Sunday, December 25, 2011
Transcendence Comes to Us
This week I've been reading The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer, the chapter on Divine Transcendence.
Tozer says, "When we speak of God as transcendent we mean of course that He is exalted far above the created universe, so far above that human thought cannot imagine it. To think accurately about this, however, we must keep in mind that 'far above' does not here refer to physical distance from the earth but to the quality of being."
A few paragraphs later he says, "Forever God stands apart, in light unapproachable. He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar, for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite, while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite. The caterpillar and the archangel, though far removed from each other in the scale of created things, are nevertheless one in that they are alike created. They both belong in the category of that-which-is-not-God and are separated from God by infinitude itself."
What an incredible thought. This is why it's so difficult to get our minds around God, and most often we don't try. But we must try, in order to get a more right perspective. When we realize the God we're dealing with, we hesitate to approach Him . . . and we should. It should make us pause, even tremble.
"In olden days," continues Tozer, "men of faith were said to 'walk in the fear of God' and to 'serve the Lord with fear.' However intimate their communion with God, however bold their prayers, at the base of their religious life was the conception of God as awesome and dreadful. . . This fear of God was more than a natural apprehension of danger; it was a nonrational dread, an acute feeling of personal insufficiency in the presence of God the Almighty."
"Yet we console ourselves with the knowledge that it is God Himself who puts it in our hearts to seek Him and makes is possible in some measure to know Him, and He is pleased with even the feeblest effort to make Him known."
For this purpose Jesus came to earth in the lowliest human form--a baby, completely helpless, dependent on others for survival. He came to make Himself known and to become the atoning sacrifice, thus making a way for men (women and children) to commune with their Creator.
Let's take a few moments today to ponder this incredible event.