One of God’s attributes is the attribute of Immanence. This is closely related to His attribute of Omnipresence. God is immanent. This means you do not have to go great distances to find God. He is in everything, He is right here, right now with us. God is omnipresent, which means God is everywhere. God is also immanent, which means God penetrates everything. God is omnipresent and immanent, penetrating everything even as He also contains all things. A good definition of this attribute was given by A.W. Tozer, he described it this way:
“God is above all things, beneath all things, outside of all things and inside of all things. God is above, but He’s not pushed up. He’s beneath, but He’s not pressed down. He’s outside, but He’s not excluded. He’s inside, but He’s not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside all things embracing and inside of all things filling. That is the immanence of God.”
God does not have to travel to get anywhere. We may say a prayer something like this, “God, please come and help us,” or perhaps, “please be here with us,” we mean this of course in a spiritual way or a psychological way, but in reality God does not have to “come” anywhere to help us, because there simply is not anywhere or any place that God is not.
Why aren’t all Christians the happiest, the most at ease, the most content people in the world? The main answer is we seek to have or seek to make our own rest, our own happiness, and our own contentment. We seek this from that which is so small, so trivial, so temporal, when we are designed to seek our happiness in that which is eternally immanent.
What is it that makes you happy? What is it that lifts your spirits? Is it your job? Is it your house? Is it your car? Is it a vacation? Is it getting favorable reactions to a social media post? Is it your marriage? Is it your location? Is it your friends? Just what is it exactly that brings you joy?
Perhaps we are not happy people because we have our minds set on things, we are looking around us, we are looking in the mirror, we are comparing ourselves to others, many of us are not happy like we should be or as happy as we could be, because we have our minds set on small things. We beautify things, we obtain more things, we put our confidence in things and God, we put our confidence in our job and God, we put our confidence in friends and God, we put our confidence in our home and God, we put our confidence in our ambition for the future and God; so we are putting God as a plus one to all things in our life, when He should be The One in our life.
We are putting our confidence in so many different things and not just in God. We focus so much of our life and so much of our effort and so much of our attention on the small things, and so little of it on the Immanent One. We multiply, we increase and we are still anxious, we still fret, we still stress, and we remain ever unsatisfied. Why? – Because all that is beneath God will not satisfy, will not bring true and lasting happiness. We are made in the image of God, He imprinted a need for Him in our hearts, we cannot get around that. God did not make the horse in His image, He did not make the butterfly in His image, He made man in His image.
God only made man in His image, no other creature on earth was made in His image but man, so nothing short of God will truly satisfy you. You will find over the years, that you are not content with “all things plus God,” to get true contentment, true happiness, true joy you will have to rework that formula to be stated this way “God minus all things.”
It is not wrong to have things, and have nice things, but as soon we set our hopes on those things instead of God or make God a plus one to those things we lose something out of our heart. We lose the proper place of God in our heart, He is the Immanent God, we are designed with the need to give Him the utter preeminence in our life and heart. If we depend on things and God, people and God, location and God, situation and God, job and God, family and God, possessions and God, for our happiness, we have lost our way and are destined to be frustrated and irritated with life. It must always and only be God and nothing else that we depend on for our happiness.
Whatever else God sees to bless us with, hold that at arm’s length while also holding it dear for Jesus sake. We can love things for His sake, but things are not necessary for our happiness. If there is anything necessary for your eternal happiness and joy but God, you are not yet the kind of Christian you need and ought to be. For only God is the true rest, only in God is true happiness, only in God is true joy. That is how we are designed, with a God shaped hole in our heart, we need Him to have the immanence in our life, not things and Him, but just Him.
Why are we not happy? – We are not allowing God to have the penetrating presence in our life like we need, and like He desires to have. We need the immanence of God practically manifested in our day to day life, we need it practically manifested in our priorities, we need it practically manifested in our dreams and plans, and in all parts of our life to live truly happy in this world.
*** Is the Immanence of God being practically applied in your life?
Colossians 1:15-18 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
*** Does God have the Preeminence over all things in your life?
 (Tozer, 2007)
A good read. I am reminded of St Augustine who said “‘Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee”
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