1 John 4:4
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
This message was preached May 19, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com
Thousands will travel to Niagra Falls this year to see the wondrous display. Others will travel to the Grand Canyon to see its immensity and beauty. A few will even pay millions of dollars for the thrill of a ride in a rocket in order the see the earth from 239 miles up and travel at over 17,000 per hr. All to experience something much bigger than them selves.
An yet the Christian has the opportunity to experience God who encompasses all that we will ever see. From the distant star to the depths of the sea. Listen to the words of Psalm 139
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
God is to us like the sky to a small bird, which cannot see its outer limits and cannot reach its distant horizons, but can only lose itself in the greatness and immensity of the blueness. John Powell
God is spirit and to him magnitude and distance have no meaning. To us they are useful as analogies and illustrations, so God refers to them when speaking down to our limited understanding. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
The failure of rationalism is that it tries to find a place for God in its picture of the world. But God ... is rather the canvas on which the picture is painted, or the frame in which it is set. William Ralph Inge (1860-1954)
More sky than man can see,
More seas than he can sail,
More sun than he can bear to watch,
More stars than he can scale.
More breath than he can breathe,
More yield than he can sow,
More grace than he can comprehend,
More love than he can know. Ralph W. Seager
Yet the real significance of this verse in 1 John is not how big God is in terms of immensity but that He dwells within us.
One Sunday on their way home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the preacher's sermon this morning confused me. The mother said, "Oh? Why is that?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that's true, honey." "And he also said that God lives in us? Is that true Mommy?" Again the mother replied, "Yes." "Well," said the little girl, "if God is bigger than us and he lives in us, wouldn't He show through?" --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 303.
- Satan is no match for God
- If we would believe our eyes it looks like it is the other way around down here.
- War, famine, pestilence are not the will of God but of the enemy.
- Some have called AIDS the curse of God but I believe that Satan is the author of it.
- But things are not as they often appear.
- Satan, the forces of evil, cancer, floods and all the rest have no power at all except what God gives.
- There is a principle and that is that God is God.
- God is sovereign and "No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" Dan 4:35
- God is in us
- The idea John is getting across is the God dwells in us, resides in us and has made His dwelling in our very being.
- Paul likens our bodies to a temple where the Holy Spirit takes residence.
- 1 Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? NIV
- We have a glimpse of eternity, the feeling of immortality.
- Part of that comes just from being created in the image of God.
- Ecc. 3:11 He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
- But for the Christian, we know that we have eternal life.
- Being in us He influences us.
- He sustains our faith.
- He strengthens us against the enemy.
- He enlightens us to know His word and His will.
- He gives us courage to face uncertain futures.
- As the little girl said, if God is bigger than we are and He lives in us, then He would show through.
- Therefore we have victory
- That "showing through" gives us the victory.
- We do not compromise with the world.
- We do not accept the values of the world.
- The victory is not seen in a show of force or the changing of governments.
- The victory takes place in us.
- The victory does not mean that we escape the disaster.
- It does not mean that we are not persecuted.
- It does not mean that we are prosperous.
- But it does mean that God is in us giving us a peace that passes understanding.
It does not matter what it is that you are facing today, God is bigger than that.
It does not matter what stress or strain that you are under, God is bigger.
God is bigger than anything we can face.