OUR GOD IS BOTH MAJESTICALLY HOLY AND LOVINGLY PERSONAL

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“God is unspeakably transcendent; but also unspeakably immanent… God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than any other being.” — C.S. Lewis

Do we recognize God’s transcendence… His absolute holiness?

God is infinite, immortal, perfect. He reigns in omnipotence, sovereignty and glory. Although Creator God, He is not contained by His creation. He is independent from the universe… yet the universe is dependent upon Him. He is the Ancient of Days… from eternity past to eternity everlasting.

God is not like us. He is beyond our human imagining. He is unlike anything we have seen or can comprehend. When we come to grasp even a hint of who He is, we can only bow in worshipful awe and humble reverence before Him.

We dare not lose sight of God’s transcendence. For then He becomes small, containable, controllable. We place boundaries upon Him and His capabilities. His power is diminished in our minds. We no longer see Him as our Warrior God… our Deliverer… our Rescuer.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of the incomprehensibility of God. His thoughts and ways are far beyond our human reasoning. He called God the High and Lofty One… the Lord Almighty… the Sovereign Lord… the Mighty One… the Holy One of Israel and its Maker… the God of all the earth.

The Book of Isaiah is rich with verses of God’s transcendence…

    “I am the First and I am the Last; apart from Me there is no God.” — Isaiah 44:6

†    “I am God, and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” — Isaiah 46:9-10

†    “I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by Myself.” — Isaiah 44:24

†    “He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it.” — Isaiah 45:18

    “I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” — Isaiah 43:12-13

†    “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool… Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” — Isaiah 66:1

†    “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.” — Isaiah 40:28

†    “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” — Isaiah 55:9

  • Do we recognize God’s immanence… His loving presence?

God is near. He is present and active in His creation and in our lives. He is close to every one of us. No one is hidden from Him. His love for us is immeasurable… as far as the heavens are above the earth (Psalm 103:11). He longs to be close to us. He desires a living, vital relationship with us, His children.

The incarnation of Christ tells of God’s great love for us. Jesus came to earth to become like us… so we could become like Him. He led a sinless life to be the perfect sacrifice… to restore us to our God and Father. Through His Spirit, we experience His immanence, His presence with us always.

We dare not lose sight of God’s immanence. If we believe God to be aloof, distant, unconcerned with us, we lose the peace that only He can give. We live our lives for ourselves, without thought for the consequences of our actions. We go our own way in the darkness, without His Light to illuminate our path.

The inspired words of Isaiah tell of God as the Upright One… the Righteous One… our Rock Eternal… our Savior… our Redeemer. Isaiah prophesied of the coming Christ who would tear down the walls between sinless man and a holy God. Jesus made God’s immanence a reality for all believers.

The Book of Isaiah is filled with passages about God’s immanence…

†    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.” — Isaiah 43:1

†    “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed.” — Isaiah 54:10

†    “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.” — Isaiah 30:18  

†    “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” — Isaiah 48:17

†    “The Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” — Isaiah 52:12

†    “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10

†    “You will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: ‘Here am I.’” — Isaiah 58:9

†    “I, even I, am He who comforts you.” — Isaiah 51:12

God is both transcendent and immanent. Christianity is a balance of these truths. Any view of God that does not uphold these two truths is not biblically accurate. Scripture confirms that God is omnipotent, majestic, eternal while also being omnipresent, compassionate, personal. When we embrace these truths, we paint a true picture of God. Like Isaiah, He becomes our absolutely holy, yet devotedly loving God.