The man sitting next to me has been an integral part of my life for three years. He is beautiful, strong, gentle, passionate, convicted and intelligent. I have never seen him get violent outside of wrestling his larger brother. I have never seen him raise his voice. But if he stood up in that church and threw a hand grenade at the preacher,
Our relationship would change.
It would have to. Because my friend would have changed. So I would change. Even if I didn’t change how i relate to him, my knowledge of him would change.
I would grow with him, and he would grow with me depending on how I react.
Depending on how many he killed or injured.
Depending on if he went to prison or not.
I believe God is similar. I believe that God knows everything there is to know. Everything the 7 billion residents of the world are doing, have done and I believe he knows all the possibilities of what they WILL do. But because we haven’t done them, he doesn’t know what we WILL do.
Sure He knows the probables. He knows the most likely’s. He knows the never in a million years’. But he relates to us in a way that is current, and in our time schedule. All through scripture, he didn’t relate to the ‘will do’s’. He responds to our responses. He relates to us in our relationships.
So in that vein of thought
God MUST learn.
If my friend stood up in church and killed people, God would learn a certain thing about that person. He would begin to mourn the passing of people but also the destruction of that person’s value of human life. God would know the process and the thinking up until the point of murder. So morning and learning would have already happened some. But every step we take, God learns and celebrates or mourns.
As we make choices our shared experience with God increases or decreases. Just like my physical Dad. I live in a different city to him but there was a period in my life that I lived in his house. Ate most meals with him. Would go to hockey games with him and discuss the game afterwards. We would go to church together and our shared experience was quite large and intimate.
But now that i have moved away, sometimes when we do hang out it’s a little awkward.
We can be awkward with God.
Our relationship with God can be intimate and close, or strange and awkward. And relationships, I believe, are a two-way street. Intimacy has to be shared. So, if we go off and do our own thing, and become a different person, when we do return to God, although he doesn’t have the insecurities of humanity, it still has the potential to be quite awkward for the returning son. Like in the parable of the prodigal son, the father still wraps his arms around his son, super glad to have him back, super filled with love and celebration. But the shared experience of the last few years has disappeared.
And shared experience has to be in heart not just function. Take the apostle Judas, Judas was part of the inner circle and yet he was outside of it as well. Jesus would’ve mourned, their relationship would’ve changed. When we choose to hang out and be great friends with God, a lot of things begin to make sense. God is not a robot. God is not a puppet master. God is not a heartless, violent warmonger.
God is love.
God is kind.
God is good.