Imagine God is defined by the dimensions of a living room. Every square inch of this room is enveloped by the presence of God. As a result, there is no part of the room where God’s infinite presence or perfect will are not evident. In fact, in the expanse of this room, nothing can reside other than things that are aligned to His  Divine purpose. In short, the environment looks like God, feels like God and indeed: it is God.

However, one day God has an idea. He decides to introduce something new into the room – namely, human beings. These creatures will have freedom to make their own decisions and act independently. But immediately there is a problem: the Divine’s will is everywhere in the room, which means humans cannot make self-determined choices. In an instant, God lessens His Presence in a small area to facilitate a space where finite realities can happen. In terms of our example we might think of it as something like a fish tank containing our universe and galaxies. By doing this, God ensures that a universe of humans is accommodated even if surrounded by the infinite rule of God.

(NB  ‘kenosis’ (gk)- the idea of God emptying himself as in Christ, Keith Ward et al)

Now, in this fish tank world, humans are able to interact and make choices for themselves while the fullness and ultimate will of God remains outside of their environment. God creates and sustains a space in which the Divine Presence is withdrawn, so that other forms of life may exist and flourish. Interestingly, this model might also explain the necessity for God to become incarnate (in Jesus Christ) because for the Divine to enter our world any other way is to compromise the freedom of humans. It is also a good explanation as to why an all-powerful and infinite God might choose to be revealed in a less extreme form.

So, in summary, the freedom humans currently experience is only made possible because God’s manifest presence and rule has been withdrawn from our world. This possibly also explains why human requests That God reveal Himself in all His Glory go unanswered because for God to do this is to signal the end of our world and our freewill within it.