GodReflection: Guardrails for Living
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. 1 John 4:2
Were the apostle John my mentor I would like to ask him a question over our weekly coffee, “what do you mean by every spirit?”
I suspect it is no more than his description of God’s breath of life in each human body.
And so the idea is those who acknowledge Jesus as God becoming humankind and living out the hurts and pains of a serpent tainted creation understood the purpose of Jesus. The Creator claims them as family.
However, those human spirits (beings) who don’t acknowledge the incarnation—they cannot participate in God’s family.
Were the aged disciple my coffee mentor I would have to ask him at some point, “Since you knew Jesus who came from God as God-flesh on earth, did you ever ask him what God looks like?”
I suppose that at some point every little kid has wondered or asked aloud the question, “What does God look like?”
The Israelites saw enough of God’s powers from a distance that they pleaded to Moses to do their God conversations for them. When He came near they were too afraid to approach Him.
Moses did a lot of talking with and listening to Holy God. He finally worked up the courage to ask to see God’s image. God only allowed him to see a fast glimpse of His back as He sped by.
Abraham engaged with God in what sounds like a face to face conversation about his nephew Lot and the destruction of the city of Sodom—not a clue as to the features of God.
Elijah experienced God pass by with wind, earthquakes, and fire prior to His introduction with a gentle whisper—not a clue as to God’s appearance.
No one has ever answered the question, “What does God look like?”
Jesus answered a more significant question, “What IS God like?” The short answer is if I want to know God and what He values I must examine the life of Jesus.
Running throughout John’s entire letter is a major guardrail to keep me safely on God’s road. I can rest assured Jesus was and is God among us.
Because Jesus lived as a man I see God’s interest in every struggle I’ve ever encountered. Because of Jesus I know God cares about whether or not I have food, health, and shelter. I see in Jesus a God who cares how I live my life and the value system I observe.
Because of Jesus I know that God seeks my heart and my company. Because of Jesus I know that God weeps with me at gravesides. Because Jesus lived as man I know that God loves and restores lost people.
It is in the way that Jesus walked through gardens and dusty streets that I see a God who longs for my obedience and trust because in those acts He feels pleasure in my company.
To remind myself that Jesus was and is God among us, becomes a valuable guardrail to assure my safe travel through my walk toward the resurrection.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Jesus is God Among Us.