There are times when you ponder the mystery of God and your mind gets to a point where you can’t put all of the truths together in the same place at the same time. Your eyes go crossed, smoke comes out of your ears and your brain short circuits. In moments like this you understand why God wouldn’t let Moses see His face. The glory of God would have fried Moses’s wiring. Not only is God beyond our understanding, we simply aren’t equipped to stay at these lofty heights for too long. The air is too thin and our brains crave to think about something they can understand, like why does toast always fall jelly side down?
One of those mental stumpers for me is the realization that God exists outside of time and space. Think about it. . God isn’t hindered by the time/space continuum. He doesn’t wear a watch. He doesn’t carry a calendar. He moves freely between past, present and future.
For God, it is always now.
God is in our present, still in our past, and waiting for us in our future. OK, we all get that God is omni-present. Now, have you ever sat down and thought about what it means? What are the implications of this divine reality? What are the applications?
First, this means God is with us in our present. Most of us, however, never live out the beauty of this truth. We assume this doctrine means God is available when we need him. If we get in trouble, we can call out and He’ll hear us. If we need wisdom, we can check in with Him to gain insight for living.
We check in with God once a week or so, and then, we live our Monday through Saturday trying to apply what we learned during our worship service. Let’s face it, it’s mostly hit and miss.
But this promise invites us to live our lives in the presence of our Risen Savior. When we study the Bible, we don’t read the Bible alone. Our Rabbi lives and He has promised to teach us just as He taught John and Peter. Imagine, meditating on the Sermon on the Mount while you are in conversation with Christ Himself.
When we pray, we don’t pray by ourselves. Christ promised us the Spirit who would pray with us and sometimes, pray for us. There are times when life ambushes us, when we’re overwhelmed by the circumstances of life and we don’t know what to pray. Our prayers in these moments are nothing more than cries and sobs, but we’ve been promised in these times, the Spirit will search the deep places of our hearts just as He searches the deep places of God and will pray for us. Imagine, the weight of prayers we can’t find words to pray being carried to God by the Spirit Himself.
We live every moment, every day in the presence of the power that created all that was created and in the presence of the One in whom all things hold together. We can indeed, “do all things through Christ who gives us strength.”
God is with us. It matters.
And God is still in our past. All of us have that moment in our past when someone did something to hurt us and we thought our life was ruined from that moment on. Perhaps we did something to hurt someone or hurt ourselves. After all of these years, this wound is still raw and too sensitive to touch.
Christ is still at that moment in our past. He’s still there where that moment happened. He can heal that moment so it no longer bleeds into our present. That moment, when you thought your life was destroyed, will now become the first line in your testimony. You will go from “my life is over” to “this where I was when God changed everything.” I’ve seen this happen too many times to count.
God hovers in our history.
And God waits for us in our future. We believe our future is already finished. Get that? God isn’t working on our future. It’s done. This is the reason we’re confident things will be as Christ says they will be in the future.. The future is waiting on us. We live with confidence in this great hope -- the saving work is finished in Christ. The future awaits our arrival.
This is the hope we live in. Our God is already in our future waiting for us there.
When we study theology, we often spend all of our time trying to correctly line up the truths about God without thinking about what these great truths actually mean to our lives. We think because we can restate the great doctrines, we have a solid theology.
Our problem is with the word “belief.” For most of us, the word “belief” is synonymous with “wish’ or “hope.” We say things like, “I believe it’s going to rain today,” or “I believe the Braves will win the World Series this year.” We say what we’re thinking, hoping, wishing or dreaming about...and lump it all under the word “belief.”
Belief is a much stronger word. The word means “to put your weight down.” If we believe something, it affects our living. If we believe it’s going to rain, we carry an umbrella. If we believe Jesus is the Messiah, we live in obedience to His teachings.
In short, if we don’t live it, we don’t believe it.
Our study of Scripture, our study of theology is done to discover those great truths that withstand the test of time. We then construct our lives on these truths so that our lives can endure and, yes, thrive, in these times of testing.
God is in our past. We can live in the freedom of forgiveness.
God is with us now. We can live in His strength and wisdom.
God is waiting on us in our future. We can live in hope and joy.