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

1 reply
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    A question was asked. “If all things are truly beneath God, that God the is supreme and over all things, why do we continue to add things to our lives in search of contentment, security, and safety?” I have experienced God, and I believe I have placed most things their proper perspective; however, I also know that God is sovereign. He chooses when and where he will act. We see terrible things happen to those who know Christ and those who do not. What we do experience daily is the world. We sometimes seek those things here because they are tangible. We can get a hug from a loved one or a friend. It helps me feel secure knowing someone near me loves and cares for me. We can keep a roof over our heads if we don’t lose our job and we’re financially savvy enough to keep the payments made. Most would say they feel safe in their own home. Here are a minute amount and of reasons why. There are many more.

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