Thursday, March 8, 2007

God's time and our time

We have time here on this earth to live within. How we experience time depends upon many things, our nature, our nurture, our age, our health, our culture and our emotions. In the physical sense, time goes forward, always forward, never back, and at a seemingly constant (although observer dependent) rate. In the psychological sense time travels fast or slow depending on our physical state, if we're sick with a fever we may experience a slowing down of time. If we're really cold we may experience a speeding up of time. Time depends upon our age, when we were kids time was much slower. The ages 7 - 18 move much slower than the ages 18-29. We experience and learn much more over those first 11 years than we do over the next 11. So time is very flexible and very different from person to person.

For God time is something that he can observe from the outside. God dwells within an eternal unbounded NOW (according to C.S. Lewis) and therefore has no past and no future, he merely IS. We, however, are on a time-line. If you saw a picture of it, there would be a horizontal line representing time. It would have a beginning "in the beginning" and an end somewhere in the future. Eternity would be a vertical line that intersects time at one, single point. So time only has any relation to eternity where eternity is intersecting it. Since God is eternal he can intersect time at any single point, or all of them, and see what is happening in that NOW, for him all times are NOW.

The point of free-will comes to mind, since I was discussing it last night with a friend. The argument that "we don't have a free-will because God knows what we're going to do and can therefore know whether we will accept him in the future" can be debunked because of this knowledge. We all have a choice, during our time of life, to choose whether or not we accept Christ as God. God has no influence on that decision just because he can see if we are going to make it. He can just see it, in his unbounded now, he has no more influence on it than somebody watching us do something. He doesn't stop us or force us to choose anything just because he can see the results of those choices ahead of us.

Of course God does sometimes come directly into people's conscious experience and at that point they almost have no choice. That could be construed as "influence" but the people he does that to still have a choice to make whether or not they know it.

When Jesus was here on earth, being a man, he must have lost his unbounded now vision. He must have, for the first time, had to see as we saw. He must have needed to use the eyes of faith to trust, just as much as we need to, in the father's word. The spirit was there on him, the word was in his mind, but his limitations as a man forced him to be an example for us. If we can just learn to see through the eyes of faith and understand through the spirit of God, we can become more like Christ was on earth.

1 comment:

cdbressoud said...

I love this post. Our time and God's time often seem quite different. It is hard to imagine that God is timeless considering our lives seem to run on a constant time clock. Thanks for sharing Dave, I enjoy the awesome revelations you provide in each post!