Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Infinite God . . .

The Attributes of God, Chapter One, God’s Infinitude,
by A.W. Tozer, published by Christian Publications, Inc., 1997

Tozer wrote, “Christianity is a gateway into God. And then when you get into God, “with Christ in God,” then you’re on a journey into infinity, into infinitude. There is no limit and no place to stop . . . God is infinite.” (Scripture Colossians 3:3).

When meditating on this word, “infinite,” it literally boggles my mind. The thought that God is vast, he is endless, boundless, and he is immeasurable, makes my head spin. Neither you nor I can calculate God. There is no finish to him—he is forever and is never ending. Our finite mind is unable to fathom the totality of God’s infinitude. He is an all-knowing, all wise, and all-loving God. He is perfect in all his ways. If he were not, then he could not be God.

To enter into as well as to gain some understanding of the never-ending God, one must comprehend the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This, through the ages, is difficult for some people to embrace—how can God be three people in One? Well, the simple side of it is, HE is God!

I like the metaphor of the Trinity being H2O, which can have three different forms:

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Steam

H2O is what it is, H2O in any shape it forms. I think of what God said to Moses, when he questioned God about who he should say sent him to free the Hebrews from the Egyptian Pharaoh, “ . . . God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14; KJV).

Unless a person comes to a place of faith that, “ . . . The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4). The truth of the gospel will seem as foolishness to them. They will not understand the meaning of “ . . .  your life is hid with Christ in God,” (Colossians 3:3; KJV).

Tozer quotes Lady Julian of Norwich who said, “Suddenly the Trinity filled my heart with joy. And I understood that so it shall be in heaven without end.” Lady Julian wrote this six hundred years ago. Without the understanding that God is Jesus incarnate, and he is the Spirit—there is no understanding, no faith to capture it, no mind to perceive that the Father, the Son and the Spirit are One and the same (See 1 John 4:12-15). That takes faith, and that faith is the pillar and foundation of our Christian belief that God does exist and he is who he says he is—THE GREAT I AM.

This very claim, that God and Jesus are one, is what led Jesus to being labeled a heretic and eventually crucified.

What does it mean to know a God who is infinite? A God who is boundless and knows no limits? 

I like how Tozer defined God has being infinite, “What God is, and He is without boundaries. All that God is, He is without bounds or limits.” Is your head hurting? Mine is.

God cannot be measured . . . “God is self-existent and absolute; everything else is contingent and relative.” Tozer goes on to say, “There is nothing very big and nothing very wise and nothing very wonderful. It’s all relatively so. It is only God who knows no degrees."

Tozer quoted an poet who penned, “One God, one Majesty. There is no God but Thee. Unbounded, unextended unity,” in this phrase Tozer came to interpret the writer meant that, “God doesn’t extend into space; God contains space,” (Italics mine for emphasis).

Is that not awesome or what? When I read that my spirit energizes. I get the sense, the true sense of being part of someone much more elaborate and intriguing then my faith and my feeble mind allows me to know and understand.

In this chapter Tozer gives an illustration, which C.S. Lewis gave in helping us to grasp the idea that God contains space. Lewis’s illustration was to take a piece of paper and draw a one-inch line on it—that would be the representation of time. When you begin your line on the sheet of paper that is the beginning of time and when you stop your pencil that is the end of time and so Tozer wrote, “And all around, infinitely extended in all directions, is God.” Wow! Is all I have to say about that illustration. God encompasses everything.

The image is that the God who encompasses everything, the God who contains space, as sent us an invitation through his Son to have fellowship with him, to take part in his divine nature. Tozer wrote so well, “The infinite Godhead invited us into Himself to share in all the intimacies of the Trinity. And Christ is the way in.”

Think about that for a moment, “invited us . . . to share in all the intimacies of the Trinity.” God wants us to know him and to know him is to know his Son. There is no way around that.

Jesus said, “My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me,” (John 17: 20-21).

Tozer uses the analogy of the earth and moon and relates to the reader that we never see both sides of the moon—that would be an impossible task. I’d never thought about that before. So it is with God, we can’t know all there is to know about him, nor see every aspect of him—even with daily reading of our Bible—God’s expansion of who he is, is beyond our limited understanding. Yet, he provided his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the catalyse for our knowing of his love and care for mankind.

Tozer says, “God has a manward side, just as the moon has an earthward side. Just as the moon always keeps that smiling yellow face turned earthward, so God has a side He always keeps turned manward, and that side is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s manward face . . . Jesus, is the way God sees us.”

When I share the gospel, to a ready heart, I love sharing the idea that the God who created all things—who made the earth and all that is in it, and made the heavens and all that is in it—has come to earth to live in our spirit, just by placing faith in Christ his Son—who then imparts to us his Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our salvation. This means we are no long under the burden of our sin. The fact that the Almighty God wants to inhabit our spirit should overwhelm us (See John 3 on being born again).
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” (Revelations 3:20).

The Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit each have a role in the salvation of mankind. God is our Creator, Jesus is our Redeemer, and the Spirit is our Teacher. Every believer contains the trinity—who is without measure.

Our Father,
Give us the ability to allow Your Deity to live strong within us so that our faith will expand and our strength will be renewed so that the world will know You. May we be filled with joy! What an honor that You have chosen mankind, in all his faults, to be Your object of love, which abounds in Your grace. We rejoice that Your desire is for us to be one with You, just as You and Your Son are One. We are grateful.
In Jesus name, Amen!

Q4U: What does it mean to you to be on “a journey of infinity” with God?

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