Part 1 – Where Is God’s Home?
THE SEARCH FOR HOME Over the last few years, I am increasingly hearing Christians say, “I just don’t seem to belong anywhere”. “I love my church, but for some reason, I just don’t seem to ‘fit’ there anymore.” “I used to like my church, but it doesn’t feel like ‘home’ anymore”. Or, “I want to live my life for God, but the church just seems to know how to keep me busy.” “Isn’t there a more simple way to live the Christian Life?” Would God really give us a spiritual family, but then not allow it to feel like “home” to us? Would He really “set the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6), without making a way for those families to feel like “home”? “Would He tell us to live the Christian Life, but then not give the ability to do it?” What’s wrong? Where is that sense of “home”? Where is that “family” feeling we so desperately need? How can we please God here on this earth? How … on earth … can we live the Christian Life?” The sad reality is that yes, God in His love, did indeed create for us a wonderful place, a Kingdom community, a family environment to call home, a place to live and grow and connect and love and be loved. But in our fallen human wisdom, we have substituted our God-given home with an organization, with an institution that feels nothing like family at all. And we have substituted God’s way of living the Christian Life, with religion’s way of living the Christian Life. And as a result, after many attempts, in frustration, many have just given up. (Or they continue to try, without any expectation of ever doing well). In this series, I want to address the questions, “How do I live the Christian Life?” “Where is that place where I can fit, that I can call home, and where I can live the Christian Life?” “What does it look like, and where can I find it?” Where do we start, in our search for living the Christian Life, with others, in a place that feels like home? We start – in the Beginning – with God. WHAT IS GOD LIKE? In the beginning, in eternity past, there was only God. “In the beginning – God …” (Genesis 1:1). In the beginning was an incredible, unique, supreme being, higher in every way, than any other life form. What is God like? If you had to describe Him to someone, what would you say He was like? Well, first, God is Spirit. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). And since God is Spirit, then the highest of all forms of existence, must be spirit. Second, God is Invisible. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made …” (Romans 1:20). And since God is invisible, the invisible state must be higher than the visible state. Third, God is Eternal. “Now to the King eternal …” (1 Timothy 1:17). And since God is eternal, the eternal state must be higher than the temporal state. Fourth, and my personal favorite, God is Life. “… He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20). God was the first life, and the highest form of life. So when God talks about life, He isn’t talking about the existence of life, He is referring to Himself, to His life. And since God is Eternal Life, when He talks about giving us Eternal Life, He isn’t talking about giving us the ability to live forever, He is talking about giving us His very own Life, for His life is Eternal Life. Said another way, Eternal Life is not a length of time, Eternal Life is a person, a life form. (Consider that, the next time you read the Gospel of John!). WHERE IS GOD’S HOME – WHERE DOES HE LIVE HIS LIFE? Have you ever considered that, by definition, God is an alien life form? He is not native to this planet. And so God does not live life by any life force on this planet. He does not live by mineral life, or vegetable life, or animal life, or human life. Instead, He lives by divine life … His life. God’s life is also called “Eternal Life”, because it has no beginning, and no end. All created beings have Everlasting Life, they have a beginning, but no end. Some will live everlasting life with God, and some will live everlasting life without God, but every created creature already has Everlasting Life. God alone has Eternal Life, for He has no beginning, and no end. Eternal life is not man’s life, it is only in God, it is a totally different type of life. Where does God life His life? He lives it in the spiritual realm, the supernatural realm, the invisible realm. God’s first creation was the spiritual realm. “In the beginning God created the heavens …” (Genesis 1:1). God first created the spiritual realm, because it matched his nature and substance. It is also called “the heavenlies” or “the heavenly places”. What are the characteristics of the spiritual realm? It is spiritual. It is invisible. It is non-material. It is non-dimensional. There is no up or down, no height, no depth, no length. There is no weight, no size. It is without time. It is outside of time. And unfortunately, you can’t get there from here. You can’t travel to it, you can only get to it through the door that God provides. God’s first created beings were angels. What are angels like? They also match their environment. They are spirits. “Are not all angels ministering spirits …?” (Hebrews 1:14). As spirits, they occupy a spiritual realm. They are invisible, and as such, occupy an invisible realm. They are clothed in light. “… Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan masquerades as an angel of light, so angels must live in a realm of light and be clothed with light. How are they like God? They are spirits, like God. How are they not like God? Well, first, they do not have His life, Eternal Life. Second, God is un-created, they are created, so they only have everlasting light. So how do angels live their life? They live by a lower form of life, angel life, but not God life. (Note: I am indebted to Gene Edwards for many of the concepts in this series.) … Next time …. Part 2 – Where Is Humanity’s Home?