Beyond Creation But With Us
Friday - April 29th
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 113:1-9
Transcendence - existing above and beyond creation
Immanence - intimately involved in creation
The Names and Attributes of God
The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
Today we tackle two attributes of God: Transcendence and Immanence. Throughout our look at the names and attributes of God in our daily Take5 devotionals, we have explored one a day. Why tackle two now? Because either of these two attributes we unpack today understood alone would suggest that the other cannot exist.
Most theologians teach transcendence and immanence at the same time and in the same breath. Often when a follower of Christ discovers one to the other's detriment, they fail to see any good thing from the counter attribute. Our finite minds always attempt to limit God to our own understanding.
Transcendence speaks of God being above and beyond the created universe. Nothing in all of creation can confine Him or limit Him. Time, space, dimension, etc. have no power over God. Immanence communicates that God personally engages and involves Himself in His creation - especially human beings who He made in His own image. God is above and beyond the universe, but He participates in personal and caring relationships with human beings.
As we begin to embrace and get our hearts and minds wrapped around the concept of God's transcendence and immanence, our reliance on Him deepens significantly. If God is above and beyond all of the turbulence in this universe, I might conclude, on the one hand, that He doesn't get what I am going through in my life. On the other hand, if He is intimately involved in His creation, I might blame Him for not protecting me from life's extreme ups and horrifying downs.
From the outset of creation, God was above and beyond what He made and intimately involved with His creation as He walked with Adam and Eve daily. As the first man and woman disobeyed, the bond between God and humanity shattered. Now God would appear to be more distant and less immanent. He would be unknowable.
At this point, we must stop to consider the redemptive mission of the Son of God leaving heaven's glory and walking among us. Jesus Christ, God's Son in human flesh, exemplifies our Creator's nature to transcend all in His vastness as God and yet to walk with us in empathy. God knew we could not transcend creation, our life circumstances, and our sin. But, He loved us. He cared about us. God's immanence with us caused Him to reach down in love to rescue us, knowing we could not save ourselves.
Christ became the bridge. He embodied both the transcendence of God and the immanence of God. As a man, He was sinless and holy. As God, He was encased in human flesh and came to understand the struggles we face in life daily.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us that Christ is our High Priest. He stands between God and us. He is, as Paul said, the one mediator between God and man. That truth should bring both comfort and hope to our souls.
God exists above and beyond my earthly trials and troubles. No other source I can turn to will be completely unlimited and entirely unrestricted to help me. Praise the Lord! He transcends it all.
God intimately understands and knows the weight of my earthly trials and troubles. He gets it. God knows what it means to be marginalized, to be overlooked and undervalued. He knows what it means to feel pain and to hurt for others in their pain. Praise the Lord! He knows and loves us!
Never let Satan convince you that God is so far above and beyond that He does not care about you or know what you are experiencing. Never let Satan convince you that God is too close to you - that He is powerless to deal with the trials and troubles you face. Embrace both the transcendence and the immanence of your God!
No matter what you face today, your God is above it all. He loves you and will walk with you through it all today!