“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:12-15
Over the next few weeks, my kids and I will be going through the 2-volume set by AW Tozer titled The Attributes of God as we dive into this subject as our main focus for school. In order to get through the books in that amount of time though, I will only be reading them excerpts from each chapter. To condense the material in that manner though means I must read the chapters ahead of time, and to you it means that I have the ability to share from those readings on the week day mornings I add these books to my devotional material. If you have never read Tozer's writings before, you are in for a treat. He is by far my favorite author, a man who was filled with great humility but also incredible godly wisdom that wrote in a manner that transferred, as best as words could, knowledge and understanding of a most holy God to his most ordinary people.
Today, the first chapter in volume 1 starts out talking about God's infinitude. Here is the quote that I felt compelled to share this morning with all of you:
“The moon and earth turn in such a way that we only see one side of the moon and never see the other. The eternal God is so vast, so infinite, that I can't hope to know all about God and all there is about God. But God has a manward side, just as the moon has an earthward side. Just as the moon always keep that smiling yellow face turned earthward, so God has a side He always keeps turned manward, and that side is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God's manward face. Earth's Godward side, Jesus, is the way God sees us. He always looks down and sees us in Jesus Christ.” AW Tozer
In light of this quote from Tozer, it is easier to understand the scripture verse above that I shared from 1 John 4. For God to abide in us, that is shine down on us, we need the clouds of sin and death removed and the only one who can remove those clouds to give us the ability to directly bask in the light of the Lord is Jesus by the work He did to atone for all the sin which hangs over us and blocks God from our view and us from His. We can only see God through Jesus, and only the side that He makes manifest to us through Jesus is who we know as Jesus. This in essence means we will never come to comprehend all that God is. And the fact of the matter is, we do not have the ability to take all of who God is and what He is about into our limited minds and always wandering hearts. But, we do have the ability to always bask in the light of the Lord and take in as much as our hearts and minds can handle because Jesus shows us when we look to Him and enjoy the fellowship He offers us – those cloudless places of peace and joy - that is where we will know God and He will be made manifest.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 john 1:1-4
But in thinking more on this subject and reading the other scripture I devote to my morning readings, I was struck by the fact that when ordinary people are allowed to see even a glimpse of the edges of the non-manward side of God, this images can be terrifying. God allowed Daniel to see a glimpse of the edge that man does not see, and what Daniel saw troubled him to the end of his life.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts...'I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.'...,This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart.'” Daniel 7:1, 15, 28
I have to think that there are many things God doesn't show us about Himself, not that He is hiding anything bad, because we know He cannot be evil, but He hides these things because within our limited abilities we are unable to understand their greater context. The trap in the pursuit of godly knowledge with thoughts that we can find out everything there is to know about God, is to create a humanly contrived image of God from our own personal perspective. In that sort of trap we become deceived in thinking we can figure God out and know who He is from every angle. The reality is though, Jesus is the only angle we have on God and we need to be content to look at Him from the angle He gives us and learn from Him through the mediator He gives us, the Holy Spirit.
Today, your main purpose is to seek the cloudless area where Jesus sits above you and find your peace and contentment in knowing what you find there is what God has to share with you today about Himself. It is when you allow the light of the Lord to shine upon you and teach you all He has for you today, whether it be simple or profound, you will attract others to the light too and be a voice that is calling out into the clouded areas, “Here is where your joy may be full”. Just remember, it is not the volume of knowledge the Lord has to share with you while you are in His presence that gives you a greater peace. Instead, peace can be found in His presence because the cloudless place is a resting place that allows you to stop and just enjoy what God has for you today.