My dear friends...
Let us continue in our series of explorations that I have titled “Getting to Know God.”
One of the most common ideas about God is that God is on our side. God is in our corner. God grants us favors because we are in God’s favor.
Humans have told themselves that when they go to war, God is on their side. When they kill thousands of people in acts of terrorism, God is on their side. When they struggle to make their religion the dominant religion across the face of the earth, God is on their side.
When they create a new country, God is on their side. When they attempt to tear apart an old country, God is on their side. When they launch a social, political, or economic revolution, God is on their side.
And especially when they seek to defend themselves, God is on their side—which is why all attack is called a defense.
Have you ever noticed that? Nobody ever says they are attacking anybody. All attacks are called defensive, and are thusly justified.
God is on our side in positive matters, too. We’ve told ourselves that we were successful in an election campaign because God is on our side.
We landed that huge contract because God is on our side. We got to the wedding on time, even though there was a huge traffic jam, because God is on our side.
Wait, it gets even more trivial than that. We kicked the winning goal in the World Cup because God is on our side.
We hit the home run in the bottom of the ninth because God is on our side. (We round first and head to second pointing a victorious index finger to the sky to let everyone know that God is responsible for the feat.
We drop to one knee and make the Sign of the Cross after catching a touchdown pass to make it clear that we praise and thank God for our success.)
God cares who wins the game. That’s the message, loud and clear. God cares.
God cares whether the pass in the end zone is complete or incomplete. God cares whether you hit a home run or strike out.
God cares whether you get the most votes or do not. God is on your side, not the other side. If God were on the other side, they would win. If God were on everyone’s side, it would be a draw.
Every game would end a tie. Every effort would be a stalemate. Fortunately, it isn’t that way. God wants YOUR side to win the war. God wants YOUR idea to make thousands of dollars. God wants YOUR parking space to be there waiting for you.
Yes, the message is clear. And each of us can say it without seeing any contradiction. God is on our side.
Now comes The Great What If . . .
What if God is not on anybody’s “side”? What if God does not care who “wins,” who “loses,” who’s “right,” who’s “wrong,” who “succeeds,” who “fails,” or who does or does not do anything at all?
Would it make a difference? Does it matter? In the overall scheme of things, would it have any significant impact in our planetary experience?
Yes, obviously it would. Right now, billions of people are sure that God is on their side—and there could be no more dangerous thought than that.
This idea has given rise to more actions that have caused more misery for more people than almost any other single notion.
The spiritual arrogance of the idea is ignored by most, who seem to want to sidestep the obvious conclusion that if God is on their side, then God, in fact, must not be on the other side.
This sets God up as a Deity who chooses winners and losers, declares ideas worthy or unworthy, labels decisions fair or unfair, pronounces countries good or evil, designates religions right or wrong, calls people saved or condemned, and holds all manner of preferences and priorities, proclivities and predilections, penchants and partialities.
And, of course, if God is on our side, then God’s preferences and priorities, proclivities and predilections, penchants and partialities all agree with ours.
But God has been telling us from the very beginning, and it is becoming more clear to us every day, that humanity’s Ancient Cultural Story about God being on our side is plainly and simply inaccurate.
It is okay now to remove this ancient teaching from our current story, and to stop telling this to ourselves and to our children.
It is important to understand that God was not made in the image and likeness of man. It is the other way around. Man is made in the image and likeness of God.
It would be wonderful if this could be placed on billboards around the world: God was not made in the image and likeness of Man. It is the other way around.
This means that human beings are divine, each having all the qualities of divinity within them. What it does not mean is that God has human qualities.
So God does not like the Los Angeles Dodgers better than the Atlanta Braves. And God does not want your country to win the World Cup more than God wants another country to win it.
God is not hoping that your nation is victorious in the war rather than the nation you are fighting. And God does not support the world’s revolutionaries more than God supports the world’s governments. And God does not align with the values of the Republican Party more than God aligns with the values of the Democratic Party.
It’s time for human beings to let go of their need to believe in a God of preferences.
First, we had to let go of our God of the brand name, now we add to that list our God of preferences.
Derailing some really fundamental ideas embraced by many people, it is time to accept the fact that God does not hold the thought that women should never be priests or members of the clergy, that gays should never be allowed to be married, or that non-Christians should never be allowed into heaven.
Difficult as it may be for some people to imagine, God does not prefer Baptists over Hindus, Catholics over Jews, Muslims over Mormons, or any religion over any other religion.
God does not even prefer those who believe in God over those who do not believe in God.
These are not God’s ideas. These are the ideas of human beings who think that these are God’s ideas.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: God is not a male human being writ large. God is the Supreme Intelligence and the Primal Energy underlying the universe . . . an intelligence and an energy without specific identity.
Is it really conceivable that God has a favorite color or a favorite number, a favorite team or a favorite player, a favorite nation or a favorite religion, a favorite gender or a favorite race?
Does it feel realistic that God holds particular political views, or economic views, or social views, or spiritual views?
And if so, which ones?
Wait. We don’t have to ask that. The people who hold particular views will tell you which ones. Theirs, of course.
Well . . . while this disrupts the whole story line of people and political parties and nations and religions wanting to insist that they are the lone upholders of moral values and the last bastions of spiritual rectitude on the earth, it is important that humanity come to clarity on the true nature of divinity and the factual aspects of Ultimate Reality.
None of the above means that life is against us. God is not on our side in the sense that God favors you over someone else, but life is always prepared to give us what we most fervently and feelingly believe we are going to receive.
Life proceeds out of your intentions for it. We have been told, “As you believe, so will it be done unto you,” and that is true. Belief is a strong and very powerful energy. It is a magnet. It attracts to us what we firmly expect it to.
Yet this is not because “God is on our side”; this is because God has given us a mechanism with which to manipulate and affect the raw energy that is All of Life.
Life affects life through the process of life itself.
The Essential Essence is an energy that has an impact upon Itself. One who learns how to use this energy in a positive fashion through thought, word, and action has stepped onto the road to mastery in living.
Yet never “pray” or use the power of thought, word, and action to bring you something to the detriment of another.
Always remember, there is only One of Us. If, therefore, you seek something for yourself to the detriment of another, you “win” with the right hand and “lose” with the left.
Even if you seem to have “won” in one instance, the experience of how you “lost” will visit you in the next.
When in any sort of situation where your desires are juxtaposed with another’s, say a prayer, or hold the thought, that the outcome that is produced will be the one that is best for all concerned.
This is true spiritual mastery, for it requires and demands nothing. . . but holds every outcome and experience as perfect.
In this awareness is found both freedom and peace.
© 2018 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.