This week’s devotions are based on the Week 2 “Explore God” – Is there a God? (WATCH HERE)
If God is real…we would expect to find a natural awareness of him in the hearts of people.
Often times people will reflect on the religious scene of the world and simply say, “We all worship the same God, but just call him by different names.”
There are a few interesting things about this statement.
First, the fact that across people groups, there is a natural awareness of God. Virtually every culture has something or someone that they identify as “god” or perhaps multiple things they designate as “god.” The recognition of a god is an awareness that there is someone more wise and powerful than they are (see yesterday’s devotion).
Secondly, in these manifestations of “god” there is regularly some sort of behavior that is expected of people to make the “god” happy. If circumstances occur that are not favorable, it is assumed that something the people have done have angered the “god” and therefore they are being punished. The solution is then the performance of the people to ins some way appease the “god” and turn the actions they are experiencing to one’s that are more favorable.
This common occurrence across the world is evidence that god is real (To be sure, it does not identify who the true God is! – more on that in a moment.) Have you ever asked, “Why do religious systems develop around the world with some “theology” that bases the favor of the god on the performance of the people?
First, because there is a natural awareness of God instilled in the hearts of mankind. King Solomon alluded to this in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
Second, because there is a natural conscience in people that perceive right from wrong and address guilt by activities that are determined to be good and offset that guilt. The Apostle Paul understood the reality of the conscience that naturally leads us to accountability before God. He wrote in Romans 2:14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
These realities in the world cannot be ignored as evidence for the existence of God. What people do with them varies immensely. The Muslim appeases their god with the performance of the Five Pillars. The Native American appeases the nature gods with their dances, rituals, and sacrifices. The Buddhists appeases their divine with meditation and escape from the material world. The atheists makes him or herself god. All of them are seeking to find peace with god…whoever and however they define “God.”
What makes simple all world religions, is yes, they all basically have the same “god” – some manifestation of the inner soul and conscience that seeks to be right with that god.
What makes the God of the Bible stand out over everyone and everything else called God is he is the only one that has truly made himself known to all people through the pages of the Bible and the incarnation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guess work is removed. The human invention is eliminated and the One who stands out above everything else called “god” is the God of the Bible who initiated the only solution to a guilty conscience: Jesus Christ.
I don’t know what all the “other gods” would say to the claim that “We all worship the same God and just call him by different names,” but I do know what the one true God would say, (Isaiah 45:5-6)
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Apply: What world religions (other than Christianity) are you aware of? Look at one or two. What or who do they define as god? What is the regulated performance one has to do to become right with that god?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for revealing yourself to us so our souls can be at peace and our conscience at rest knowing you are the true God who has done all for us. AMEN.