The more we encounter the wonder of God’s presence, the more we see that God is too great to fit into any human boxes.
I’ve recently participated in a discussion group with Dr. Raymond Moody – the research pioneer who coined the term near-death experiences (NDEs) – as he writes his upcoming book. That book will focus on how God is greater than how we human beings can understand God from our limited perspective. Dr. Moody emphasizes the importance of experiencing a relationship with God rather than just believing in God. He was an atheist for many years, but now has a relationship with God. What changed his mind? Dr. Moody says he learned about overwhelming evidence of God’s existence from the people he interviewed who had NDEs. Intrigued by the wonder of their reports, he began to seek his own experiences with God – and God met him where he was, leading to some awe-inspiring encounters.
Dr. Moody, whose upcoming book focuses on how “God is greater than the Bible,” says he respects the Bible and loves Jesus Christ. However, he contends that the Bible can’t possibly encompass all of God’s greatness. God, the Creator, is more significant than a book, which is a part of creation. We should worship God, not a book, he says.
One of my favorite Bible verses is John 21:25: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” I believe that everything in the Bible is inspired truth. Yet I also believe, as Dr. Moody does, that God's greatness goes beyond a book.
God is so great that there is always something new to learn in a relationship with him. In my book Wake Up to Wonder, I devote an entire chapter to how we can experience awe through lifelong learning. That happens day by day as we open our minds and hearts to what God wants to teach us.
NDE reports also show the importance of learning. Life reviews during NDEs emphasize how we’re meant to be like students during our earthly lives. The most important lessons are always about love. God’s essence is love – and as Jesus tells us, our most important priorities in life should be loving God and loving each other.
We may never understand God completely. But if we focus on learning more about God through a loving relationship with him, we’ll constantly encounter new insights that spark wonder in our souls.