Can you imagine what it would be like to not be bound by the constraints of the ticking clock over your mantle and the pressure to get to that next appointment on time? More than that, could you imagine what it would be like to see every detail of history and every detail of future time clearly, because you exist outside of time?
It would sure make it easy to find your lost keys, know exactly what your boss promised last year in your performance review, and imagine what your great-grandfather might think about the life you are leading now. You would see it all- every detail, each person’s personality, each culture’s character- at every point in past, present, and future time.
Something in us churns to know the future and clings like an umbilical cord to faces, seasons, and trinkets of past. I have always longed to know my three grandparents who had moved on before I could know them. I never much liked history in grade school, memorizing dates and names I felt no connection with, but in years since, my fascination with it has escalated.
Yet, what I can actually know of it, no matter how much I study (recorded history always with the bent of the recorder), is really so little. It is so difficult to grasp the sights, smells, feelings, and perspectives of places gone by or to come after I’ve gone. Even with my gargantuan compulsion toward empathy, I can only imagine- knowing that my imagining very likely misses the mark.
We are time-bound.
God is Not.
God exists outside of time. After all, He created it. He existed before time began and will exist into eternity after time has ended.
God is Outside of Time Looking In
At any moment, He can look at any place in all of time- past, present, and future. He can see each person of each village in each era, know their heart, their thoughts, their motives, their joys and pain. He can see every major turning point of history and every precursor event leading up to it (no matter how many hundreds of years lie between).
At the same “time,” as we walk through our time-bound existence, He walks with us- every second, every minute, of every day.
Calvinist-Arminian Debate Silenced
The entrenchment some people feel about this debate is staunch. In this short blog, I don’t have the time to plunge the depths of this great discussion.
I do know this, though. When we look at Scripture, we so often look at it through our personal lenses, distorted by our own histories and our developed theologies. Yet, we are to develop our theology from Scripture. Getting this backwards can sometimes make our feelings about debates like this even more floored than they ought be.
Scripture makes it clear that we are responsible for our choices- eternally responsible. Scripture also makes it clear that God has known from the beginning of time all who would know Him for eternity (Psalm 139:16; Ephesians 1:10-12). Many other complexities and details surround the debate.
Somehow this debate rolled off my shoulders last summer when I was studying this attribute of God- that He is outside of time. When I truly, with my finite mind, strained to grasp this aspect of the infinite God, the debate hushed and fell away.
From the beginning, He saw the end. Yes, we are responsible. And yes, He knew then all that would be. He didn’t make us robots, but loved us enough to give us choice and power over our futures- to choose to either love Him or reject Him as we desired. And He has for all time known those that would respond with love to His love and sacrifice.
And my soul rests in that- amazed.
What Attribute of God is Fascinating You Right Now?
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