The Knowledge of the Holy One: El Shaddai

Recently, I have been on a quest to, as my wife and I joke, become ‘less fleshy.’ Beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, I began a wholefood meal plan and workout routine (when I’m not cheating). One thing I’ve found is that in consuming small amounts of “good fuel” and then expending that “fuel” at the gym leaves me running on empty and depleted of energy. In short, I have to keep eating to keep powered. That’s not rocket-science is it?

But this is not, and never has been, true of El Shaddai, The Almighty, Omnipotent One. As A.W. Tozer so aptly penned, “…the Lord God omnipotent can do anything as easily as anything else. All His acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished. His self-sufficiency makes it unnecessary for Him to look outside of Himself for a renewal of strength. All the power required to do all that He wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in His own infinite being.”[1] For he who holds not the power to do as He has determined is not, after all, sovereign or powerful; but God is. Just as, he who attempts to carry out his own pleasure and finds himself short of ability is not God; but God never fails to accomplish that which he desires. The Sovereign, Almighty One is just that!

Fifty eight times, the Bible refers to God as The Almighty. From the beginning of God’s Self-Revelation to the end, the omnipotence of God is directly stated, implied, demonstrated, celebrated, feared, and praised, and necessarily so. In the Old Testament, Job, was the man chosen by God to predominately declare his omnipotence. Thirty-one of the forty-eight references to God as Almighty are found in the pages of the troubled and rewarded righteous man. In the New, it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John that most pronounces the unbridled, unhindered power of El Shaddai. God Himself, the angelic host, the elders around the Throne, the saints awaiting Christ’s second advent, the martyrs, and the Church all profess the omnipotence of God, by declaration of identifying Him as “…the Lord God Almighty.” Nine out of ten New Testament references to “the Lord God Almighty” are found in Christ’s Revelation. It is important to note that in the entirety of Holy Writ, “Almighty” is used of God alone; never man, never beast, never any created thing. God is God alone and God alone is Omnipotent!

Ephesians 3:20-21 may, perhaps, be the greatest expression of the incomprehensibility of the omnipotence of God. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul encourages Christ’s Church in reminding us of the Truth in which believers find shelter and abide (Psalm 91:1). This is a familiar passage to the Publicans readership, as it is with all students of Scripture. But let me share with you Steven Lawson’s[2] exposition of this passage with nothing more than the passage itself. I pray that it moves you to a place of glorying God in Christ Jesus, as it did me. Prayerfully read and meditate on each word, each morsel of Divine Bread, and let it feed your soul.

“Now to him…”

“Now to him who is able…”

“Now to him who is able to do…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever…”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

It is this Almighty God that has chosen to reveal Himself to us in spoken Word, written Word, and incarnate Word and we would do well to find our strength and rest in Him, for He alone is the Source of both!

As Pink leads his readers, “may [we] all tremble before such a God…[and] ‘Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and we perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little’ (Psalm 2:12)…and adore such a God…[for] ‘Who is like unto you, O LORD, among the gods? who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders’ (Ex. 15:11)…and trust such a God…who ‘is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Psalm 27:1).”[3]

The God who lacks no strength or ability to accomplish that which He has purposed, that is the True and Living God and there is no other. “God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature.”[4]

[1] AW Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, pg. 67

[2] Steven Lawson, The Attributes of God DVD, Ligonier Ministries

[3] AW Pink, The Attributes of God, pg. 42-43

[4] Steven Charnock

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