Finite vs Infinite

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Finite vs Infinite

I see the blue sky. I hear the wind blowing. I smell the fresh cut grass. I touch the soft picnic blanket. I taste the ripe, juicy apple. We experience our world through what we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. We organize information and define our understanding through using these finite five senses, yet, we worship an infinite God – a Creator God that exists outside of time and space. How can we understand God through this finite lens? Through our limited knowledge, sometimes we put God in the realm of the finite things we understand. God is all-knowing (omniscient), all-powerful (omnipotent), and ever present (omnipresent). Yes, God created our senses to provide meaning to the world we live in, but he also offers us a perspective to see beyond our five senses. Two Biblical stories offer us a new perspective, a Godly perspective, that transcends the world as we understand it.

In 2 Kings 4, there is a widow who is about to lose her two sons to pay off her dead husband’s creditors. Elisha asks the widow what she has at home and she replies, “only a little oil”. Elisha instructs her to gather as many jars as she can and pour oil into each jar.  She does so and fills all the jars she gathered until they are full to overflowing. Once the last jar has been filled, the original oil dries out. In the widow’s finite thinking, there was only a little oil left. In God’s infinite mercy, there was more than enough, so that the widow was able to sell the oil, pay the creditors and keep her sons safe.

In Mark 6, Jesus is preaching in the remote countryside to more than 5,000 people. As the time grows late, the disciples ask Jesus to disband the crowd so that they can leave and find food for dinner. Jesus tells his disciples to give the people something to eat and asks them what they have on hand to do so. There is only five loaves of bread and two fishes to be had, but Jesus instructs the disciples to arrange the crowd into groups for a meal anyway and then prays over it. Everyone in the crowd ate, were satisfied and there were 12 baskets of food left over. In our humanity, we see five measly loaves and two small fish, but Jesus sees a banquet.

God beckons us to trust him in all things. Sometimes he responds miraculously, as in these two biblical examples, and other times he responds in the ordinary circumstances of life, whether we realize it at the time or not.  We think in terms of addition; one loaf + one loaf = two loaves; there is just enough oil for one day. God accomplishes his plans in ways we can’t imagine: two loaves feeds 5,000 people and a little bit of oil fills all of the jars. We don’t understand how this works, but God has a perspective much larger than just our five senses.

To understand this mystery requires faith. We all have faith in something, so why not put our faith in God? Most of us place our faith in our bank accounts, or our education, or our jobs, or our families, or a myriad of other things. We don’t necessarily think of it as faith, but the source of our security and our confidence is exactly where we find our faith.

Tithing is one example of where our faith and our concrete senses meet. It’s so easy to see our resources as finite, particularly money. We seem bound by a limited perception, focusing solely on the information provided by our five senses. There isn’t enough money, the debt or bills are too high, there’s too little coming in. I won’t argue for one minute that those observations aren’t absolutely true, as we see the world. However, God’s perspective is much more abundant than we could ever envision.

We may not understand God’s ways, but I do know that he provides. When we make a conscious decision to give the first 10% of our income for Kingdom purposes, we learn to trust that God will provide for us, even on 90% of our income. God multiplies our tithes and offerings, and does infinitely more together than what we could ever do on our own.

God so loved us that he entered into our finite world in the person of Jesus Christ. We see God’s infiniteness and the finiteness of this world come together in the life of Christ. Jesus lived every day in utter dependence upon God and models for us a way to transcend our five senses by keeping our eyes focused on the Creator. The link between the two Biblical stories I shared above is the extraordinary faith of ordinary people.

Is it possible for us to suspend the faith that we put into the finite information derived from our five senses, and open ourselves up to the infiniteness of God’s possibilities?  We all have faith in something, so why not put our faith in God? 

Check out an earlier post by Amy about Trusting God with Our Time 

About The Author
Amy Hemseri-Sabala
Amy Hemseri-Sabala
Hi, I'm Amy. A few years ago, I left a successful business career to pursue her ministry call and earned a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. I now serve Church Resource Ministries as their Vice President of Finance & Administration. I'm currently seeking a pastoral call in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and serving on the board of directors of the Birkman Foundation. I am so grateful for the guidance of God in my life, and I'm passionate about mentoring and discipleship. I'm also the proud mom of my grown son, James, and am working with my golden retriever, Spice, to become certified as a therapy dog. I love my home and life in Huntington Beach, California, and delight in traveling internationally whenever possible.
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  • Gloria J. Greb
    January 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

    God is not relagated to time and space. He is a spirit and must be worshipped in truth and spirit. In other words you can’t put him in a box.

  • John Singh
    January 14, 2013 at 11:29 am short.., The Truth=The God..!

  • Jude D'Souza
    January 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

    To me…”God Is”

  • Jude D'Souza
    January 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Anything more will be less.

  • Mukesh Gadhai
    January 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    god ever with me…may blessing cover me…

  • Temaï Soni Raudales
    January 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    miss my blessed sathurday evening with you girl’s!

  • Joseph Dorfman
    January 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Our infinite souls connect us to the infinite God. Who knows what God was thinking with these bodies?

  • Joyce Wilks
    January 15, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Father God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

  • Vikas Nanda
    January 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

    god punish us wen w do sin but y he dnt stop us 4m doin sin…

  • Renu Sharma
    January 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    he never punishd you ..he shows you the right path ..its we who choose wrong path..infact he helps us to come out of that wrong path..we are not robots that he wil tel us what to do and what to not ..we are humans and he is just guiding us ..its on us if we want to listen to him we wil if we dont want to he would not force us to listen to him

  • Vivek Roy
    January 15, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Right material science cannot find the truth of spiritual science-the science beyond science.

  • Abunasser Al Hamami
    January 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm


  • Shyam Singh
    January 16, 2013 at 6:22 am

    i agree numb five senses .. elevate to sixth sense or to subconscious level ..modality whatever u like .. i use reiki tap universal energy .. interact with me it is possible to do remote b.m.ssingh 9849648241

  • Jim Brogan
    March 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm


  • Linda Weber
    March 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    we are learning to use our spiritul senses through the spirituals sense of faith

  • Tobie Hooper
    March 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    ii Am with y0u in fleAsh word of god in a mAns body.Aba fAther…

  • Jean Dorantes
    March 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    ^_^ true!

  • Denise Hysler Conway
    March 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm


  • Dan McClarren
    March 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    yes we do

  • Joyce Stevens
    March 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm


  • Floyd Terry
    March 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    We cannot. We must understand that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spirit beings having a physical, temporary, human experience. We can access this world through the five senses and we can also access the spirit realm. The soul, which in both Hebrew and Greek, is a different word from the words for spirit. The soul is made up of the intellect, imagination, memories. I liken it to the computer which processes all incoming and outgoing information stemming from both realms. Allow the things that are eternal, or spiritual, to become more real to you than the things that are physical. This is what Paul meant by “live in the spirit,” or “walk in the spirit.”

  • Judy Miller
    December 30, 2014 at 8:26 am



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