A Bridge To God…

Why hasn’t someone built a bridge across the Grand Canyon? Most people would say that it is technically-impossible, and yet, since time began and mankind began roaming the Earth, mankind has attempted to build a bridge to God. That, my friends, is what religion is about. Religion is trying to get to God on our own terms. That is why I will never say that I am religious.

There are several problems standing in the way of building a bridge to God, and mankind has solved those problem in a variety of ways.

Challenges…
1) Who or what is god?
It is impossible to build a bridge to god if we don’t even know who or what he/she/it is. As man observed the cosmos, he imagined that there must be gods of and for many things. Because the sun rises every morning and sets every evening, there must be a god for the sun. The moon also got its own diety. There is immense power in the waters, rivers, seas and oceans, so there had to be a god of the waters. Each time they fabricated these deities, there were lots of things they had to figure out about them.

2) Where is god?
The next challenge was to figure out where this god or gods lives or hangs out. Without some clear idea of where you are going, mapping a course or designing a bridge doesn’t get very far. Imagine trying to build that bridge across the Grand Canyon if the designers can’t even agree on the end-points. The ancient Greeks believed that their pantheon of gods, the Twelve Olympians, lived on top of Mount Olympus. Hades, the god of the dead, dwelled in the Underworld.

3) What does god look like?
Have you ever heard “God created man in His own image, and man has returned the favor“? Mankind has been hugely-creative in imagining what god looks like and creating images to match their ideas. Man has had to “flesh-out” those kinds of details to come up with some idea of what god looks like. The Greek gods and goddesses looked just like human-beings…

4) What does god want from us?
I suppose the most logical starting point in figuring our what god wants from us is to figure out what WE would want if WE were god. It might be cumbersome, but what if everyone put their ideas forward, and the ten most popular ideas become Law. Or, what if we appoint a class of priests and let them make those decisions? Does this sound familiar?

5) What makes god happy?
All we have to do to figure out what makes god happy is to figure out what we are doing when that god seems to be smiling on us. We can ask what we were going the year that we got a bumper-crop harvest, and keep on doing that…as long as it works.

6) What makes god mad?
Depending on which god we are talking about, all we have to do is look at what we were doing when everything went wrong, and that will give us a pretty good idea of what makes that god mad. What did we do, or fail to do, the year we had record-drought?

These are only a few of the things we have to keep in mind if we are going to build a bridge to god, because when we get there, we don’t want to find out that we did it all wrong. We need to figure out the rules.

Does this sound familiar? Even among Christians, there is a LOT of rule-making surrounding these last three questions. The Pharisees specialized in making up rules to regulate every part of their daily lives so that they could do everything they thought God wanted from them, keep Him happy, and not make Him mad. The problem was that they were “doing” rather than “being“.

A better way…
Believe it or not, God has told us everything we need to know about Himself and about how to be in a right relationship with Him. We really DON’T have to guess or make things up.

Who is God?
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15)

God gave us His personal name, I AM, and we really need no other description of Him.

Where is He?
Thus says the Lord,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 66:1-2)

What does God want from us?
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you,
But to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Jesus Christ, in His commentary on the Law in Luke 10:26-28 “And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”  And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”…”

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

The Bridge…
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Final thoughts…
Can we forget about trying to get to and please God our-way and simply accept that His way is best? That would seem to be the most practical and logical way, but we can’t seem to get ME out of the equation. We are still trying to do it OUR way so that WE can get some of the credit, rather than giving God the glory and credit He is due. I have my bridge to God. Are you still trying to build yours? I’ll leave you with one parting thought…

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you,
But to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

In Christ,
Steve

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s