond physical life.
Nevertheless, the nonbeliever has a point when he asks: how do we prove there is knowledge beyond human knowledge? How do we prove there is life beyond physical life? Because there is no physical means to find answers to these questions, is the reason religion came into existence to provde the spiritual means to do so.
Before commenting on how religion can help you find answers to the questions on life and death, let me say a word or two about religion. It is the pathway to God. Religion introduces us to God. How we connect with God spiritually depends on what we do individually aided by faith. The reason we need faith to connect with God spiritually is that faith bridges the physical and spiritual world.
In Hebrews 11:1 we read, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen." The things we hope for, before they are realized, exist in our imagination. What is "imagination"? It is the image of things and people formed in the mind not perceived by our five senses including, sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch; yet when you think about it, all the things we are aware of which form our reality come to us through our five senses.
If the things and people in our imagination got there not through our five senses, how did they get there? You may be surprised by what I'm about to say: we have a 6th sense that makes us aware of things and people not perceived by our five senses, and that 6th sense is the human soul. The soul being a spirit perceives spiritual things and people and makes us aware of them in our imagination.
The imagination is our window to the spiritual world, through which we see the images of people and things reflected in our minds, as in a dream, vision or nightmare. These images let us know what exists and what is achievable, but without the soul, these images would be blurred and meaninless.
Fortunately, everybody has a soul, so you don't need faith to have hope and imagination, but you need faith to connect with God in spirit. Now, why do you need to connect with God spiritually when you don't need him to have hope and imagination? Let me answer the question by saying if you believe in a God who you do not see, and yet believe he exists it can only mean you believe in a spirit. Consequently, your relationship with God would be different from your relationship with your parent and friends. How different?
Your relationship with your parent and friends occurs on a physical level, and made easier because you can see and talk with them. To have a relationship with God you need to elevate yourself spiritually because God is a spirit. Since we can not do this on our own, God came down to earth in human form through Jesus Christ to teach us how to elevate ourselves to have a spiritual relationship with him.
God has already reached out to us, it's our turn to reach out to him through faith. By faith we are encouraged to do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us to purify our hearts allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in our souls, and make us one with God in spirit.
Becoming one with God in spirit unlocks the power of Matthew 5:8 to enable you to see God. You will find the evidence that God eixist, as you apply in your daily life what Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God". With a pure heart you will see God.
Read more about faith and how to purify your heart to see God at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith