The Omnipresence of God

Omnipresence means that God is present everywhere at one time.  He is “all present” in terms of His nearness to everyone and everything.  God isn’t simply everywhere in general terms like, for example, the way a substance is spread throughout an area by diffusion.  In the same manner as we discussed when we looked at God’s infinitude, God doesn’t fill a space but rather exists outside of space.  There are no borders around God and neither does God fill a container, even so vast a container as the Universe.  The Universe, for all its enormity, cannot hold God but instead the Universe is contained within God.  Everything that exists in time and space is found within God as does everything that we have not yet discovered or imagined.  He does not live in space since God is Spirit and He is infinite.

In biblical terms, God in His essence is near; His consciousness and attention are equally close to everyone.  So, if the question, in any of our circumstances, is “Where is God?  Where are you God?”  The answer is that He is right where you are.  He could not be anywhere but right there.  Jesus could be going to the right hand of the Father while at the same time assuring His disciples that He would be with them always.  Distance means nothing in relationship to being close to God.  We think in spatial terms relating to geography or astronomy but God isn’t contained in those dimensions.  Tozer writes, “When we come to anything that is intellectual, spiritual, or of the soul, space, matter, weight, and time have no meaning at all.”  God is near to all and everything, not because of location but because of His essence.  Tozer illustrates that by way of the closeness that one has with a friend versus an adversary, though by location we could be sitting in a room with the adversary and a thousand miles apart from his friend.  He continues that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to spiritualize His people so that they no longer think materially but rather spiritually and to recognize that it isn’t proximity that distances us from God, but incompatibility.

The incompatibility of mankind with God is what actually separates from God because He is not distanced from anything at all.  David writes in Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.”  We have a separation that is greater than the span of the East is from the West because it goes to the core of who we are and not where we are.  It is our dissimilarity with God that separates us and reveals to us that we are far from God.  We are far from His character and nature making us unlike Him in spirit; our “distance is one of character, not space.”  Tozer references Ephesians 4:18 when he says that we have become alienated from God and any sense of remoteness is due to the fact that we cannot have fellowship or communion due to our incompatibility with God.  He answers the feelings and questions of so many who struggle with the imminence of God, “They don’t find Him because God and man are dissimilar in their moral nature.  God is perfect holiness, man is perfect iniquity and the two can never meet. That’s why God seems so far away.”

God’s response to the dissimilarity of nature was to take upon Himself the responsibility to close the gap between man and God.  2 Corinthians 5:19 states that, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  There could be no middle ground where both parties would compromise for the sake of unity.  God could never become less than Himself and concede to sin, so instead God conquered sin and the power of sin, so that we could become new creatures.  As new creatures, we bear within ourselves a foreign moral nature that is ours in Christ.  In Christ, and because of Christ, there is now no longer a moral obstacle.  “Christ has removed everything,” writes Tozer, “so man could come home.”  When this takes root in the life of a believer, it is like the experience of Jacob in Genesis 28.  Jacob has a dream one night as he is fleeing to Haran.  In the dream, he sees a ladder to heaven and God stood above it declaring to Jacob that He would be steadfast and His presence would be with Jacob and never leave him.  When Jacob awoke, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it… How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16-17).  At one moment, though everything about the place we are in stays the same, it is transformed into the house and gate of heaven as God reveals just how near He is.

The Grace of God

Tozer follows up his discussion on mercy by turning his attention to another attribute that stems out of God’s goodness which confronts human guilt: grace. We know that apart from His grace and mercy, we would be fully exposed to His justice. Since God, in a way that can only be Him, is full of both grace and justice, we are extended a sort of “common grace” as a society or we would have been wiped out before humanity really got going. Grace is a thriving and demonstrated aspect of God’s nature since the beginning, as Adam and Eve sinned against God and brought death to His creation. If not for the grace of God, we wouldn’t have made it past the third chapter of Genesis. Grace did not come only when Christ appeared, grace has always been who God is and how He has related to His people.

Grace, writes Tozer, is how God confronts our human demerit. He tells us that not only is each person without personal merit, as in that we cannot contribute to our forgiveness because we lack anything valuable to offer, but that we are actually in a deficit and continue to detract from our spiritual bankruptcy! As a result, we require a blessing that does not rely on our worth or worthiness, we require a blessing of grace. Tozer writes, “Grace is that in God which brings into favor one justly in disfavor.” In light of this, Tozer gives us two truths which are core to our Christian salvation. First, no one ever has been saved, no one is now being saved, and no one will ever be saved except by grace. This encompasses all of eternity from Adam through to the last person to receive Him before He returns. Secondly, Tozer writes, that grace has always and only come by Jesus Christ. Grace didn’t originate in Christ’s incarnation, but rather how it was revealed. He “already had eternity planned – the plan of grace, ‘the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world’” (Rev 13:8).

Within our reading today, Tozer makes a great point about the infinitude of God’s grace; He measures His grace against our sin. As sin abounds, writes Paul in Romans, grace abounds all the more. Sin can never out run the grace of God since God’s grace surpasses sin. His grace abounds more than anything in us. “No matter how much sin a man has done,” writes Tozer, “literally and truly grace abounds unto that man.” Grace should not be considered a sentimental aspect of God, as though He is harsh and demanding, but there is just something about humans that He has a soft spot for. No, grace is in full force because grace is fully at work in God always. And for all who call on the Lord, grace will be extended through the work of Christ on the cross. Grace was released at the cross and God’s grace is enough for us in our time of need. The grace of God flows freely for all and it is all the grace you will ever need.

“For us who stand under the disapproval of God, who by sin lie under sentence of God’s eternal,             everlasting displeasure and banishment, grace is an   incomprehensibly immense and overwhelming plentitude of kindness and goodness.” Tozer

Next time we will see God’s Omnipresence.

For Christ Alone…

Nigel Unrau, Lead Pastor

The Mercy of God

It is not an uncommon criticism of the Bible to say that God was one way in the Old Testament and another way in the New Testament. He is accused of being harsh and vengeful in the Old Testament while being more gracious and merciful in the New Testament. In his studies on the attributes of God, Tozer is honing in on those aspects of God that do not change and so he addresses this concern early in his chapter on the mercy of God. He writes, “There has been a lot of careless teaching that implies that the Old Testament is a book of severity and law, and the New Testament is a book of tenderness and grace. But do you know that while both the Old Testament and New Testament declare the mercy of God, the word mercy appears in the Old Testament over four times more often than in the New?” This dichotomy, as it is sometimes called, between the God described in the Old and New Testaments has led some to depart from the Trinitarian understanding of a God. Oneness Pentecostals, for example, believe that God is one person manifested as the Father in creation, then the Son in redemption, and then the Spirit in regeneration. They would argue that the being of God doesn’t change but the role He played did, therefore explaining the difference in how God did things in the past. We refute this assertion since the presence of the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament are clearly taught in Scripture, as is the mercy of God.

Mercy, Tozer writes, finds its source in the goodness of God. God is good and His goodness is taught throughout Scripture. Mercy is an extension of the goodness of “God which desires the happiness of His creatures,” as Tozer puts it, “and that irresistible urge in God to bestow blessedness. The goodness of God takes pleasure in the pleasure of His people.” It is in God to not only take pleasure when His people are happy in Him but also to suffer alongside them when they suffer. The mercy of God is that He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve but that He extends to us patience in our struggle to obey. Instead, Tozer explains, “According to the Old Testament, mercy has certain meanings: to stoop in kindness to an inferior, to have pity upon and to be actively compassionate.” God’s compassion toward us is not bestowed from a distance but instead in the manner in which God abides with us. He actively “compassionates” with our burdens and struggles exercising a level of pity and empathy that causes Him to draw near to us. He is mindful, as Psalm 103:14 describes, “that we are but dust.” The mercy of God is described as the love of a father for a child in the preceding verses.

Psalm 103:8-13, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.”

An integral part of the mercy of God is not just that He simply has compassion but that He acts compassionately. His mercy is put on display with the things He does, and nowhere is that more evident than by having Christ nailed to the cross to die for our sins. His mercy stirs up His compassion which sends His son to deliver us from our sin. Tozer writes, “We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No – Jesus died because God is showing mercy. It was the mercy of God that gave us Calvary, not Calvary that gave us mercy. If God had not been merciful there would have been no incarnation, no babe in the manger, no man on a cross. and no open tomb.” Lamentations 3:22 says, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.” His mercy never ceases because His compassion never fails. God was moved to stoop and have pity on us and because He is good, and we are recipients of His mercy. We are recipients because the mercy of God and the justice of God (as we discussed last time) have collaborated to provide justification: a justification that comes by faith.

Until next time when we consider: God’s Grace.

For Christ Alone,

Nigel

God’s Justice

When we study the characteristics or attributes of something, we want to see what makes up the inherent qualities rather than just the external characteristics. This is why Tozer has been titling each section as “God’s (something),” and not the “(something) of God.”  We aren’t looking at God’s kind of anything when we describe His attributes as though there was just a different way of God being that thing compared to someone else.  Take His justice, for example.  We aren’t saying that God has a way of being “just” that is different or unique to Him, while there could be other forms of being “just” that are unique to others.  If this were the case, then the argument could be made that the justice of God isn’t the only definition of justice and that other cultures, at other times in history, have had their own versions of justice, which are equally valid.  Those other forms of justice might be in conflict with God’s way, thereby presenting God’s way and the other way as nothing more than competing views that a person can choose from.  It is precisely this kind of nuance that Tozer avoids when he intentionally labels this section, “God’s Justice.”

While we may talk about the justice of God in common speech, it is important to be aware that this is an attribute, like the others, that belongs to Him and therefore finds its definition in Him.  Man seeks justice in our courts and daily lives so that we can make sense of right and wrong and how to apply that toward one another.  This is why Tozer closely connects God’s justice to God’s righteousness.  He quotes from Psalm 97:2, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne,” and adds, “Justice and righteousness are indistinguishable from each other.”  Just as we seek to act in accordance with our own sense of justice, it is only God who knows what is truly just because only God is truly righteous.  He always knows and does what is right because only He knows what the right thing is to begin with.  The judgment of God is the application of justice to a moral situation.  He has judged the moral situation equitably, that is, He has been morally equal to Himself.  His goodness is able to dole out what corresponds to the moral situations of life with fairness, or properly as a situation requires.  Unlike God, man is not morally equal.  Not only do we not always know what is right, even when we do know, we even less frequently do that right thing.  We do not have moral symmetry and are unequal to ourselves.  Tozer writes,

“When God judges a man, He brings justice
to that man’s life.  He applies justice to the moral
situation which that man’s life created.
And if the man’s ways are equal,
then justice favors the man.
If man’s ways are unequal then,
of course, God sentences the man.”

God is justice since goodness and righteousness dwell in Him; it exists because He does.  To help us understand God’s justice better, Tozer describes God as a unity and man as a compound being.  He is not composed of parts the way we are with our body, soul, and spirit.  Our existence occurs in distinct and separate plains, allowing for our humanity to remain intact even while aspects of who we are change.  Even our physical being is comprised of so many “parts” that can be removed without compromising our humanness.  One quote that caught my attention was, “You can take an amazing about of a man away and he is still there.  But you can’t think of God like that, because the being of God is unitary.”  God is always the same and since He is never changing; there is a continual harmony within Him of His attributes.  His justice does not, and cannot, contradict any of His other attributes.  They exist as One in fullness.  His mercy and grace are never set aside in order to enable His judgment in light of His righteousness. 

In consideration of salvation, God’s justice was satisfied in the atoning work of Christ.  Tozer describes the work of Christ, “that holy suffering there on the cross and that resurrection from the dead cancels our sins and abrogates our sentence.”  All the attributes of God agree on the sentence of death that had been handed down.  “When God sends a man to die,” Tozer writes, “mercy and pity and compassion and wisdom and power concur – everything that’s intelligent in God concurs in the sentence… When God looks at a sinner who has accepted the blood of the everlasting covenant, justice sentences him to live.  And God is just in doing both things.” It is not that justice has been set aside for the one redeemed by Christ, but justice itself that is at the heart of the sentence of life.  Neither does God set aside His grace, mercy and compassion to carry out the sentence of death.  The only measure by which our moral situation is judged is based on the perfect righteousness of God.  We are either draped in the atoning blood of Christ which has been spilt to change our moral situation, or we are left responsible for it ourselves and will be found unequal to the righteousness of God.

The Goodness of God

The foundation has been laid in his previous chapters to establish that whatever God is, He is all of it. In the chapter on Infinitude, God was described as being the perfect and complete expression of the qualities He possesses. If He is loving, then there isn’t a part of Him that is not love. If He is all-knowing, then God literally knows everything that can be known. If there is an attribute that applies to God, then God is all of it without limitations. Tozer builds on this attribute in the next chapter by describing God’s Immensity. God is bigger than His creation, all of it. He exists outside of all that has been made and therefore is not subject to anything within it. He has full dominion over everything and yet He takes pleasure in having us come to Him and draw everything we need for this life, and the next, directly from Him.

With those to ideas in tow, Tozer declares that. “the basic trouble with the Church today is her unworthy conception of God… our religion is little because our god is little. Our religion is weak because our God is weak. Our religion is ignoble because the god we serve is ignoble. We do not see God as He is.” As a result, he comments, the local church will only be as great as her conception of God and that her success or failure hinges on the understanding of God, “the way she thinks of God.”

This is where the attribute of God’s goodness comes in. God is not only always good, but He is goodness. This means that God is, “kindhearted, gracious, good-natured and benevolent in intention… He is gracious and His intentions are kind and benevolent. We would believe that God never thinks any bad thoughts about anybody.” God’s heart is infinitely kind without any boundaries to His kindness and doesn’t have “bad days” for which He must atone or apologize. God’s disposition is always to be kind and gracious even when there is cause for justice and judgment. He does not abandon one attribute even when the expression of His will seems to contradict it. Romans 11:22 reminds us that God is not only good but He is also severe, “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness…” Those who can receive God’s goodness are those who are willing to accept it from Him while, as Tozer states,

“If a man will not take God’s goodness, then he must have God’s severity toward all who continue in moral revolt against the throne of God and in rebellion against the virtuous laws of God.”

This reveals a God who is not erratic or unpredictable. Instead, we see that God is good and kind in giving us a clear instruction and guideline of what He requires. The Word of God is given so that we might know Him, and in reading it, we would observe the patience of God at work.

The kindness of God was put on display in the coming of Christ and taking on flesh and walking among us. As Hebrews 2:17-18 and 4:15-16 states, He is therefore able to sympathize and empathize with our struggles and temptations. The God of the Bible is not one who stands aloof disseminating decrees to see how badly He can trip us up, but the God of goodness who is seeking the very best for us, Himself alone. Paul understood this in Philippians when he writes that “whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)

The goodness of God is not only understood as kindness but also favor. Goodness is revealed in the pleasure God takes in redeeming the lost and broken in his or her sin. God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) but as a Shepherd who has found a lost sheep, He, with His angels, celebrate the repentance of one lost one. This is the context of the worship that takes place in heaven in Revelation 5:9 as those gathered before Christ praise Him as the only one able to redeem those lost in sin, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Tozer responds to Revelation with, “And worthy is the goodness of God that out of His infinite kindness, His unchanging, perfect lovingkindness, He made amends for us… turning all our sin into endless worship.”

God is not repelled or revolted by our sinful “wretchedness”. He is well aware of our shortcomings and is under no delusion that we will one day climb to the top of His holy mountain on our own. We were, and are, always in need of a Savior to make us righteous so that His goodness would replace ours and it gives Him pleasure to give it to us. Tozer comments, “He wills that you joy along with Him. The everlasting marvel and the high, overpassing love of God, the irresistible love of God, out of His goodness sees us perfect even though we are not perfect. And He wants us to be glad in Him.” God is good and kind and pleased to give us what we least deserve so that we could have what only He can provide.

Tozer leaves us with a final question. “Did you ever stop to think that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in heaven as you are to be there? The goodness and mercy of God, the loving kindness of the Lord – it’s wonderful!” Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel.

Until next time when we consider: God’s Justice.

The Immensity of God

The key thought Tozer draws from in dealing with the Immensity of God is that God is outside of Creation.  He writes, “Remember that God is outside of all things and inside all things and around all things.  Remember that our God made it.”  When contemplating God, we tend to consider His existence within all that has been created and that He permeates everything but rarely do we remember that God existed apart from Creation, all of Creation.  It begs the question, “What happened before Genesis 1:1?”

The Bible begins by telling us that in the beginning God created but that only serves to tell us what God has done since He initiated substance and time.  Colossians 1:17 reminds us that Jesus was before all things.  Before anything was made God was and John 1:1-3 states that apart from Him, nothing came into being.  Therefore, everything that is created, all material substance scattered throughout the Universe is inferior and small in God’s hands.  There is no part of what was made that God is subject to and incapable of exerting dominion over.  Several texts from Isaiah give words to the immensity of God:

Isaiah 40:12, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales?”

Isaiah 40:15, “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.”

Isaiah 40:22-23, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.”

Isaiah 40:26, “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.”

In fact, Tozer says, the Bible itself is a guide to discovering what God has desired for us to know, but it does not contain all that God is.  It is the revelation of all that God wanted us to know of Himself and yet is not all there is to know about God.  Our love and affection for God’s Word is in that it serves to teach, instruct, and inform us of who God is so that we might know Him.  The Bible is a means to an end, not and end unto itself.  To know the Bible is not the same thing as knowing God, it is knowing about God.  Tozer writes that illumination, or understanding, is “what matters and the Word of God is a means toward an end, just as roads are means toward destinations.  A road is nothing in itself… The Bible is a whole series of highways, all leading toward God.  And when the text is illuminated and the believer of the text knows that God is the end toward which he is moving, then that man has real faith.”  We could not truly know God without the Bible, but the knowledge apart from a relationship with God and the illumination of the Holy Spirit is what leads to a nominal faith at best and at worst, a false conversion and heresy.  Romans 10:1-3, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”

The final point that Tozer makes is one of application.  He expresses concern for the Christian who still has his or her mind set on the things of the world and wants to add God as a plus sign to everything else.  We seem to constantly be looking for other things, “and God” to give us joy and pleasure.  They are worthwhile things; jobs, homes, marriages, and future ambitions.  And yet, where we have placed our hope and joy is revealed when those things are in jeopardy.  If all things are truly beneath God, that God is supreme and over all things, why do we continue to add things to our lives in search of contentment, security, and safety?  Could it be that we have either not experienced God sufficiently to put all things in their proper perspective or we have not experienced God at all?

When it comes to seeing the Immensity of God, just how much more than anything we have ever seen or understood, Tozer writes, “But as soon as I set my hopes and comforts upon things and people, I’ll lose something out of my heart.  It dare not be things and God, it dare not be people and God: it must be God and nothing else.  Then whatever else God gives us, we can hold at arm’s length and hold it dear for Jesus’ sake.  We can love it for His sake, but it is not necessary to our happiness.”  God takes pleasure in having us come to Him and draw everything that we are in need of directly from Him.  It may look like the job we have, the family we are raised in and the home we are tending but they were all His pleasure to give.  What we receive from Him first though, before all these things is God Himself.  In this way, all the things can be stripped away and still have God and rejoice in Him.  Why should we fear and worry when the God who holds the universe in His hands is on our side?  Why do we become anxious when trouble is on the horizon when the God who loves us is too big for all that has been created?

One final quote, one that has lingered in my mind constantly from the first moment I read it.

God takes pleasure in having a helpless soul come to Him simply and plainly and intimately.  He takes pleasure in having us come to Him.  This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds.  It draws only those who have their hearts set on God, who want God more than they want anything else in the world… This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds, but it is likely to draw the hungriest ones, the thirstiest ones and some of the best ones.”

Until next time when we consider: God’s Goodness.

For Christ Alone, Pastor Nigel

God’s Infinitude

There are things we do and experiences we have that when first have them seem too big to overcome. Whether it is looking up at the shear face of a mountain cliff, the prospect of a full marathon, studying for an advanced degree, building a tree house, quilting a blanket or unwrapping the next big video game, the thought of reaching the top or the finish line can be daunting. We can feel so small and incapable compared to the challenge that awaits us but over time, and with patient practice, we see people accomplish things they never thought possible. And then, comes the next thing. We tend to revel in our victory for only brief moments before the hunger for more sets in and we want another, and hopefully, tougher challenge. In fact, often what seemed nearly impossible suddenly becomes mundane because we’ve “beaten the End Boss.” We’ve conquered the game, the mountain, the project or the marathon and have become the master rather than the student. What was once way beyond us has now become boring because we know we can do it again anytime we want. That is how humans deal with those things that seem beyond them, they conquer them and enjoy the struggle of the getting there.

God, however, is infinite. That is the simplest definition there is for the “infinitude of God.” God has no limits or boundaries or end. There is nothing about God that falls short of being completely everything that He is. If God is powerful, then He is Omnipotent; if He is wise then He is Omniscient; if He is anywhere then He is Omnipresent. If there is an attribute that applies to God, then God is all of it without limitations. Perhaps that is why Tozer starts here, so that we will not think that the attributes are just a part of God but will remember that He is these things without end. The outworking of this is that God is perfect. This is one of the reasons why we say that God is outside of creation because if He were a part of Creation then God wouldn’t be Infinite.

While it is easy to say that God is infinite, it is quite another thing to comprehend. Not that we won’t and don’t try but the reality is that we are incapable of comprehending what it is to be infinite. It requires our imagination to even think in infinite terms because in our time and space we understand things in relativity. Tozer gives the following example, “If God knew almost everything, (say 99% of everything that could be known) but not quite everything then God wouldn’t be perfect in knowledge. His understanding wouldn’t be infinite.” Now compared to the smartest person in the world God would know abundantly more than he would but that doesn’t mean that God is all knowing. The same could be said of God’s power or presence; if He isn’t infinite then He just has more of it than we do. This would disqualify God from being God because it would make Him a being that is just a bit, okay quite a bit, smarter and more powerful than we are. Would we worship an imperfect being like that? Would live in surrender to a being like that? And wouldn’t we always be wondering if there was something just a little more powerful our there yet to be discovered?

The infinitude of God is one of the many more reason why we worship God and are safe to rest in His arms. He is perfect in everything that He is and does. There is nothing out there yet undiscovered that will be a challenge to God. He is no beginning and will have no end. His Word reveals to us everything that He wants us to know, in this life, in order for us to have a relationship with Him but not everything there is to know about Him. It will take eternity to discover the infinite God.

One of the points that Tozer emphasizes when considering the infinitude of God is the journey this puts a believer on as we move toward God. Our journey toward the heart of God is an adventure because we are drawing closer to God who has no limits and therefore cannot be figured out. There isn’t a program or format to follow with repeatable steps that guarantee an outcome. We will never have mastery over Him no matter how much we know and come to understand of Him. What we will experience with Him in one season of our lives will be just what we are in need of and when the next season begins He will uniquely supply that as well. We will never arrive at a point in which the Christian life is so predictable and clichéd that we can go through the motions since, as Tozer states, Christianity is just a gateway into God and not just an insurance policy against hell. He continues, “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. There isn’t just one work of grace, or a second work or a third work, and then that’s it. There are numberless experiences and spiritual epochs and crises that can take place in your life while you are journeying out into the heart of God in Christ.”

Tozer concludes his discussion on infinitude with this challenge:

Are you contented with nominal Christianity? If you are, I’ve nothing for you. Are you contented with popular Christianity that runs on the authority and popularity of big shots? If you are, I’ve nothing for you. Are you content with elementary Christianity? If you are, all I’ve got for you is to exhort you earnestly to press on toward perfection. But if you’re not satisfied with nominal Christianity, popular Christianity and the first beginnings of things and you want to know the Triune God for yourself, read on.

And that is what we shall continue next time as we consider: God’s Immensity.

For Christ Alone.

A Journey Into the Heart of God

I once heard a pastor of a healthy and growing church say, “God hasn’t called me to be original, just effective.” Though the church was close to 3000 in regular weekly worship and ministry participation, he had none of the typical trademarks you might find of a pastor looking to expand his ministry. He had written no books, had no broadcast ministry, wasn’t featured in any publications and held no positions on boards of any kind beyond his own church. He participated in mission trips, was a part of a home group, led every new member orientation and baptized everyone joining his congregation. At every level, this pastor was present in some way in all the ministries of the church and was committed to the growth of his local body of believers.

In the spirit of what I observed from this man I would like to embark on an unoriginal journey with you through the attributes of God as outlined by A.W. Tozer in The Attributes of God. While the title is broad and implicitly grand, it is the subtitle that really caught my attention, “A Journey Into the Father’s Heart.” In an effort to avoid making this a lengthy and dry book report, my hope is simply to touch on a few of the ideas that Tozer discusses that will be effective in drawing us toward God on this journey of moving closer to His heart.

As a pastor himself, Tozer carried a deep burden for the Church and was concerned that she move beyond superficial religious routines and truly embrace the high calling of what it means to be “in Christ”. His approach was prophetic, calling the people of God to remember the Lord and His Majesty. Tozer was a teacher to all those seeking to know God and be found in Him. It was his own personal passion to know God in His fullness and he has been quoted to have said, “I want to love God more than anyone in my generation.” His desire to know and love God pours out of his preaching and writing and can be inspirational to us if we see Tozer as one of those who has gone before us and is helping to connect us to God along our own journey.

Before we get into this study let me share with you a few quotes from other books that should wet our appetite for what Tozer will bring forward in The Attributes of God:
It is vitally important that we think soundly about God. Since He is the foundation of all our religious beliefs, it follows that if we err in our ideas of God, we will go astray on everything else.

This World: Playground or Battleground?

When a church begins to think impurely and inadequately about God, decline sets in. We must think nobly and speak worthily of God. Our God is sovereign. We would do well to follow our old-fashioned forebears who knew what it was to kneel in breathless, wondering adoration in the presence of the God who is willing to claim us as His own through grace.

Jesus, Our Man in Glory

Worship, I say, rises or falls with our concepts of God… And if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is.

Worship: The Missing Jewel

I look forward to sharing with you next time as we consider: God’s Infinitude.

For Christ Alone.