Summary: God is not limited by space, knowledge, and power. What this means and how it applies to our lives for people investigating the Christian faith.
The God Christians worship is the God who has no limits. That’s hard for us to even imagine, because most of our frustrations in life are a direct result of limitations.
We’re limited by space because we can only be in one place at one time. A recent television commercial for a new minivan shows a guy driving between his son’s swim meet and his daughter’s soccer tournament, and of course the minivan helps him get there at just the right times. I have news for you: they don’t make a minivan fast enough to enable you to be in more than one place at one time.
We’re also limited in our knowledge. The old adage is true, "The more you learn, the more you know how much you don’t know". Living in an information based society like we do, we realize that we’ll never know even a fraction of what we could know. We encounter more information in one issue of The New York Times than a person in 18th century England encountered in his or her entire life. We’re constantly facing circumstances where we don’t know what to do, trying to answer questions we don’t know the answers to.
We also face limitations in our resources. As much as we like to pretend that we’re invincible, all of us have a breaking point; all of us reach the point of being physically exhausted, mentally spent, spiritually empty, and financially busted. We’re overwhelmed with the needs around us, whether it’s the transient at the gas station or a co-worker who can’t meet his rent, yet we look at our own resource and realize how limited they are.
Because we’re so accustomed to these kinds of limitations it’s hard for us to conceive of a God who isn’t bothered by limitations. We’ve been in a series on God’s attributes called SIMPLY GOD. Two weeks ago we looked at God as three-in-one. Today we’re going to look at God as the God who has no limits. We’re going to focus in on the fact that the Bible teaches that God is not limited by space, knowledge and power, and what this means to our everyday lives.
1. God Not Limited By Space (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
We’re going to see in Jeremiah that God is not limited by space. Jeremiah chapter 23 deals with God’s condemnation of false prophets who claim to speak in God’s name but who speak lies.
Jeremiah 23:21 says, "I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied." These false prophets were giving the nation of Israel false hope, because they were speaking lies in God’s name, comforting lies, but lies nonetheless. Apparently these false prophets thought that God didn’t see what they were doing.Here God reveals that he’s a God who’s everywhere.
Jeremiah 23:23-24—"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD (NIV).
Back in the ancient world gods were thought to be localized to their own domain, usually indicated by a temple or a shrine. It was commonly thought if you went beyond a particular god’s territory you were no longer under that god’s protection. But here we find that God describes himself as being both near and far. These false prophets have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. God fills heaven and earth, which means there’s no place in the universe that God is not present in.
God has no spatial limits because God is not composed of physical matter. God doesn’t have spatial properties like size, weight, and height because God is Spirit, not physical matter. Because of God’s nature, He’s personally present in every place.
As Christians we sometimes forget that God is already present. We tend to think of God’s presence is being like a NASA spy satellite. The satellite is roaming around the atmosphere, present one day, gone the next. You never know when it’s here and when it’s not.
Sometimes our worship songs reflect a misunderstanding of God’s presence. When we ask God to "come" and "fill this place" we’re not asking God to be more present now then he was yesterday or last week. God is as present here today as he ever has been and ever will be. When we sing these words we’re not asking God to be present, we’re asking God to make his presence known, to draw us into an awareness of his presence, to help us experience his presence as we worship.
That brings us to the implication of God having no spatial limits. SINCE GOD HAS NO SPATIAL LIMITS, WE CAN BE CONFIDENT OF HIS PRESENCE.