When we talk of the presence of a living God, it means that we have the existence of non-living gods amongst us. But before we take an in-depth study about this, it will be good for us to define who God is.
Who is God?
God is a supreme being, a deity, a supernatural immortal being with superior powers. When the word God is written with a lower-case letter ‘g’ as in God, it is a representation of a deity, especially with a statue or figurine. This type of God cannot be compared to the true living God.
While Apostle Paul, together with Barnabas, had entered Lystra and started to preach the gospel, they encountered a certain man who was without strength in his feet as he was a cripple from his mother’s womb. When Apostle Paul was preaching, he saw this man sitting, and he observed him intently and saw that he had faith to be healed. Therefore with a loud voice, Apostle Paul commanded the cripple to stand up, and the cripple leaped and walked.
When the people of Lystra saw what had happened, and as the town of Lystra was full of idolatry, they shouted to Paul and Barnabas that “the gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” They quickly named Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes because he was the chief speaker. They even brought oxen and garlands to offer sacrifices to them. When Paul and Barnabas heard this, they tore their clothes among the multitude. Then they cried out to them like this;
“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them (Acts 14:15). From what Apostle Paul and Barnabas spoke, we can clearly learn that gods are useless things, but we have a living God.
So, Who is the living God?
The living God has the following characteristics:
- First is that the living God is the one who made heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them. In simple terms, He is the creator of everything, an attribute that is not found in man or any curved idol.
- The living God is known as I AM who I AM and doesn’t need any human being to define Him. This is a very great contrast to the idols described in the book of Isaiah, chapters 40-55.
- Contrary to the Egyptian stories of creation, the Living God is the source of all life and doesn’t need help from any other god to create.
- The living God is omnipotent, meaning He’s mighty in power. (Psalm 147:5) God can do what he wants.
- The living God is omnipresent, meaning He’s everywhere. (Acts, 17:27). The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Proverbs, 15:3).
- The living God is omniscient, which means He knows everything that can be known. (John 16:30). He knows what you are going to say even before you say it. (Psalm 139:4).
- The living God consists of the Trinity of which God the Father is called the living God, God the Son is the resurrection and the life, and God, the Holy Spirit, is called the life-giving Spirit. Therefore the living God is the source of life to all living things on earth, an attribute that is not seen in idols.
- The living God is not deaf but hears the cries of His people and attends to their needs (1 Timothy 6:17), unlike the idols that are carried everywhere and neither listen, speak, or attend to anyone’s needs.
- Finally, the living God lives forever; he is the One who was, is, and is to come. He is the Alpha and the Omega, He proved this by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and now Jesus Christ lives forever. And now, this Jesus Christ, the living God, has become the source of life to those who believe in Him. That is why we labor and strive because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10).