Tag Archive for transcendence

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

God Far and Near

Infinite God,
You come to me from
far beyond and
high above my knowing.

You display Yourself,
You flaunt Yourself,
You parade Yourself
through this physical world all around me.
You help me
glimpse You and
experience You and
begin to know You
through the senses You have given.

Infinite God,
personal God,
You come to me
in Jesus Christ,
in skin and fragile flesh and bone.
You make Yourself just like me and
even call Yourself my Father.
You come to invite me,
to draw me,
to bless me back to Yourself.

Transcendent God,
present God,
personal God,
God so high above yet inseparably close to me,
I turn to You now in simple response,
in desire,
in hope,
in surrender.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: My Loving Father
Printed Music & Lyrics

We Need to See You

Father, we are flooded with so many needs,
but our real need is
We need to know You for all You are,
the One true God,
high and lifted up,
the Holy One,
our Source and Goal,
the All-in-all,
our Eternal Father.
We need to see You for all You are.
We need to trust You always for all You are.

Lift our eyes, Father.
Help us to see You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: High and Holy Sovereign God
Printed Music & Lyrics

Earth Crawlers

We were staying in Mackinaw City, on the shore of Lake Huron. Looking out over the waters, to the left was a beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge.

From that distance, the vehicles seemed to be just creeping across the bridge. It reminded me of Genesis 1:24 where it talks about the “creeping things” God created on earth. From a higher perspective, our human race is among those creatures creeping across the surface of this tiny planet. How small and lowly we are! Only the image of our Creator makes us special. And how little we value that image, so arrogantly discarded long ago.

We crawl across the surface of this speck of dust, small, earthbound, in the grip of space and time. We are so small in mind that we mock the possibility of any reality beyond our own.

It reminds me how foolish we are to live for the glory that comes from our fellow earth crawlers. We were created for so much more! Father, raise my eyes. Lift my heart to crave the glory that comes only from You, the Eternal God of all truth, beauty, light, and life. You call me to be Your own child, holy in You, complete in You, forever one with You. Lord, help me to long for nothing else!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Transcendent God
Printed Music & Lyrics

Questioning God

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Isaiah 45:7, 9-12

How often have you heard God accused of injustice, cruelty, or indifference? How often has He been blamed for the actions of us sinful people?

How often have our shallow, selfish expectations caused us to complain about His treatment of us or mistrust His love? How often have we acted as if He were unreal, or at least unresponsive to our needs? Secretly we have sometimes doubted whether there was anyone there listening at all.

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’…
Woe to him who says to his father,
‘What have you begotten?’…
Do you question me about my children,
or give me orders about the work of my hands?” (Isaiah 45:9, 11, NIV)

How vital it is that we get a renewed vision of the transcendence of God. We get so saturated with our small, self-centered thinking that we forget how tiny and brief and inherently, inescapably ignorant we are.

All being, all existence flows from Him. This unimaginably vast universe, this reality, seen and unseen, is but the smallest expression of all He is. All that is, is His. All that is, is from Him, through Him, and to Him. He is the Source and Goal of life, of history…of creation itself.

Our ignorance is understandable. Our misunderstanding is understandable. Our flawed thinking is excusable. We need not repent of our weakness and smallness. They are part of who we are.

But we should repent of our mistrust of Him. Yes, it is difficult for us sight-oriented creatures to put complete faith in an unseen God. But He repeatedly, faithfully gives us every reason to trust Him. He patiently teaches us and reminds us, even as we fail to grasp the wonderful things He is doing right before our eyes.

Make it your goal and deep desire to trust and reverence and love your Father more simply, constantly, and completely, day by day.

As I Begin to Pray

as I walk through this false and foolish world,
reshape my false and foolish thoughts
by Your reality,
by the beautiful truth of all You are.

Help me see You and know You in Your transcendence.
Purify my desires by the holy breath of Your Spirit.
Keep me joyful in the unending flow of Your pure goodness.
Give me peace in the assurance of Your never-failing love.
Flood my being with the light of Your unspeakable greatness.

Give me a heart and mind that
are conscious of Your presence and
are fully responsive to You, my Father.

Make me like Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God My Father
Printed Music & Lyrics

Eternal God

Eternal God, You overflow all the vast universe and
all human thought and imagination.
Though You are consistent,
You consistently stretch every comfortable understanding of You.

But what you require of us is amazingly, stunningly simple:
Trust Me.

As we trust You, we live in the comforting truth of
Your greatness and
our smallness.

As we trust You, we fear You
and fear nothing else.
As we trust You, all the world is a lush forest,
dense with Your life and mysterious beauty.

As we trust You, our horizons are as vast as You are.
We share Your character,
Your power,
Your goodness, and
Your unlimited future.

As we trust You, we are unmoved by threats and
unconcerned about unknowns.
Fruitless worry disappears into peace when we see only You.

Sovereign God, You dwell in eternity,
unmoved by time.
Your promises,
Your purposes,
Your burning love
are always now, always sure, always undiminished.
You speak, and it is so.
Why do we hesitate to trust You?
Why are we ever afraid?

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Our God Is a God of Might
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Immensity of God

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalm 8:1, 3-4, NIV)

Have you ever had the experience that the psalmist describes above? Have you been out under the clear night sky and looked up at the stars and the vastness of the heavens? Have you marveled that the Creator of all this has any interest in you? Here are some facts that may stimulate your imagination.

Light travels so fast that a beam of light can circle the earth more than 7 times in a second. The moon is a quarter of a million miles away, and its light reaches the earth in less than a second and a half. The sun is approximately 93 million miles away, and its light arrives in approximately 8 minutes.

Our own galaxy or group of stars is called the Milky Way. How long do you think it would take light to travel just across our own galaxy? 100,000 years! Light travels around the earth 7 times in a second and 93 million miles from the sun in only 8 minutes. But our galaxy is so vast that even light takes 100,000 years to cross it.

Galaxies are vast beyond our imagination. But ours is only one galaxy. How many galaxies do you think there are in the universe? Estimates vary, but in 1999, data from the Hubble space telescope led scientists to estimate that there are 125 billion galaxies in the universe. Some estimates run much higher. Try to imagine that: 93 million miles in 8 minutes; 100,000 years to cross our galaxy; 125 billion galaxies.

We are so very small. Reality dwarfs us. It dwarfs the human race. It dwarfs the entire earth.

But here’s something else to consider: this vast universe is only the smallest taste of the Living God. He overflows the physical universe. Job 26 talks about God’s mighty works in creation, then in v.14 says that in all these we see only the fringes of His robe. We hear only a faint whisper of Him.

What’s more, the gap between God and us is far greater than the size of the universe. The real gap between God and us is in the essence of who we are.

  • He is all-powerful and all-wise, unbounded by matter and time. We are weak and blind, living momentary lives, consumed with the here and now.
  • He is holy and pure. Without Him, we are corrupt and sinful.
  • He is unlimited love. We are proud, small-minded, and selfish, wrapped up in our own comfort and narrow interests.

But now for the most amazing truth: God’s love has bridged this gap between us. This immense chasm of time, space, and character has been closed by God’s all-encompassing love. All the immensity of God, all the eternity of God, all His glory and power and holiness have been embodied in a human being: Jesus Christ. We are united with this immense God in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10).

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Fullness of God’s Glory
Printed Music & Lyrics

Control Completely, God

My heart is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.
(Psalm 131, NIV)

Lord God,
in the presence of Your wisdom
I quiet myself.

In the face of your greatness
I humble myself.

Touched by Your love,
I rest my mind and fearful heart.

Control completely, Almighty God.