When we call something “God” we are not bestowing upon that thing just an identification, a name, but more than that. Much more than that.
To call this divinity “God” is to apply a relational understanding to it. To not simply say, “You are YHWH” or “You are Allah” (though these may indeed be true. No, instead, when we say “God” we bestow upon this thing our recognition that it is above, it is beyond, it is something more.
To call it “God” is to say it is the recipient of our praise, the source of Glory. That is something much more than a name. To call it God is to say it is that to which we look when we desire guidance, when we are happy, when we are sad.
Recently I have found that when I stop and choose to be still, I find a peace and quiet stillness within myself that feels good, feels wholesome. The instinct seems to have some sort of moral bearing – that gut instinct that something is right or is wrong. It’s that sense that I am not alone. I am inclined to call this inner feeling “God”.
I can know this God without hype, without emotion, without music, without lights and smoke machines. That is not to say that one cannot experience God in these manners. But for me, now – it is important to know that it is n0t necessary to experience God in this way.
Indeed how can I be truly certain that this is the same God as the one experienced by others in other ways? I cannot – but, then again, I cannot be sure of that – expression to expression, idea to idea, divine name to divine name. I have no way of truly knowing.
I wonder then, how we are able to know anything. I wonder if it is perhaps one of two things, in general. We can share a familiar understanding of another person, with another, by two means: descriptions based on a shared understanding (he’s that guy with the big glasses who goes to that coffee shop) or based on interaction at the same time.
The latter is not something I could imagine between myself, another and God. But the former? That makes more sense. So when I hear of people having similar experiences to me – knowing the inner peace, the gentle spirit, the ability to stop, be still and just be; then I can know the presence of the divine in that person.