A decade ago, I went to Eastern Europe on a short-term missions trip. On our first Sunday, we went to a church service in what had been a movie theater and conference complex in Budapest. The place of worship was the theater, and the service was in Hungarian with English translation. I can remember sitting there before the worship service started, convinced beyond any doubt that I could sense God’s presence, even in this rather shabby, badly constructed theater.
In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer goes a step further. This “dwelling within us” is all true, and all critically important. But there’s more.
“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works,” says Tozer.
No, this isn’t pantheism, Tozer notes. Pantheism describes God as the sum of all created things. What Tozer is describing is God’s immanence – God is here. “There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not.” He transcends creation, but He is here in and among His creation.
The mind boggles. It’s not the only characteristic of God that boggles the mind. But it boggles.
I say I believe that, but if I truly did believe that, would I live my life any differently? It’s one thing to have Jesus in my heart – but to moving through a creation where God is?
This takes me in an unexpected direction. I understand why Ann Voskamp calls her blog blog about her life and faith “A Holy Experience.” It is because that’s what our lives here on earth actually is – a holy experience. And it’s holy because God is here.
Would we live our lives differently if we really believed that? How? What would change?
I’m still pondering.
Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. To see more posts on this chapter, please visit Sarah’s blog, Living Between the Lines. Next week we’ll conclude the discussion of this chapter, “The Universal Presence.”