A life of worship is marked by the ever-growing realization, appreciation and love of God’s greatness.
This week I’ll present part 1 of a 2 part series on God’s greatness.
After you read this, please take a few minutes and view the video of a song I wrote and recorded entitled “The Nature of You”.
Have you ever seen one of these scales? The kind with two opposing sides that need to come into perfect harmony in order to maintain a precise balance? There is a similar balance needed as we approach God in worship. When we discover this balance we can be released from the bonds of human understanding and can soar with God in worship. Let’s look at the scale from the perspective of each side, beginning with this:
“Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
It’s very tempting to try to put God in a mental “box” of our own creation. We humans are wired to see, feel, touch, taste, and wrap our minds around a picture of something or someone so that we can better relate to it―or maybe even have a measure of control over it. We’re also inclined to wrestle with and sort things out. So naturally we want to try to “figure out” the important questions of our life. “Who is God?” “What does he look like?” “What is His ultimate agenda?”
The biggest, fundamental question is both simple and unsettling: “How do I define God, who is beyond definition?” God’s answer to Moses when He was asked to define Himself by name was both simple and incomprehensible: “I AM who I AM.”
I AM who I AM. What does this mean? I don’t think anyone other than Jesus Christ can fully answer this question. As finite human beings we must face the fact that we will never be able to fully comprehend the depth of an infinite God. I believe we will spend eternity in amazed wonder as God continues to reveal more and more of Himself to us. The implications of this acceptance means we need to let go of our efforts to put God in our box, and instead enter into the uncertainty that He is so far above us that our attempts to define Him fall flat.
The truth is God is above both time and space. He is eternal. Reflect on that: God is sovereign over everything, including time and space, so He is not affected by or subject to either. He is beyond the beginning, exists beyond the ending, and is limitless everywhere in between. To God everything is within His scope and every time is now. There is no matter (or anti-matter!) that controls Him. Space and time dimensions are subject to Him. Light years and distances are irrelevant to Him simply because He is. It is hard for us to comprehend this because we live in linear time with a beginning and ending in a well-defined space.
But consider the universe for a moment. Scientists speculate that it is at least 156 billion light-years wide. That means it would take billions of years traveling at the speed of light to travel the width (not the length) of the universe. At this point in history humans haven’t been able to travel at the speed of light, and even if we could, it would still take more time than the human race has been on this planet to travel across the universe. And yet God is bigger than this. He exists above and beyond the cosmos that He created by speaking it into being.
We also see the power of the universe, with stars consuming planets and other suns, volcanoes erupting and spewing out fire and molten material that consumes anything in its path and makes new land. God is also about the work of restoring a broken cosmos, and this means someday He will use His holy fire to consume the broken old and bring His perfect new Kingdom.
C.S. Lewis once stated, “We see a glimpse of the creative work of God in the universe that is both beautiful in its vastness and terrifying in its power.”
The stark reality is that He alone is God, and we are beautiful-yet-flawed specks of created, animated dust that He has created. Now reflect on the Scripture passage that we began with: “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28). If this doesn’t evoke a twinge of awe and fear of God and His power, read this section again and ask God to help you experience the gravity of who He is. When we embrace this, we will worship God as the Old Testament prophet Isaiah did when he said, “Woe to me I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” God’s inestimable power leads us to see who we really are in the light of who God really is!
In his story, the prophet Isaiah described feeling the immense weight of God’s infinite power and majesty. It was a weight that almost crushed him until he experienced the other side of the scale of worshipping God: God’s love.
More on that next week.
(Editor’s note: You can support this ministry by purchasing “The Nature of You” and more of Chris’ music online at i-tunes, amazon, and other fine online retailers.)