God is…Different, not Distant
Last week we reflected on the holiness of God. He is holy in the sense that he is morally perfect and pure. He is also holy in the sense that he is utterly distinct and different from everything else. Only God is eternal, immutable, self-sufficient, self-existent and sovereign over all.
When Isaiah (and later the apostle John) are given a glimpse into heaven, the word on the lips of the heavenly host is ‘holy’. The true and living God is ‘holy, holy, holy’ (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8).
We considered Isaiah’s response to his vision of this glorious God; ‘Woe to me I cried for I am a man of unclean lips..’
And yet it is important to remind ourselves that though God is different, he is not distant. ‘Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence?’ asks David. Nowhere!
Paul said to the Athenians ‘he is not far from any of us’ (Acts 17:27). He is everywhere in the sense that he is omniscient, but he is also said to dwell in a special way with those who are humble in heart:
For this is what the high and exalted One says—Isaiah 57:15
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Have you humbled yourself to admit that you need a Saviour? That you are not good enough for the God who is holy? Then take heart! Jesus Christ has come to save sinners like you and me.
But this is of course a question Scripture poses not just to the unbeliever, but also to the believer. Are we continually humbling ourselves before God, that we might know more of his presence in our lives and his power in our weakness?
He is not far from any of us! If you are a child of God remember whatever you are going through that he is with you and for you. Even in the darkest valleys you have no need to fear ‘for he is with you’ (Psalm 23:4).. The transcendent God dwells in the midst of his people. He is different, but never distant from those he loves.
Yours in Christ Jesus,