Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. (Psalm 36:5)
The relationship between the spiritual and the natural is a vital and dynamic exchange and more real and infinite than this universe and all that is in it. Not being able to see it in a literal sense doesn’t alter its existence or the fact that there is a constant and powerful interaction between what we describe as ‘heaven and earth.’ We look at the beauty and glory of God manifest in the heavens and use them to somehow ‘ground’ God in our understanding. It’s easier to draw parallels and comparisons, to ‘measure’ a limitless God by something that is still relatively unknown and appears vast and limitless. Yet behind this, we’re creatures of finite perception. We still, on some level, have an imaginary ‘end,’ an acceptance that all things have a beginning and an end – including God. But God tells us that He is alpha and omega, a truth that challenges our need to establish limits and impose control on what we do not comprehend.
God is alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
Today’s verse may, on the surface, play to our finite perceptions – that inner sense that even infinity is somehow finite. When we use words like ‘reaches to,’ we mentally accept a defined point, a place where the ‘reach’ ends, having achieved its goal. Yet the words are actually far more powerful. What they are reminding us of is the infinity of God, the fact that He doesn’t have a beginning or an end because He is both. Alpha and omega meet in eternity in Him.
Our limited understanding must always find terms and expressions to define things that are beyond our power to do so. As a result, ‘heavens’ is often interchangeable in our minds as ‘eternity,’ the ‘place where God is.’ On the surface, this is correct, but it doesn’t bring into play the dynamic nature of alpha and omega, the infinite, immeasurable existence of God who both is beginning and end and has no beginning and end. When past, present, and future exist continuously in the same moment, there is little point in defining limits.
The alpha and omega cannot be defined or limited by the world.
This is the kernel of truth behind the words in today’s verse. God – His nature, character, and infinity – exist beyond the limitations and natural laws of this world. It’s a simple truth with powerful and profound implications. If we could live daily in the revelation of alpha and omega, I believe we would see the real power of God at work among us rather than the emotional hype and false signs and wonders that proliferate in these end times.
Alpha and omega is the message to take hold of today. It is especially needed in a world which grows worse by the day. It’s the only place to look to protect ourselves from growing apostasy and rejection of God, from prevailing wickedness which seems set to break its own records of depravity and self-gratification. It’s our hope in increasing persecution and trials and suffering. It’s our promise of eternity in a world which offers little more than fleeting pleasures and a growing sense of despair.
Keeping the infinite, eternal alpha and omega of God in sight is a lifeline. It takes our focus off ourselves and puts it on God, for one thing, but it also expands our expectations. When we look from a heavenly perspective, we can escape worldly limitations. That is the essence of living in the Spirit – we no longer ‘measure’ by our own natural understanding but cease to measure at all. God, who is without beginning or end, and who is, at the same time, both beginning and end, cannot be measured, and neither can His nature, attributes, characteristics, or works.
Jesus is the manifestation of the power of alpha and omega.
The Bible continually exhorts and encourages us shape our Christian walk on the life of Christ, to imitate Him and be transformed into His likeness, and to reflect Him to the world. This, of course, is the fundamental principle behind the popular ‘what would Jesus do?’ Of course, Jesus came as the manifestation of God. His purpose was to reveal God – which means that our purpose is to reveal God as well – all of God, which includes the sweeping power of alpha and omega, the principle of the limitless of an infinite God.
If we look at the life of Christ, it was characterised by a number of extraordinary things, one of which is obedience. His willingness and commitment to obey – the principle of surrendered servanthood – is the outward manifestation of His intimate relationship with the Father. But His obedience was characterised by power. Whether Jesus was preaching, teaching, exhorting, challenging, healing, delivering, or forgiving, He epitomised the power of an infinite God. He lived the power of alpha and omega, the spiritual truth that all things are rooted in the limitless power of a God without beginning or end who created and sustains all things.
Where we look defines what we see and become.
John 8:32 says this: And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. In a physical sense, we are limited by the natural world and must deal realistically with the evil and wickedness that surrounds us, or the physical limitations that confront us. The spiritual, however, is the place of alpha and omega, of the limitless God. If we persist in looking at the natural, we will be governed and limited by the natural. But the truth will set us free. If we look at the eternal God without limits, as Jesus did, we are released spiritually to live in the place of infinite possibility.
The alpha and omega of God manifests in our lives as faith – that something in us that is able to believe for the impossible rather than be defined only by what is possible. Faith, on the other hand, is not that we believe in what God is able to do but rather in the God who is able to do. To live as Jesus did is to live supernaturally, to subscribe only to the reality of a God who is more vast and powerful than we can ever hope to define or comprehend. He is the God who, just when we think we’ve reached the limit, surprises us with exceedingly, abundantly, far more than anything we could ever ask or imagine.
To live in alpha and omega means to live in the limitless power of God.
This kind of statement is all too easily skewed to accommodate the self-gratification principles that empower wrong teachings. Prosperity and ‘name it and claim it’ gospels are simply two examples of how the world manipulates the alpha and omega of God to suit its selfish purposes. While it is entirely possible to live in the limitless power of God, and while God desires that we do, it is not to please ourselves. It is to be surrendered vessels through which He reveals Himself to the world.
Too many teachings today use the Son of God as a kind of ‘get out of jail free’ or absolutely guaranteed lotto ticket. Jesus did not come to make our lives wonderful or even easier. He came to reveal the Father through ultimate servanthood – laying down His life on behalf of others. God tells us very clearly that His ways are not our ways. His first purpose in any life is not material blessings or physical and emotional comfort, but spiritual freedom. Alpha and omega is not about providing us with a comfortable, sheltered, untouched-by-the-world false perception of life. It’s about lifting our spirits out of the world and releasing the power of God into the world according to His purposes.
Alpha and omega promises empowerment, not an easy way out.
I think many Christians will agree when I say there was a time in my life when all I wanted to do was ‘go home.’ I was done with the world. I’d had enough of hardship, of emotional pain and physical suffering, of deprivation, need, woundedness, and despair. We often use Paul’s voicing his desire to be with Christ as justification of this wish, completely ignoring the fact that he did not use it in the context of escape at all. When we look at the limitless power of alpha and omega, it is not to provide a physical escape from the world but to empower us to live Christ in the world.
In all honesty, I still long for the day when I can ‘go home,’ but the reason has changed. I now want it so that I can be with Him, every moment, every day, for eternity, not because I’m tired of living. The power of alpha and omega is that it infuses joy into living, no matter what our condition or circumstances. Living in Christ here in this world is a taste of being completely in Him for eternity. It is a wonderful gift of grace, an extraordinary blessing, and we have to endure the world for a little while longer, we are empowered to do so in the sure and certain knowledge of the eternal joy that is to come.
The cross is the meeting place of alpha and omega and the infinite nature of God.
When we suffer or endure hardship, our focus turns naturally inward. We begin to see only ourselves and our problems and lose sight of the essential truth that God so loved the world. The Bible doesn’t say ‘God so loved you,’ it says ‘the world.’ You and me is included, but it’s a universal, infinite love which encompasses every single human being, whether they believe or not. This is the limitless, infinite power inherent in alpha and omega. It includes everything and all, not just me or you.
When Jesus came to earth, He was the living demonstration of alpha and omega – that which encompasses all. When He went to the cross, he revealed the infinite, limitless power of alpha and omega – it was for all. Now, if God knew that He needed to use His own Son to reveal this to the world, why would we be exempt from doing the same? We are Christ’s body – the physical, on-earth manifestation of Him. In a spiritual sense, we are Him. He intends that we live as He did and continue His work. And if the most important work He ever did was to suffer and die on behalf of others, why would He suddenly stop expecting the same from us?
Alpha and omega empowers these things and greater things.
People everywhere lament the fact that we don’t see the power of God at work in the world. We know that He is able, but it seems like He’s unwilling, like He’s holding back, and we struggle to reconcile the reality around us with the principle of alpha and omega. It can be a source of great spiritual confusion and frustration, because Jesus Himself said that we would not only do the same great things that He did but would, in fact, do greater things.
I personally believe that the reason for this is that we’re too focused on self – on the prevalent worldly focus on what I can get out of it, rather than on God and His purposes. There is no doubt that God works wonderful transformation and restoration, and releases many blessings, when we are focused on Him and walk according to His purposes. But that’s not why we do it. We do it because He is our alpha and omega, because nothing has relevance outside of Him.
When we make God our alpha and omega, His infinite power works in and through us.
God is never, first and foremost, concerned with worldly things. While He has placed us in the world and will always provide for our needs while we are in it, all of this is simply a ‘means to an end.’ God is alpha and omega. He is eternity, and His focus is always eternity. That God so loved the world never means that He doesn’t love us. What it means is that His infinite love, mercy, and grace is available in limitless supply for every single one of us.
The way He manifests it is through us, just as He manifested it through His Son. If we want to experience the infinite power of alpha and omega, we have to focus on and live for alpha and omega. We must begin to define our lives not by what we desire but by who He is and what He desires. Does this mean He doesn’t care what happens to us? Absolutely not. If He didn’t, He would not have included the provision for every single human need in the suffering and death of Jesus. But ‘new life’ doesn’t mean we’re taken out of this one. It means that we’re empowered through the infinite grace of God to live as Christ did – vitally connected, dynamically empowered, and intimately surrounded by alpha and omega.
We receive from God what we see of God.
It’s a fundamental spiritual principle. If all we see are our problems, our suffering, our hardship, and our woundedness, that’s all we make space for. If we focus ourselves our situation and circumstances in the world, we will remain bound to the world. What we see is what we become. What we speak is what we become. To live in the spirit means to live in God. In means to live in the power of alpha and omega, the spiritual truth that opens the door to heaven.
Jesus reminded us to count the cost of following Him. That cost is very simple – it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The cross was a one-for-all exchange. He exchanged His life for ours, and to follow Him means to exchange our life for His. When we make that commitment, ‘me’ no longer exits. Christ in me replaces it. We almost flippantly say that we ‘gave our lives to Christ.’ But do we live the reality of that, or are we continually taking it back and demanding the privileges without accepting the responsibilities? To live alpha and omega means to cease to live me.
Of course, it’s something we grow into. We cannot possibly get it right once and for all. We slip, totter, fall, and fail, but Christ remains in us. He empowers us to get up and fix our eyes on alpha and omega, to recentre ourselves on the infinite power of God, and to learn from our mistakes. Our lives will be determined by whether we persist in focusing on the limitations and trials of this world, or on the infinite, eternal, limitless, measureless grace, mercy, love, and power of God.
Jesus, forgive us for looking only at the benefits You purchased for us on the cross and expecting only the good things without being willing to accept the responsibilities. Help us to live You in our lives, to joyfully count the cost and recon it as nothing, to make God and His purposes our alpha and omega, and to begin to live as You have called us to do – to reveal You to the world.