1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam
3. (lowercase) one of several deities, especially a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs
4. (often lowercase) a Supreme Being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy
5. Christian Science. The Supreme Being understood as Life, Truth, love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle
6. (lowercase) an image of a deity; an idol
7. (lowercase) any deified person or object
8. (often lowercase) Gods, Theater
a. the upper balcony of a theater
b. the spectators in this part of the balcony
Considering the topic of this definition, I must say www.dictionary.com has provided a sub-par explanation. However, this is through no fault of their own.
Recently, Gateway Life church in Nashville participated in a time of prayer and fasting, coming together every night from 6:30 to 8:30. It was an amazing time of corporate worship and prayer. Personally, I found a new challenge waiting for me. Tuesday night, as we were seeking God, I heard a question whispering through my soul. “What is the definition of God? Can you define me?” Having an affinity for the english language, I took a second to contemplate the question. Apparently, the Holy Spirit was not about to let me run off on one of my mental tangents. It took a matter of a few breaths to realize I had no idea how to define God.
A definition by…well, definition is as follows:
1. the act of defining or making definite, distinct or clear
2. the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, etc.
3. the condition of being definite, distinct or clearly defined
For the sake of sanity and not reading myself into a rabbit whole of definitions, I will not pull out any sub-studies of words included above. To summarize, a definition is something in which an item finds a definitive description and significance.
The question now raised is this: Can God be described in a definitive fashion or can anything claim to lend significance or meaning to God? We define things by that which they are rooted in. Can God be rooted in anything? What in our limited understanding can hope to add significance or definition to God?
So, I have come to this conclusion: God cannot be defined, but instead provides definition for all. Nothing in my frame of reference has any definition apart from where it stands in relationship to God. Even “evil” only has definition in the fact that it is in opposition to the character of God. God then, to sum it up, can only be self defined. When He defines Himself as Love, love does not define God, but God is personally endorsing and lending credence to Love. Christians have studied the names and attributes of God for centuries, as if those words defined him, rather than seeing the definition he provides.
Today, I am (re) trying to challenge myself with this: When I hear God the Provider or God the Healer, I am aiming for a paradigm shift-God is not defined by these things, these things are defined by the fact that God is them and is giving us a crumb to take in to better see Him for who He is. The sub-challenge-how do I define people? By limited knowledge, or by the definition given to them by the Definer of all?
(Note: I originally posted this nearly a year ago and was reminded of it today, so I thought I would revisit the post of blogs past 🙂 )
How have you attempted to define God?
How would we view people differently if we defined them by God and not our perception?