Our world is filled with people who possess little or no sense of God’s transcendence (The Free Dictionary define transcendence as ‘surpassing others’; ‘preeminent’ or ‘supreme’). Much of creation does not know or care to know or doesn’t realize that – its Creator is unequaled, unraveled and supreme – above all. Transcendence when in reference to God means that He exists, not only in, but beyond our realm of reality. In other words, He’s not like us – far from it. None can compare.
God is exalted far above His created universe, so far that even the brightest human minds in the whole world combined cannot begin to comprehend it. One of the best books about God that I treasure the most (beside the Bible, of course) is J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. It’s a very helpful recourse for me; but mind you – even good as it is, faithful to the Word of God as it is or wonderfully describing God as it is – in my opinion, it only tell 0.000009% about God as He really is. God is supreme. God is glorious. God is beyond descriptions. What we know today, no matter how much we know at this side of the world is very little compare to His Magnificence-Self.
A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy explains;
“The caterpillar and the archangel, though far removed from each other in the scale of created things, are nevertheless one in that they are alike created. They both belong in the category of that-which-is-not-God and are separated from God by infinitude itself.”
When I read the Old Testament books, I observed that whenever God appeared to men, an overwhelming sense of terror and dread was the result. They see how small, mini, tinny, sinner, dirty they are in the presence of God Almighty. When God spoke to Abram, he fell on his face (Genesis 17:3). When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God (Exodus 3:2-6). Daniel in his vision saw an angel (note: Daniel only saw a lower-ranked angel), was left speechless and breathless, and all his strength was drained from him (Daniel 10). Now try to imagine if he saw Michael, the archangel or even the Lord Himself?!!! Dead man!
In contrast, many in our day are so blind by this ultimate reality. There is no awe in reverence toward the Lord. Little fear or no fear of God at all – people are unaware of God’s awesome superiority and supremacy that transcend this universe and everything in it. People loves to tell jokes about God, blasphemed the name of Jesus in our local and international medias etc. Jesus, they see as only a moral good teacher, a soft spoken prophet and that’s all – nothing more, but everything less than God in the human flesh.
I heard a Christian leader once said, ‘I imagine Jesus using jeans, with long blond hair, wearing black leather shoes and playing guitar.’ Funny! No reverence toward the Lord of the Universe! Even in the minds of most people who believe there is a God, have less understanding of the greatness of God. ‘Lord’, yes they say, ‘but not to be taken too seriously.’
Question: Why does our society (I have Malaysian Christians in mind) have such a limited and shallow view of God? The answer is simple, but very bitter to swallow: - the church has not proclaimed it! (that include us, who active in the church) At the risk of being attack physically and emotionally (God forbid), I have to say that the church’s concept of God, in general, is too small (Yes, individuals are also very much responsible, no doubt about it). Wake up! Proclaimed the Biggest of God!
In conclusion, when we start to consider the greatness of God, our worship will be ignited with passion and holy reverence; no more with slumberness of the soul. When we begin to comprehend the excellency of God’s perfect holiness; no more we hold on to the doctrine of self-worth, self-esteem and self-glorification (as if human being is the center of the universe - God is.). You’ll puke when you hear anyone teach you about the gospel of prosperity etc. because when you see the Awesomeness of God in His living Word, you’ll desire no more but God. He is the Treasure.
Isaiah was probably the most righteous man in all Israel in his day. He was a good man there was. Now notice his response after seeing a vision of the Lord sitting on His throne (Isaiah 6:1-5NIV):
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “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.”
Until we realize how sinful and ugly we are in the presence of the Lord, we will never treasure God wholeheartedly. Only those who are bankrupt in their souls will desperately thirst for Him. I thank God for Jesus, His Son, our only hope, who died for our sin. The Scriptures says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Glory be to God. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.