A few weeks ago, I began putting together a series of things to cover for my Jesus + Yoga class at Cornerstone Chapel. Sadly, as fate would have it, I would not be able to complete my teaching of that series. But that doesn’t mean it has to remain incomplete! As promised in my last post, I have pulled together all of my notes for our last few classes and the few we didn’t yet get to discuss, and am publishing them here! I hope that it blesses you as we all come to know the Lord as fully as we are able, this side of glory.
A while back, I came across an article by YogaFaith that covered “The Om’s of the Bible.” I was utterly fascinated by this because I had always assumed that, as a Christian, “om” was off limits! However, I’ve since realized that believing that way is really just shrinking God and cramming Him into a box of limitations that He does not know in reality. There is nothing created that God does not have dominion over, nothing He is not bigger than, and nothing He can’t save and reclaim.
For your consideration, I present:
Omni is the root ‘om’ word for the first few ‘oms’ we covered in class. Omni is a Latin word meaning, “all.” But per usual, our English language translation falls short here. It’s not enough to say that it means “all.” It means all the alls. Nothing can be added or taken away, it is complete, perfect, and whole.
God is all things at all times. He reveals this Himself throughout the Bible; for example, He tells us in Exodus 31:3, “I am that I am!” and in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the Lord; there is no other God.”
These next four words are not found specifically in the Bible, but they do define attributes of God as He is revealed to us in the Bible, describing to us just how all our God really is.
(There is obviously so much to say about Him, but I’ll try to keep these short and to the point!)
Scripture is clear: there’s no where we can go to hide from God. He is everywhere, in all places.
He is omnipresent.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will find me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:7-10 NASB)
See also: Jeremiah 23:22-34, Proverbs 15:3, 1 Kings 8:27, Acts 17:24, Colossians 1:17, Matthew 18:20, Isaiah 57:15, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 113:4-6, Psalm 139:3-5 & 7-10, Isaiah 66:1, Acts 17:27, Matthew 6:6, Job 34:21
We can also learn from the Word about our enemy, and what our enemy is and is not. Often, there are misconceptions about Satan and his capabilities, but he is not comparable to our God in theses ways. Satan is not omnipresent: Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8
God’s knowledge is total and complete. He knows all there is to know and all that can ever or could ever be known. There is no suprising God.
From the beginning to the end, and everything in between, God knows everything that is, was, and will be, down to the very last detail.
He is omniscient.
“Remember the former things, thos eof long ago; I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I do all that I please.'” (Isaiah 46:9-10 NIV)
See also: Isaiah 66:1-2, Isaiah 40:13-14, Psalm 33:13-15, Psalm 139:1-4 & 15-16, Psalm 147:4-5, Job 21:22, Job 37:16, Romans 11:33, Hebrews 4:13, Luke 12:7, 1 John 3:20, Matthew 10:29-30
Satan is not omniscient: Matthew 4:1-11
God’s power is what manifests creation. Nothing and no one holds more power than God. Aside from creation, He parts seas, heals the blind, moves mountains, casts out demons, turns water to wine, multiplies provision, and raises the dead. His power is supreme.
From eternity to eternity, I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” (Isaiah 43:13 NLT)
See also: Genesis 18:14, Deuteronomy 33:27, Daniel 4:35, Job 42:1-2, Jeremiah 32:27, Isaiah 14:27, Isaiah 26:4-5, Matthew 19:26, Acts 26:8, Ephesians 1:19, Revelation 19:6
Satan is not omnipotent: Satan’s limitations are outlined in the book of Job, as Satan needed God’s permission to attack Job. Ephesians 6:10 commands us to don our armor to fight the enemy’s attacks, testifying to our own power over the enemy through Christ.
Benevolence is a combination of two root words: ‘bene’ meaning ‘good.’ and ‘volens’ meaning ‘willing.’ God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abouding in love to all who call unto you… Among the gods, there is none like you Lord; no deeds compare with yours… For you are great and do marvelous deeds; You alone are God.” (Psalm 86:5, 8, 10 NIV)
Gods omnibelevolence is the abundant life, the life we live sinking in the ocean of His grace and mercy each day. It is His love for each of us, and as God Himself IS love, He is all-loving in His goodess.
“God is love.” 1 John 4:8
See also: James 1:2-4, 1 John 4:8, John 3:16, Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 136:26, Jeremiah 31:3, John 15:12-13, Romans 5:5-8, Acts 17:25, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:18, Zephaniah 3:17, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:4-5
Moving on from our ‘omni-‘ words, we have two more “oms” of the Lord to consider. First up:
Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. It refers to God’s infinite and limitless characteristics. This, in contrast to Alpha, the first letter, which represents the Lord as the unoriginated originator of all creation. Together, they mean “to include everything.”
In the AMP translation of Revelation 22:13, God says, “I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (the Eternal One).”
The Message translation of the same verse reads, “I am A to Z, the first and the final, beginning and conclusion.”
Nothing before and nothing after. God is the first and God is the final. Throughout the New Testament, ‘omega’ is always used to glorify Christ, referring to His absolute limitlessness.
And last but not least:
Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, tranquility, completeness, prosperity, and welfare.
Interestingly and heart-warmingly, it can also be used as both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye;’ a greeting to say, “May the peace of God be with you.” In Jewish literature, this is tied to the notion of ‘shelemut’ or perfection, and is used similarly to the Haiwaiian “aloha” or a Hindi “namaste.”
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)
As Christians, these Om words set us apart from those who serve any other God. Our God is the only living God who is all-knowing, all-present, all-loving, all-powerful; He is the only who is the beginning and the end, the only who is the Prince of Peace.
I know there are some who scoff at this line of thinking and believing, but I would challenge such positions with the challenge I think God put before me that I outlined in the beginning: is thinking that way shrinking God into a box of your own understanding?
“Do you think you can explain the mystery of God? Do you think you can diagram God Almighty? God is far higher than you can imagine, far deeper than you can comprehend, stretching farther than earth’s horizons, far wider than the endless ocean.” (Job 11:7-10 MSG)
Beacuse ultimately, I think the thing we need to really see about our God in all this is that as infinite as He is, to us – in our finite existence – He will always remain somehow unknown and full of mystery. And to deny the mystery of God is to deny a part of whole that He is, and to limit His ways and His thoughts to that of our own when He is truly, far greater.