In the course of my faith journey, I often find myself asking people if they believe in God. The answers people give can be quite telling.
I’ve heard many people respond, “I believe in something“, which to me suggests an openness to the existence of God without an inclination to use the word ‘God’ or associate themselves with a particular religion. Other people, such as those in the Law of Attraction movement, tend to say they believe that ‘the universe‘ is what brings them good or bad fortune, rather than a personal God who is directing all activity in creation.
In my discussions with Christians, when conversation turns to the subject of the existence of God — and I tell them I believe in God — they sometimes respond by asking me, “Ah, but which God?” The motivation behind their question is that they believe only Christians worship the true God, which many of them say is the triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The way I describe my personal understanding of God is to simply argue that in reality there is only one God, the God who has created all things. I believe in the unity of God, that God is omnipresent and that His being pervades all things. God is the self-existing, all-sufficient one, and everything that has been created was brought into being by Him. He has created every religion, every belief system, every plant and every animal, every planet and every star, and He has existed from eternity past and will exist eternally into the future. He has all knowledge and all power and is in control of everything that happens.
The best way to get to know the One True God is to explore the teachings of the messengers He has sent to every community. According to the Qur’an, no community faces the judgement of God before a messenger has been sent to give warning, and to make clear the way in which we can please God and obey Him. But no one will follow God unless He wills them to — God is sovereign over the unfolding of all events. God guides whoever He wills to guide, and leaves to stray whoever He wills to stray.
If you’re not sure whether or not there is a God, or if you believe in ‘something’ or ‘the universe’ but don’t really understand what it is you’re referring to, I strongly advise you to read the Scriptures of the major Abrahamic religions, which in my understanding reveal everything we need to know about the nature of God and the requirements which He asks human beings to obey. There are of course disagreements among religious people over theological issues, and I personally find the Qur’an to be the clearest revelation of divine truth, although the other Abrahamic Scriptures are clearly an important part of God’s plan as well.
The reason why I believe in the Abrahamic religions, rather than in Hinduism or Buddhism for example, is because Abraham was a monotheist who was favoured by God. As a monotheist myself, I find I can relate philosophically to the teachings found in the Abrahamic Scriptures, especially those teachings in which we do not attribute partners to God, but worship God alone.
Are you uncertain about all this? If in doubt, pray to God for guidance. He is not far from those who humble themselves before Him. It’s a vitally important subject because Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe in a day of judgement following the resurrection of the dead at a time in the future known only to God. We must strive to find the right path to please God and the right way to follow Him so that we can have hope that we will avoid the punishment of the fires of hell and instead live in paradise in the afterlife.
For in-depth discussion of theological issues, I invite you to visit my Books page.