The God Who Dwells In Heaven.

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Today’s Lectio Divina: God builds His palace—towers soaring high in the skies, foundations set on the rock-firm earth. He calls ocean waters and they come, then He ladles them out on the earth. God, your God, does all this. Amos 9: 6 (MsgB)

It’s clear from the earliest beginnings of the Hebrew Scriptures that God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth is larger than life. Bigger than big. Deeper than deep.

God, the Sovereign One who created all things in both heaven and earth (see Genesis 1) is unlike those lesser gods that are worshipped by others. YHWH, the Great I AM, is quite honestly, beyond our descriptions, larger than any earthly limitations, and far above the human frailties assigned to lesser deities.

That’s why so many Hebrew prayers, both biblical and post-biblical, begin with the common phrase, “God…which art in heaven,” which is, in many ways, the prayer’s way of distinguishing who it is we are praying to, even more so than where that God lives.

So, it is with Jesus and the beginnings of His prayer…

Our Father, who art in heaven.

You see, when we add the phrase, “who art in heaven,” to our prayer, we are not sticking a mailing address on it so that we make certain our words get delivered to the right zip code! In truth, we are reminding ourselves that the God we are speaking to is the same God the Psalmist speaks of in Psalm 73:

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73: 25-26 (NIV)

And the same God Paul speaks of when writing to his son in the faith, Timothy:

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1: 17 (NIV)

The hymn-writer, Walter Chalmers Smith, picked up on these same “Father in heaven” themes in his memorable hymn, Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, written in 1867.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. 

Forty years ago, the author J.B. Phillips wrote his little classic book, Your God Is Too Small, and with it, he addressed a nagging problem that happens in nearly every generation. Over time, as life gets hard and times get tough, you and I tend to see our problems as much bigger and stronger than the God we serve. Combine with that, the little demonic whispers we hear in our ears; words of doubt planting these familiar questions…

If God really loves you…why did this bad stuff happen to you? 

If God is really there…why do you feel so alone?

If God is really your Poppa…why do you feel so unloved?

Do you recognize those?

I bet you do.

So, remember, the next time you get one of those Your God Is Too Small thoughts, hearing how forgotten you are, or how unkind God is to you, or how unfair life is treating you, might I suggest you stop right there, sit down for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of Jesus’ powerful words…

Our Father, who art in heaven.

Six little words, but one powerful phrase that can help remind us that we are loved, we are valued, we are being pursued, and we are being cared for by the great big God, our heavenly Poppa, who is…

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. 

My Prayer: Father God, thank You for the reminder that You are much bigger than I often believe You to be. Forgive me when I believe those little lies that tell me I’m forgotten, I’m unloved, I’m overlooked, and that You’re too busy to care for little ole’ me. Holy Spirit, I reject those lies today, and I align myself with Christ and other saints who have gone on before me. I agree with the truth that my Heavenly Father is bigger than my problems, greater than my weaknesses, and fully able to care for me in every way. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My Questions To Ponder: Where have I made my God too small? How have I limited His ability to work heavenly solutions to my earthly problems? What will it look like today for me to walk in full agreement with Jesus words…Our Father, who art in heaven?

So, what is God speaking to you as you ponder on The Lord’s Prayer?

Over a period of four weeks (3 sessions per week), we will take you on a journey (12-sessions) we call Contemplating The Prayer: Pondering Anew The Prayer of Jesus. We suggest you bookmark our blog series homepage to keep all the writings in one place for your future reference. Take note that each blog session begins with a short scripture reading. My suggestion is that you don’t hurry through, or skip the text, but treat it as a Lectio Divina reading where you slow down and sit a bit with God’s Word, allowing it to penetrate and influence you as you read. Each session also ends with a few thoughts to ponder on. I look forward to hearing some of your insight as we journey together!

Oh, and if you enjoy what you’re reading here, we encourage you to share this page and our website, The Contemplative Activist, with your friends! 

Click here to go on to the next blog/podcast in this series…

1 thought on “The God Who Dwells In Heaven.

  1. Pingback: Our Abba Father. | The Contemplative Activist

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