What Do You Mean by God?

Jay Forrest

 A. W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I believe that this is true. I think that most Christian’s God is too small.

What do we mean when we use the word “God”? Many people envision God as a being like other beings, he just happens to be the supreme being. This makes God just one more thing among others, he just happens to be the biggest, strongest, and smartest.

But I don’t think God is the same order of reality as us. God is wholly other, completely different from us. In fact, so completely different that we speak most accurately about him when we say what he is not. God is not a being, but the ground of being. For the Bible says,“In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

David Bentley Hart gives the best definition of God. God “is the infinite fullness of being, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, from whom all things come and upon whom all things depend for every moment of their existence, without whom nothing at all could exist.”

For most of my Christian life, my God was too small. David Bentley Hart was the one who opened my eyes to the reality of God, an absolute reality upon which our contingent reality rests. God is being itself, the cosmos is becoming. There are two realities, the reality of Being and the reality of becoming. One is nothing but change, the other is changeless. 

Until we view God rightly, all else will be confused and dark. It is only when God becomes wholly other does Jesus become ever present. God reached out from the reality of Being and reached into the reality of becoming in order to reveal him (John 1:18).

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Jay N. Forrest is an Anglican mystic pursuing God through prayer, meditation, simplicity, solitude, and silence. He is the author of The Deeper Life: Finding God on the Mystic Path.

Jay N. Forrest was an ordained Pentecostal minister for over two decades. He earned his doctorate of ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He has deeply explored many philosophical and religious traditions and is certified to teach mindfulness meditation.

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