Sometimes I just have to laugh at my logic. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I just literally “zone out”. I’m not present in my circumstances; I’m just on auto-pilot. It is at those times that I seem to be “in hiding”. While I may have the ability to hide from people, I certainly can’t hide from the Lord. “‘Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” (Jer. 23:24)
The other day we discussed that God searches us and knows every detail about us, inside and out (see Known, Loved, and Guided)! God is always present; He is everywhere. “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 the 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. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.” (Ps. 139:7-12)
Have you ever felt alone? I know I have. But this passage tells us that God is always WITH us. If we can’t be anywhere that the Lord isn’t, then we are never alone. Take a moment to breathe that in. Even when we feel alone, we aren’t. God does not just “see” what we are doing; He is right there WITH us wherever we are! He is omnipresent.
There is no limit on God’s presence. Theologian Thomas Oden writes: “No atomic particle is so small that God is not fully present to it, and no galaxy is so vast that God does not circumscribe it. No space is without the Divine Presence.” (Systematic Theology, Vol. I, p. 67)
God says there is no situation we will ever endure in life in which He is not with us, no matter how tumultuous the situation. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Ps. 46:1-2) He will be a “very present help”! It doesn’t matter where we are – He is with us! Psalm 23 says “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”!
Whatever today brings, God is with us no matter what. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and is able to be everywhere at one time. He is not just an atmosphere, but rather a personal God that has the unique capability of being ever-present. This is how He can truly promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). We can pray with confidence knowing that God is working in another location according to our prayers. We can sleep with confidence knowing that He will never leave our side. God remains with us in our times of great devotion and in our times of sin.
He was present with Adam and Eve in the garden in the intimate moments of fellowship (Gen. 2:15-25) and in their rebellion (Gen. 3:8-9). God has time for us. He’s never too busy for us. And He is also with those that we care about and those we pray for. In fact, He fills the heavens and the earth. Nothing escapes His gaze. He sees everything, because He is everywhere at once.
A.W. Tozer rightly says that “the practice of the presence of God” does not consist of projecting an imagination from our minds, and acting like it is there; rather it is the recognition of the real presence of the One the Bible says truly IS there! We do that by faith! “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6) It is up to us to “practice the presence of the Lord” and consciously rely on Him by faith in all times. By faith, we must consciously live our lives in the Presence of Him who is unseen, yet more real than any other (2 Cor. 4:18).
His omnipresence is both a source of comfort (He is always with us), and a source of conviction (you cannot get away from God)! “I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Ps. 16:7-11)