A Box Free of Aseity

God’s Self-Existence


The first attribute of God that is explored in the first chapter of the second part of The Attributes of God, by A.W.Tozer, is God’s self-existence.  If you’re like me, you immediately reached for a dictionary or the online equivalent when you heard that.  According to Google, the concept of God being self-existent has several different parts, but boils down to the idea that God has always, and always will, existed, and exists independent of us, needing nothing from us, and also that God has within Himself the sufficient reason for existence and needs no source or reason to exist.  The concept is summed up very nicely in Acts 17:22-31, particularly verses 24-25 “The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands nor is he served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone.” {For those of you who like to wow people with weird words (or need to file a new one away in case of a Scrabble necessity), this is also called ‘aseity’.  Which won’t work for my Scrabble, because it does not contain enough z’s and q’s without u’s…}


So, all that is really cool, but why do we care?  I know that it means that we can’t really totally understand God from our human mindset- and I’m not so sure the angels or anyone else can either, but that’s a different subject- and the subtitle of this book is Discovering the Father’s Heart.  What does this have to do with that?   I’ve been pondering that question for a few days, and I think I’ve finally come up with an answer.


I think this concept is what helps us understand that we cannot put God into a box.  His heart is bigger than that.  If I have in my mind that God created me because He needs me, then I feel obligated to do something or be something for Him, and I become nothing more than a slave to Him in my mind.  But He doesn’t need me.  God didn’t create slavery, humankind did.  God created freedom.  And therefore, He wants me, which, when I believe and know that, means that I chose to do or be whatever for Him because I want to.  He wanting me results in me wanting Him, hence love.  He needing me results in me needing freedom from Him, hence rebellion.


Also, if God needed us, that implies that, if there is a period of time when He is not getting something He needs from us, then He is lacking and hurting and less than God.  Like when my husband unintentionally does not give me something I need from him, and how I am then not good at doing all my good wife stuff because I don’t feel very ‘wifey’.  God always has all of His ‘selfness’, regardless of what we do or don’t do.  After Adam and Eve sinned, there wasn’t absolute panic in heaven.


But, that is just my thoughts on the subject.  It is very deep, and like trying to wrap a live cat in giftwrap without a box…  Any comments on the subject are appreciated, as well as thanks for the new Scrabble word.  🙂


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