God’s Aseity: Absolutely Independent Yet Graciously Attentive

The aseity of God, one of his incommunicable attributes, sounds quite foreign on first hearing. However, simply put, God’s aseity can be understood as his self-sufficiency or self-existence. The self-sufficiency of God teaches us that God has life in himself. He isn’t dependent on anyone or anything, uniquely distinguishing him from his creation. As Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Thus before creation God was there. He has always existed. He is without beginning or end (Psalm 90:2).

God isn’t dependent on anyone or anything.

This is probably one of the most difficult attributes for our limited human minds to understand. For us, as humans, things always have a beginning and an end. Products are made and they later expire. Plants grow and wither. People are born and they die. But God is without beginning and end. His aseity is one way of expressing this distinction, yet it is simultaneously mind-boggling. His aseity recognises that he’s even outside of time, which none of us can fathom, as we are creatures bound by it.

God Needs Nothing

Perhaps the most prominent feature of God’s aseity is that he has no need for anything or anyone. He is independent. Yet amazingly, despite his self-sufficiency, God still dwells among his creation. Starting in the Garden of Eden, and throughout the history of Israel in the Old Testament, Gods dwells among his people. Ultimately, we see God dwelling among his people through the incarnation of Christ (John 1:14). The eternal, self-sufficient God, in need of no-one and nothing, comes down to earth and dwells among his people.

Reflecting on the aseity of God reminds us how small mankind is.

Reflecting on the aseity of God reminds us how small mankind is, compared to its Creator. But our smallness is no cause for fear. By no means! The wonder of God is that all of his attributes are connected. There isn’t greater emphasis on any one over the others. If it were so, we would serve a distant and terrifying God. But he is a personal God, who, in his greatness, determined to create us.

God Gives Himself

God created humanity for his good pleasure and glory. What a great comfort and joy to know that our God is without beginning or end. He was, is, and always will be. While everything else will continue to fade and wither away, the children of God can rest in the knowledge that God will never cease to exist. We have a hope and look forward to the day when Jesus will return and we will all be joined together, for eternity, worshipping and glorifying God.

While everything fades and withers, the children of God can rest in the knowledge that God never will.

What then should our response be to God’s aseity? As with all the attributes of God, it should lead us to worship him. God is the self-sufficient Creator of the world, and we as his creation are called to worship him. As Revelation 4:11 reads, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”