Recent reading of the Oxford History of Islam by John L. Esposito has made me realize that Islam gets at least one thing right - the majesty of God. At the heart of Islam is the sense of "submission" to the will of the majestic One - God. "Muslim" means "submitted one" and "Islam" means "submission." While there are numerous areas where Islam veers from the truth significantly, this is one area where Christians should take heed. So often we focus on the nearness (immanence) of God to the neglect of His greatness (transcendence.) We mustn't neglect His immanence; but how often have we reduced Him to a sort of cosmic Santa Clause who will gladly let us climb up on His lap and give us a hug to make us feel better. Nothing against feeling better, nothing against God's tender mercy and love, but I think we can miss His incredible and unfathomable glory and greatness in our conceptions of His kindness and nearness .
It is not ultimately about us, it is about Him.
He alone is "I AM" - He is the source of all - He has created all things and He sustains all things, all for His glory. Yes, His mercy and love and tenderness is part of that glory but we mustn't domesticate God. His glory is unfathomable, His purposes are deeper than we can probe, His worth is endless. His holiness and wisdom are perfection itself. We can not know Him fully. Yet, He invites us to know and enjoy Him in His glory.
Let our lives be swallowed up, not in the pursuit of feeling good about ourselves but in the pursuit of glorying in that which is most worthy – God Himself. And let no Muslim outdo us in our sense and worship and submission to the transcendent One!
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:33-36, ESV)