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God’s Vision for US

Thanks for the great post, you said:
“God does actually have a vision for us.”
And what is God’s vision for us?

 

Like children, people can sometimes ask the most profound questions. Hopefully my attempt to answer this will make another interesting post.

And I should be pensive to answer such a weighty question, for how could I dare to guess God’s vision, considering he is all seeing, into all our hearts and minds, at the same time, throughout all of history and into the future, and throughout the entire universe?

But I think I can make a feeble pot shot, based on my understanding of the bible and my experience with God.

 

On the first page of Genesis, God says he was “hovering over the surface of the water [humanity], examining it, noticed how darkness, decay and sin had been forming within it, eventually said ‘Let there be light’ [let my love flow into this decaying humanity], and he saw that it was good.”

Later the bible says that “God is love”, and “God is light”.

My deduction is that, simply, God is a being of light and love. “Slow to anger” etc. etc. Trying to be good and righteous and please God by doing so is something akin to using solar panels to please the sun because we are good to nature and apply the beneficial rays of the sun. If God is love, then his rays radiate outwards as a constant stream and we cannot necessarily do God a favour and please him by doing good and being righteous. But being a creature of love implies that God also has compassion, and when he sees that the poor are being crushed, that they carry a great yoke of suppression, that justice is lacking in the land, and he feels the pain that you cause your loved ones and people around you, who might be suffering in their anguish and call out to God, it will certainly please him and satisfy his natural compassion if you repent from your ways to turn the tides of injustice or bring joy to a suffering heart. Humanity is prone to decay, and without God’s constant injection of love or the magical work of his hand, I’m sure that regimes like Hitler’s, who worship the doctrine of “the strongest shall survive” would eventually reign, the weak would get incinerated, and the government structure and system reigning in hell would probably reign on earth as well. But with God’s love injection into humanity, he saw that the reaction and outcome was ‘good’, so in his judgement he continued to apply it. Jesus preached to turn and offer the other cheek if slapped. Gandhi overthrew the mighty British empire by applying the same practice. I am sure it is a difficult concept for many to grasp, who would be quick to pick up a gun and add more fuel to the hatred and eternal power struggling amongst us ever-so-selfish human beings, but there is a mad science and magic behind the love approach. And hence I believe that God’s vision for our humanity is based on this simple principle. God set up the Garden of Eden and laid down some simple principles for things to run smoothly, as he laid down some simple commands in his Manual for Human Life (the bible), but man’s heart is wicked, and if we cannot really fathom WHY we should do things a certain way, and if it appears pleasing to do things another way… well, curiosity kills the cat, doesn’t it?

Therefore, in God’s effort to bring light and justice to humanity, he is constantly up against those of us who do not live fully according to his law. For those who respond first to our own desires and selfishness before God’s love. Eventually God’s law will reign on this planet, as is foretold in revelations, when guns will be turned to plowshares, governments will be forced to stop spending the ridiculous amounts of money they do to build up arms and lay waste to each other’s infrastructure rather than spend the money to feed the poor etc., and when no tear shall be shed. But when should this happen? If not now then why not immediately at the moment when Adam first sinned by disobeying God? We are not robots and God respects our choice. But he also loves and has compassion for the suffering, so you can see there would be an inevitable dilemma. It is this precise dilemma which many unbelievers like to use as an excuse not to believe in God at all: “If there is a God, then why is there suffering in the world?” Keep in mind that the same struggle has already happened among the angels, when the greatest of them (Satan) grew proud in his heart, wanted to be above God, and once that failed, took his one third minority rebellious following among the angels and was cast down, with them, to the earth, where he wages war against and pursues the children of God. A similar one third of humanity will refuse to repent.

So, by asking me what God’s vision is, I can only generalize on this extreme level and say, “for good”. I certainly cannot predict when he will finally send Christ back into the earth and reign with justice. I presume certain conditions need to be fulfilled. When Christ first came around, one theory states that the conditions were ripe because it was the first time a world order had developed enough to facilitate, and one might say warrant, the spreading of such news. The conditions for his next coming seem fairly awful indeed, if you read the prophesy . Perhaps God’s war is the war of Gandhi’s. To stand there on the beach in such sacrificing multitudes, receiving the butt end of a rifle into the face until the enemy can only stare in futility and finally just leave. Maybe it just takes time for certain conditions to develop. What is the only other option? Probably for God to come down with a mighty hand, breath fire from his mouth to incinerate all those who perform evil (would that not be all of us?), stamp his mighty fist on the table and say, “Okay, NOW we’re going to do it MY way!” No, sorry, I don’t believe God works that way.

In any case, this is how I see God’s general vision for humanity. But what about God’s vision for us individually? Like my description of time, I see God standing above humanity, a pond in time, and holding a stick, stirring the pond and time to achieve his good will. Seeing into the past and future at the same time, God can see the outcome of his poking stick. If we all just listened to God wholeheartedly and without fail, we’d all still be in the Garden of Eden. But blaming Adam for introducing sin would be like blaming God for not creating us as perfect. “Hey man, like I got these temptations, right? So, uh, therefore I’m justified to act on them, because like I didn’t create myself, right?” You just have to look inside yourself to answer why we do not listen to God. We are simply wretched creatures of want in a power struggle against one another, to get the most. God’s commandment: “Do not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor thy neighbour’s property.” “What, you kidding? She’s sexy and I want her. And I want a bigger TV and more cars than my neighbour. I want to adorn myself with more gold around my neck, wear a cleaner and newer looking Benetton sweater, so that I can stand in the bars, chat my nonsense, and make myself look better than everyone else there. Screw the poor in Africa, or everywhere else, for that matter.” And that is why there is injustice and suffering in the world. Not because God doesn’t care. So he works on us individually, with all the complex intricacies considering our relations with others, with the aim of bringing about greater good. As part of his master plan. None of us can save the world, but if we opened up to God and listened to his plan for us individually, we can accomplish great good overall, and be better off ourselves. But this takes faith, doesn’t it? As Saint Paul said: “If we were to receive our reward in this life only, we would be the sorriest lot of them all”. How far are you willing to fulfill God’s vision for you? As someone who has long struggled with this, I can see (and read in the bible) how God disciplines me, to break down my pride, confronting me with endless frustrations, for the growth of my soul. I cannot exactly see what he is trying to accomplish, but I do see my wants and aspirations, and grow frustrated if I have to deal with setbacks etc. It is not easy to just let go, open one’s heart, become receptive to the instructions and quiet hints of the Holy Spirit, and give up one’s own will, based on faith, to believe that all my sacrifices will be rewarded ten times over in heaven. Faith is not believing that God exists but believing that God will part the sea when the Egyptian army is storming down my back and everything looks absolutely hopeless. When everything looks hopeless, yet to keep holding on, when I am tempted to just “live for today, for tomorrow we die”. To turn my cheek when slapped, because of some greater wisdom I cannot see, when instead I’d rather receive immediate gratification by reacting like Moses first did, pick up a blunt instrument and beat the little bugger to the ground.

The bible says “the best that we can do is to eat [the Word of God], drink [from his Spirit] and be glad of the work of our hands. This is a gift from God.” Was Paul ‘glad’ when he was suffering in chains and writing the gospel? Apparently so, as he wrote and as he was filled with the Spirit of Joy. But that is Paul. We cannot all sit in chains. After all, God says that each of us have our own gifts: one becomes an administrator, another a preacher, another an honest businessman, another on the rice patties of China forever toiling like the good worker but finding Zen in the frame of mind. Each of us can serve some purpose for the greater good, and by living out the vision God has for us individually, we will become more satisfied with the work of our hands and our lives overall. Can I say precisely what God’s vision is for you individually, as part of his master plan for the greater good of all? Certainly not. I can only encourage you to seek God with an open heart, seek wisdom to understand his ways, pursue diligence to learn obedience, and listen to the whispers and instructions of the Holy Spirit, which can become as loud as the thunderstorm if only we could set down our will and become more receptive to the Spirit.

 

If you would like to ask for advice, feel free to write to me through my contact form.

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