Who is God and Does it Matter What You Call Him?
By Tiffany Snow
No matter what your religion, faith, culture or background, if you recognize the core of God as the personification of Love, you will be able to hold all things up to that, and you will know if it is of God or not. We are sparks off his divine flame; so therefore what is of love will resonate at a deep place within us, and love will recognize Love. This is the easiest way of knowing God. But what about the details? Does God have a name? Do all names mean the same God? Is God really a "He?" And what about the fearful things taught by so many religions? How do we know God even exists?
The core essence of God being unconditional Love - this may seem a difficult answer for many. Many have been taught that God is similar to a strict high school principal or a prison warden. Many are taught we have to earn love, to be perfect and never make mistakes or there will be fiery consequences. These are all manipulations and scare tactics that have been handed down by men, traditions of fear to control mankind, and do not reflect the real nature or characteristics of God. Much truth about God's love can be found in the Bible, but much twisting of the beauty of it continues to occur by those seeking to influence and control by fear; for their own gain, or simply because they want to be safe and follow a tradition instead of knowing God for themselves.
Religion is often used as a fence, whereas God prefers the freedom of open pastures. Houses of prayer and fellowship are wonderful - when they are focused on Love. God does not want us to follow one another; he desires each one of us to be the mystic, to be able to hear Love in our own hearts, to follow him. But God desires us to encourage one another to actively pursue Love, to help one another become aware of spiritual need, to share how Love has guided, protected and healed us in our journey. To be a reflection of Love's power in each other's lives every day. An excellent spiritual connection is what Love desires for us, and the tradition or path a person takes to receive it may vary on where the person lives or what the person can recognize at the time. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7,8)
Does this mean that the God that Christians pray to is the same God that Muslims pray to? Is every way of worshipping God OK? First of all, we must not lump together prayers in all one group, and just as Christianity has many divisions, so does all other world religions. In Love's desire to interact with us personally, he also hears prayers individually. "The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him." (Proverbs 15:8) There are people making good and bad choices in every faith. No matter where we may affiliate ourselves, we are still the ones in charge of what we choose to do with what is placed in front of us. If we choose to hate one another because our religion or culture tells us to, that is a problem, because it goes against the core essence built inside of us. God is pure and of light, and always has his hand outstretched to us to come closer. When we choose things not of love, we separate ourselves from him and become dark. Light and dark cannot be in the same place together. This is why when we choose to do things of Love, we can hear and see more clearly further opportunities of expanding love around us. And when we don't, we lose our way and lean more upon our own limited understanding or easily give our power away to others.
So if you are a Christian praying to the great Santa Claus in the sky for the next item on your list, you see God in a different way than I do, even though I am a Christian. If you are praying not to go to a fiery hell, you are praying to a God that I do not know, since the God I know has used parables many times to explain things, but torture could never coexist with Love. In fact, in Biblical days there was a pagan ritual of sacrificing children to false gods by burning them to death in fire, and God shows his repugnance for that by saying: "The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes...they have built the high places of Topheth...to burn their sons and daughters in the fire - something I did not command, nor did it come up into my heart." (Jeremiah 7:30, 31) It is not in the heart of a loving God to do such a thing, it is unreasonable. And this is why we don't have to be trained scholars or considered wise in the ways of the world and figure out all the arguments and translations of ancient words to know the heart of God. The truth of his love will always be reasonable. This also helps us to recognize when people are hearing God or other supernatural beings, because of the characteristics of their god. There are many fallen Angels (demons) that have set themselves up as gods since ancient times, and want communication to mislead and control humanity, and behind the façade of "goodness" they will be recognized by the lack of love and reasonableness at their core.
"God" is a title, just as "President" is a title, but both the President and God have a personal name. What is God's name? In the Bible alone we see many names he has gone by - Yahweh, Almighty Lord, Alpha and Omega, I AM, Jehovah, Creator of Heaven and Earth, etc. This was one of the first questions I asked of God, and I was told that even if his name was written as a series of numbers, by the time I got done saying it, it would be wrong. Why? Because God continues to change and expand, and that is the nature of Love. God is neither male nor female, but has maternal and nurturing qualities as a woman does, and the protective and supportive qualities that a man does. Most people refer to God as male, and as a father figure, and this is what Christ did as well, which also reflects a desire to accept Love's leadership or authority in our lives. So no matter if you call God Heavenly Father, Divine Love, The Big Guy, etc, it is not going to encompass all that he is; but to address him with love and respect, and to know the Love he stands for behind any name he is given. God knows what his full name is at every moment and all that it encompasses, the same as he knows our unique heart and spirit behind whatever name we may have been given at birth.
We were made in the likeness of God. What does this mean? We know that it goes way beyond the physical body. God doesn't have flesh, hands and legs. So what does it really mean to be made "in the image of God?" Simply put, we have the same spirit. As previously stated, we are each a spark off the Divine Flame, spirit created from Spirit, love from Love. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image...so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...and God blessed them..." (Genesis 1:26-28) Love has many facets, like a beautiful turning gem. Whenever we show compassion, mercy, kindness, empathy, encouragement, joy, happiness, forgiveness, peace, faithfulness, self-control and any of the other attributes of love, we are expressing who we really are at our innermost being. That is why it feels so good to do these things, and is a part of fulfilling the purpose of why we are here: to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...(and to) love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:30,31) When we love, we remember who we are, who God is, and who our neighbor is. Once again, it is all about Love.
But how do we even know that God exists? He moves the leaves. What does this mean? God knows it's difficult for us because he is invisible. We can't see him. But microwaves, radio waves, gravity, the wind - all these are invisible too, yet we know they are there. How? By the things they do. We know the wind exists because it moves the leaves on the trees, and that helps us to know it is there and believe in what is invisible. This is why God has used physical signs and wonders all throughout time in every culture in every part of the world, supernatural things to show that he not only exists but desires to participate in our lives, and has the power to help, because he loves us.
Just as parables and illustrations have always been part of teaching about Love, so have miracles, healing, true prophecy, Holy stigmata, words of knowledge, intuitive gifts, visions, apparitions, near-death experiences, special dreams - all and more are opportunities for us to see and know that we are not alone, never have been, and never will be. The "proof is in the pudding," as they say. In other words, God will always verify what is of him, and what is not; simply if we ask. Test it out. "Taste and see that God is good..." (Psalm 34:8) Hold all things shared with you up to Love and see if your essence rings true with it. Ask in prayerful communication with God for validation, for him to let you know, and to express it in a clear and identifiable way so you will not miss it. Also use your God-given reasoning ability, any validation of personal evidence or empirical experience, and notice if the information makes positive changes and differences in your life.
So recognizing the core essence of God as unconditional love releases us from all fear, traditions or teachings that are not of divine origin, and helps us discern all things seen, experienced or heard by holding it up to see is of good and God, or not. As sparks off the divine flame, there is a resonance that will occur within us as we identity Love and make our choices accordingly. More important than giving a particular name to God is giving him love and respect, and desiring to expand the mystical and personal communication between the both of you, which may include many different ways of identifying one another. We can become an instrument of God by reflecting his love in all that we do, because we were made in his image. At times this may include demonstrations of the supernatural power of his love through gifts such as miracles, healing, and sharing of experiences of dreams or visions, and so on, which are all part of his unconditional fullness of Love. "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God." (1John 4:18)
Tiffany Snow carries the 5 marks of the Holy stigmata, and is a documented miracle healer, award-winning author, NDEr and public speaker. Her latest book: "God's Workbook - Shifting into the Light" is available on Amazon.com. Distant healing, deliverances, classes, live teleconferences and more articles are offered through the websites. This article may be reprinted and shared in any form without permission: please list websites - http://www.TiffanySnow.com,
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