When you think about who God is, his nature or essence; where do your thoughts start?
Maybe a better way to ask this is; What do you think is the deepest truth of God’s being? If you were to peel back the layers of all that he does, what would be the source of his actions; the reservoir, so to speak, from which his thoughts, feelings, and actions flow?
Believe it or not, I often ask this question at the beginning of a meeting in which I’ve been invited to speak.(talk about jumping into the deep end!) Typically, I’ll start writing responses on the board. Different words, usually describing his character, are launched into the discussion. By the time we’re done, our list looks like a course on the attributes of God.
But as I would list each character trait on the board, I would ask, “But is there something that is behind that, that is even more essential still?” For no matter which attribute you or I choose it is nothing more than a description, not the essence of the person. And isn’t the essence of a person deeper than a description? Or to put it differently; What stands behind the description? Is it not the person themselves?
I would suggest that the deepest truth of God is that he exists as a relationship of three persons yet one being. They think, feel, and act as one. In fact, this Oneness is so much their reality that it is said that they are in one another. Without losing themselves or absorbing into each other, they always remain three distinct persons. Even more, they are completely, head over heels, in love with each other. And unlike us, they don’t fake it. The essence of their relationship is a self-giving, other-centered love that staggers the imagination.
If relationship is the deepest truth of their essence or being,
If everything they do is consistent with who they essentially are,
Then everything that flows from this relationship is motivated and shaped by the way they relate to each other. And this can never change, because we are speaking of his essence. They have always been and will always be loving toward each other; for there is no other way of being for him.
It is here, in the deepest truth of God’s eternal being that we find the reason for creation. Freely, out of the utter joy that their loving relationship is, they create so that others can experience what they are and have. This is a reservoir of absolute, perfect love that will never run dry.