There’s an old joke that goes like this:
One fish says to another fish, “How’s the water?” and the other fish says, “What the hell is water?”
The point is that, to the fish, “water” isn’t a thing. It’s just the world it was born into. So, it doesn’t know what being wet is, or understand the difference between air and water either.
Here’s another analogy: We are all in God. God is inescapable. God is our “water” and most of us have no idea that we are all surrounded by God.
This is odd, especially for Christians, since we have several verses in our Bibles that suggest exactly this; that wherever we go, God is there [see Psalms 139:7-16], and that God is “the one in whom we all live and move and have our being” [see Acts 17:28].
To add another voice to this mix, here’s what New Testament scholar David Bentley Hart has to say about this:
“Ladies and gentleman, we are inside of God. Always. There is nowhere we can go to escape God. Whether in “heaven” or in “hell” or any location or state of consciousness we can conceptualize. There is no “separation”. Ever. No reality can exist in and of itself, or be self-sustained or void of God’s presence. To find one’s self within the realm of being is to find one’s self in the mystery of God, the actualizer and energizer of being. For out of and through and into him are all things. All things. Which includes all things.
“God is not only the ultimate reality that the intellect and the will seek but is also the primordial reality with which all of us are always engaged in every moment of existence and consciousness, apart from which we have no experience of anything whatsoever. Or, to borrow the language of Augustine, God is not only ‘superior summon meo’—beyond my utmost heights—but also ‘interior intimo meo’—more inward to me than my inmost depths.” – David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God
So, I think it’s important for us to try to meditate on this fact and to start to live our lives daily by the light of this idea that we are all immersed and surrounded by God.
Not only this, but if God is love, then we are all – always – surrounded by perfect love.
That’s good news.
If we are all in God, then there is no one who is ever outside of God, or far from God’s reach.
God is near to us. Closer than our own breath, nearer than our own heartbeat.
This is really good news.
Better yet, for those who are in Christ – and I do believe there is a slight distinction in this matter – God and Christ are both alive within us and have come to live and breathe in us and have made their home with us.
If Christ lives within us, and if we abide in Christ, then we also have the promise that Christ will never leave us, and will never forsake us.
So, we are all in God, and if Christ is in us, then we are filled inside and surrounded on the outside – night and day; 24/7 – with God and Christ, from now until the end of time and beyond.
I think we’d call that very, very, very good news.
Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.
His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean.
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