God–Pure and Simple: Independence

sky-lights-space-darkToday I start to share about God in the purest and simplest way I know how. It will be imperfect. I will make mistakes. I can’t do the theme justice. But my heart is really in this. And I am asking the Holy Spirit to guide along the way.

We are going to talk about God’s attributes, both the communicable and the incommunicable.

Let’s break that down.

Merriam-Webster defines attribute as: a quality, character, or characteristic ascribed to someone or something. For instance, “Nelson Mandela had leadership attributes.” He had what it took to lead his nation.

When it comes to God, theologians have divided His attributes into those that are communicable and incommunicable.

Simply put, communicable attributes are those that people can possess. Incommunicable ones belong only to God.

Having said that, let’s dive into one of God’s characteristics that had a huge impact on me when I discovered it. More than likely, most have not thought about it much. I know I hadn’t. I figure it is because it does not directly affect us.

Theologians refer to this particular attribute as incommunicable. Meaning, it belongs only to Him. He has not passed it on to us.

God is independent.

One day in Sunday school, not sure what age (please give me a break—I’ve lived a long time, and most of those years I’ve gone to Sunday school) somebody asked (I’m sure it wasn’t me, because I was too much of a fraidy cat), “Why did God make us?” Good question. But the answer is what stuck with me, and at some level I believed it. “Why, honey, God created us because He was lonely and needed company.”

Think about it for a moment. Was God all alone before the creation of man?

In the  Genesis account of creation, Scripture says His Spirit hovered over the space of the waters. John 1:1-3 confirms Jesus’s presence during the creation. So, God the Father had Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and at some point he created a host of angels.

God had plenty of company.

Independence infers that God doesn’t need anyone or anything. He came into being with no outside help. He is self-propelling and self-sustaining. We will talk later about other characteristics that back this up.

The point is He has always been and always will be, and no one can help Him be any more than He is and no one can force Him to be any less than He is, either.

Let’s face it, as hard as we may try, we cannot make it here without anyone else. Just not possible. We can be hermits or choose not to see anyone. But still, we are not self-sustaining.

God made us in his likeness, so one could come to the conclusion that since we get lonely and need other people, then surely He does too. Something important needs to be noted in reference to the whole “made in His likeness” concept. We were made in His likeness in the sense that we have a spirit, that we feel and we think like He does.

But in no case, and in no way, is He like us

God is independent in the sense that there is no one else like Him, either. He cannot be compared to anything or anyone in all of creation.

Even though it seems weird, this particular attribute has become a linchpin that holds the rest of His attributes together for me. And it makes me trust Him more. He didn’t need to create us. But He did.

So, the question begs for an answer: if He is independent and doesn’t need anyone or anything, then…why did He create man?

Stay tuned. I welcome your comments.

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About colleenshinephillips

Writer, veteran missionary, adventure and intrigue-lover. Convinced of the power of the word and the Word.
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12 Responses to God–Pure and Simple: Independence

  1. Francine Rivers says:

    Reads like a cliff-hanger. Can’t wait to read the next installment!

  2. colleenshinephillips says:

    Awwwww. Me, either!!! God has got to have my back on this.

  3. kaseygiard says:

    You break this down really well and make it easy to understand. I’m excited to read your whole series on this! 🙂

  4. colleenshinephillips says:

    Awwww. Thank you!

  5. dianesteward says:

    Great post, Colleen! God didn’t NEED to create us, but I think He WANTED to. Man is the crowning glory of His creation. Revelation says we were created “for His pleasure” so I think He enjoys us! (Sometimes, at least, hehe.) But truly God has enjoyed fellowship within the Trinity from all eternity. We don’t complete Him, but He completes us. Your linchpin idea is an interesting concept as many other attributes are connected.

    • colleenshinephillips says:

      I so agree with what you comment here, Diane. And yes…He WANTED to. Sometimes I wonder…He already had had headaches with the whole Lucifer rebellion, why add more? Love is the only answer to that one!!! Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

  6. Rick Barry says:

    For me it was a lightbulb moment when I realized that God doesn’t NEED us, or the earth, or the sun, or the Milky Way or the universe. People sometimes say things like God needs more missionaries, or that He needs more donations for missions. But God is 100% independent and needs nothing. I believe I know where you’re headed with this series, so I won’t say more at this point. 🙂

    • colleenshinephillips says:

      Thanks for what I consider affirmation, Rick. It was a huge lightbulb moment for me, also. And considering all the years I have followed Jesus, it wasn’t all that long ago. I thank God for how He continues to reveal Himself to us.

  7. Yes! Yes! Yes! God is Creator and Sustainer of all. He doesn’t need us, but He loves us and chooses to use us. And we can do nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing without Him (John 15:5). Hallelujah! This truth ignites a desire in my heart to praise Him! Thanks for sharing your heart, Colleen. I love exploring the wonder of Who God is–the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End. I love celebrating who our limitless, loving God is and always will be. I’m going to enjoy this adventure with you, Sister. Keep writing! 🙂

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