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September 20, 1990

Powerful and Intimate

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“Because he loves me, “says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” PSALM 91:14
If God were merely omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, He still would be awe-inspiring. He is bigger than the universe; it resides in the palm of His hand. He is more powerful than the strongest storm, the erupting volcano, or the trembling earthquake. He is everywhere all at once, and He is right beside us now. He knows our past, present, and future; and He sees all our hopes and fears and desires.
But He is even more magnificent than this. Every time we discover something new about the universe, whether in the realm of science, medicine, or psychology, the gap between Him and us grows.
On the other hand, if God were merely intimate, He still would be comforting. He has the hairs of our heads numbered. His love alone is beyond compare. What Jesus accomplished on earth apart from His death and resurrection is remarkable. He walked among the lowly and the sinner. He fought for the oppressed and those without a voice. His life alone is worthy of emulation.
The amazing and wonderful thing is that God is both all-powerful and personally interested in us. When we couple these two realities together, it is beyond our ability to understand. All we can do is develop metaphors that don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what it all means. His love for us, His intimate knowledge of us, and His care and concern for us, together with His majesty and power and strength and might—it’s incomprehensible.
Our response to God is a balancing act. We cannot be too familiar and forget that He is wholly other than us, but we cannot be too afraid to approach His throne of grace. We will never get this quite right, but the good news is that our Father so desires relationship with us that He will forgive our shortcomings—even our shortcomings in relating to Him.

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