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June 14, 2004

How do we know God?

It seems most of us seek a lifetime for something that is illusive: Happiness. If we cannot even find happiness, how can we find God? Maybe if we find God we will know happiness. But where do we look for God? The Christian and Jewish Scriptures list Godís names in various forms over 9500 times. We also hear about God from other Religions and traditions. Native Americans believe God is in and through everything so everything is sacred. Here are some descriptions of God that people have heard, but find difficult to know and experience:
The Creator.
God is everywhere.
We are all part of God.
God is in all of us.
God is in Everything.
Our existence depends on God.
God is Existence.
The great I AM.
God is the Universe.
God is the Tao.
God is the way.
God is truth
God is Life.
God is Love.
God is all knowing and all seeing.
God is good.
The First
The Last
God is our Friend
God is Faithful
God is Wisdom
God isÖ
There are literally thousands of descriptions of God. Ask anyone who they think God is, and you will probably get a description of God, or some of his/her attributes. Itís often difficult for us to put God into words, and we canít just take one of the descriptions of God and forget about the rest. We have to take them all as a whole, because God is all of them.
In Islam there is a list of the 100 most beautiful names of God. Here are a few:
The Bringer of Life
The One and Only
The Last
The Fulfiller
The Restorer
The Eternal
The sufficer

These are attributes of God. One way to get to know God is to get to know the Attributes of God. If God is Love, then we can give and receive true Love as God gives it. If God is forgiveness, then we can give and receive forgiveness. If God is the Sufficer, then God is enough for us. We can drop our neediness, lust and greed. If God is our friend then we can be a friend to others. If God is in other people and all of creation, then we can learn to see God there, through the barriers we put up. God is not revealed in all of the holy scriptures and ancient writings to remain hidden from us.
Another way to Get to know God is to talk to God. Often we only do that when we are in deep trouble. We say, ďGod, please get me out of this. I promise I will never do this again.Ē Then as the trouble clears, and our minds and hearts settle down, we forget that God always hears us. God not only listens to our words but to our intentions and motives. We donít need to get fancy and recite specific prayers, although special prayers can be good reminders of some things to talk to God about. God hears everything. And God is always talking to us. Too often we donít listen. How does God talk to us? God talks to us in any way that God is able to communicate to us. Thoughts, Images, a person talking, the radio, TV, books we read, scriptures, teachers, pastors, parents, friendsÖGod speaks to our hearts. Learning to listen is a matter of being open and then allowing God to transform us. Itís taking it to heart. Talking to God on a regular basis is getting to know God. Can we be friends with someone if we never talk to them, listen to them and donít try to get to know them?
Our own spirituality takes on a whole new dimension when we get to know God. Knowing and applying the attributes of God to our hearts and attitudes and talking to God regularly brings us closer to God. Thatís not all there is to a relationship, but itís a good start. Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player once said, ďYou miss 100% of the shots you donít take.Ē In this case the score is true, lasting happiness.

Posted by carl1236 at June 14, 2004 10:21 PM | Knowing God