Wait, I need to back up and prepare you for this story. You often ask me to "Tell me a story" like I used to on the way to school. I have written about that previously. Well, I have one to tell you today. It is a very long story so it will probably take many days. It is also a VERY special story because, unlike other stories I tell, none of it is made up. It is all true. This story begins before any other story ever told. It begins:
A long, long time ago; before "time" was ever measured, before there was a "you", or "me", or anyone; before there was an Earth, or a Sun, or a galaxy, or any stars at all; Before there was anything else....there was God.
Have you ever thought of that? I had not. Only within the last few years, in my understanding as an answer to my prayer to Him that He teach me how to truly be a son of His, God has begun to reveal greater truths to me than ever before. Now, that is not to say that I understand them all or that I boast in this knowledge. Rather, He is telling me that things are going to be ok; that He, as my true Father is greater than I can ever possibly understand while on earth...and that I/we have SO much to look forward to when we get to Him. It is a great joy and excitement to learn about Him, yet of course creates many more questions.
For example: What was He doing before he created the universe?
I love this question because it is such a mystery. I have looked into it.
1) I believe that we can not know HOW LONG God existed before creation because we are dealing with eternity. Wrap your awesome mind around this...
Think of the point 0 as the creation of the Universe (as described in Genesis). Think of the point 1 as the end of the World as recorded in the Book of Revelation. We like to think of the arrow after that as "We get to live with God "forever," for all of eternity.
But look at the other end of eternity...before point 0. Yup, eternity goes both ways...forever before, and forever after.
Another level of this mystery is: God created the concept we know as TIME.
"God called the light "day" and the darkness He called "night". There was evening, and there was morning - the first day." Genesis 1:5
As the creator of time, he is not subject to it and thus...God does not have to respect the laws of time. In simplistic terms, He is the perfect time traveler. He can go forward and backward through time at will.
But then think of this...as the creator of all time AND matter, he doesn't have to respect the laws of matter and thus, He IS everywhere at once. (Omnipresent) He is at point 0, and the next line, and the next, and at point 1, AND before and forever after.
I know, I know, that is difficult to wrap the mind around...but don't close it off. We (humans) like to put God in a box so that we feel more comfortable understanding Him; that way we can feel safe and self-sufficient. But the truth is...we can NEVER understand God because we are created beings, created within laws of time and matter which HE created.
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Cor. 13:12
ANYWAY, What was God doing before He created the universe?
Are you kidding? He is God. I imagine He was doing "God things." Solving great mysteries; creating other things; planning for the future (well, what WE think of as the future).
2) God was not alone.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light fall mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
This is believed to be a different "beginning" than the Genesis "In the beginning." Genesis recounts the beginning of the Universe (as we know it), galaxies, stars, planets, earth in particular. But who are we to imagine that the God who created all of it just happened to have that be His very first act. Imagine being God (like that's easy), would there not be some things you would want to accomplish BEFORE you created free willed beings?
John points out, that God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all together, from the "beginning." What he wants us to know is that the Trinity existed, was unified, and was the source of the Word. I sometimes go so far as to imagine that John is describing the three in that first sentence.
"In the beginning was the Word (Son), and the Word was with God (Holy Spirit), and the Word was God (Father)."
John Eldridge uses the opening scene of the movie The Last of the Mohicans to illustrate the idea of the Trinity: Three individuals with a singular purpose, a critically important purpose. They are intense, and they are completely unified in their intent. That, is the Trinity
What were they doing? I really want to know someday. What we do know is that they were together, that they were intertwined in a way beyond our understanding except that it is alluded to in a marriage ("And the two shall become ONE.") Something about our spirits overlaps, two become one so, in the God Trinity, there is perfect overlap, while there is still distinction.
Christianity is described as Monotheism: One Deity (versus Greek mythology which practices Polytheism: Many Dieties (Zeus, Athena, Apollo, etc...). I have wrestled with that in the past. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit would seem to be Poly rather than Mono. However...I don't get to decide whether or not an all powerful entity is separate and distinct from another. I just get to draw breath for awhile and trust that, when God defines himself, He says "Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is ONE.
Honestly, it is exciting to me to think that the Trinity existed in perfect union, perfect cooperation, and perfect fellowship. It helps me understand my own need for others. I long to be in union with another. I feel most complete when your Mom and I are working as one. I count on her to "bear my name" as she so eloquently states. In that bearing, she is stating that her will is a reflection of mine. Who she is impacts others perception of me for WE are the Hickam's. That is unity.
Christ was the perfect picture of that while He was on earth (though I don't want to get TOO far ahead of myself): Christ said repeatedly: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9) "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself (referencing himself). He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever he Father does, the Son also does." (John 5:19) And: "I do not speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49).
Isn't that amazing?! Jesus Christ, God the Son, is so in tune with, so perfectly unified with God the Father that He continually reminds those who hear him that the Father's will supplants his own. He gives full credit where credit is due. (Even to the point of accepting death on the cross despite being fearful, and grieved saying, "Not my will but yours Father.")
3) Are you ready for this one? Really ready? The bible does give us ONE very important, amazing, humbling detail of what the Trinity was doing prior to the creation:
"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will..." Ephesians 1:4-5
Yes. He was thinking of you. He CHOSE you before the foundation of the world. He predestined you to adoption. (Predestined means to choose before hand, to predetermine) Just as your Mommy and I wrote your name in the sand on a beach in Galveston Texas 6 years before you were born, God knew you before the creation. He knew all of us. He knew everything about us, and He saw our places in the plan He had for His creation.
God, in the perfect unity of the Trinity has existed for eternity, and will exist for eternity. He knew what had been and He knew what was coming, and He knows what is going on now, and He knows what will happen. He is already there.
Something else happened before creation though. Something else which, once we begin to understand it, will help us understand WHY life is the way it is. I will continue this EPIC story, this amazing adventure next time. But I will pose a question first:
What is with the angels...and why are they armed?