I was reminded of two big theological words often used to describe God this morning during my Bible reading … “Transcendent” and “Immanent”!
Transcendent means that God is very big and great – beyond anything we can imagine… Webster defines the word as “exceeding the usual limits: surpassing. Extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience, beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge, beyond comprehension, transcending the universe or material existence.” My response? WOW!!!
Immanent, however, means that God is very near – very close – very approachable… Again Webster defines it like this: “Being within the limits of possible experience or knowledge (even indwelling!).” My response? I’m so glad I have a God like that! WOW!!! I mean, WOW!!!
That’s right! According to the Bible GOD IS BOTH OF THESE AT THE SAME TIME! You doubt it’s possible? Well here’s what Isaiah 57:15 declares…
“Thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is ‘Holy’: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place (i.e. I’m ‘transcendent’), AND ALSO with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit (i.e. I’m immanent), to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Believe me, we need a God who is BOTH! (And He is both!!) Bigger and more powerful than ANYTHING you could imagine … Bigger and greater than the universe He created… “transcendent!” Yet He is “immanent” – close – near to help those who are in need! One word… WOW!!!