Omnipresence

            “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Heb. 1:10). God is the Creator. He is not the creation. Every created thing is present somewhere, but God is everywhere present. “The heavens, even the highest heavens cannot contain him” (2 Chron. 2:6). He sustains all things by His powerful word (Heb. 1:3). If God ceased to exist, so would all creation. “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

            One shouldn’t think of God as being in one place or another. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Ps. 139: 7-10). Those are comforting words for those who are seeking the security of His presence. On the other hand, it is impossible to flee from God if you are trying to hide from Him. “‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 23:24). Even the cover of darkness cannot hide us from God because darkness is as light to Him (vss. 11,12).

            It is impossible to think of God in human terms because we are finite creatures who live in a finite world. Even the expanses of space cannot contain Him, because He contains space. When we think of God as being remote, it is not because He is in some far off galaxy. When we sense that He is far from us, it is because of the dissimilarity of nature not any distance that can be measured. Sin has alienated us from God and there is nothing we can do to reconnect with Him apart from the saving works of Christ.

            For those who have been reconciled to God, it is meaningless to invoke God’s presence since He is everywhere present. Instead we ought to acknowledge that God is always present and pray that He will grant us an awareness of His omnipresence. It means nothing ask God to be with our missionaries when God has said he would never leave or forsake them. We should follow David’s example in Psalm 16:8; “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

            Worship is not a Sunday morning activity. It is living daily with an understanding of God’s attributes and our union with Him. If we sensed the presence of an evil spirit, we should immediately acknowledge God’s presence. That is an act of worship emboldened by truth led by the Holy Spirit. “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him” (Jn. 4:23).

Dr. Neil

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