Transcendence Is Way Out There

abstract-492535_1920 - pixabyGod is God.  He created everything.  God created history.  But He is not in history, He is above it and outside it.  He created the Universe.  But the Universe does not hold Him.  He is above it and able to observe it all.

We’re in our seventh day of considering the Navigator’s tool “30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God.”  I hope you are being as challenged as I am about how small and limited my prayers have become because I have failed to think through the attributes of the one to whom I pray.

quoting from the Navigator tool:

God is transcendent

We must not think of God as simply the highest in an order of beings. This would be to grant Him eminence But He is more than eminent. He is transcendent—existing beyond and above the created universe.

The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.  Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high?       Psalm 113:4,5  

How do you describe transcendence to beings of limited perspective like us?  He is so far beyond our comprehension that we, by definition, can’t understand Him.  If we look at synonyms for “transcendent” we get a list like this:  inspiring, inspirational, uplifting, awe-inspiring, moving, and magnificent.  But, even that list falls short of communicating what is beyond us to understand. So what’s the answer?

If you were a transcendent God who wanted to have a relationship with us lowly, limited in understanding, humans, what could you do?

God, the Father, sent His Son to come and be born as a human being so that, as a human being (who was also absolutely God), He could communicate to mankind on our own level.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?         John 14:7–9  

So, as we approach an unapproachable, incomprehensible, transcendent God, we think of Jesus Christ who, while God Himself, was still totally touchable and understandable.

I think this is what it means to pray to the Lord, God in the name of Jesus.

The other wonderful news for the reality of our prayers is that Jesus sent us a special interpreter to act as a translator between us and a transcendent God… The Holy Spirit.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.       Romans 8:26–27  

When you pray, don’t worry about using the right words;  don’t worry about understanding the God to whom you pray; don’t even worry that your prayers are cogent.  God will understand.  The Holy Spirit will intercede.  Jesus will help.  Your prayers can’t go wrong.

The God who is above and beyond it all is listening and will hear your prayer.

I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.       Psalm 116:1–2  

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.       1 John 5:14–15   

Think about it.

Leave a Comment