In our meditations on knowing God, we have already touched upon the truth that God is present at all times and in all places. In devotional 6 we saw that God is Near and in devotional 24 we considered that God is Witness. God could not be witness of everything and near to everyone, simultaneously, if he were not omnipresent. His all-present nature is mind-boggling! Truly, God’s presence is immense. He is worthy of respect, honor, and praise. God reveals this truth about Himself through the prophet Jeremiah with the following rhetorical questions with obvious answers:
“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
Like the prophet Jonah (Jonah 1:3), have you wanted to flee from the presence of God only to find after having run that God was there too? King David said it this way in Psalm 139:
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you (Psalm 139:7-12).
God is always present with us, but sometimes we do not sense His presence because of the distractions or anxieties that overwhelm us. Elijah, hearing the threat of assassination from Jezebel, ran in fear. When you read the account in 1 Kings 19, take courage from how God comforted the terrified prophet with His presence. Can you remember a time when God revealed His presence to you in a very real and special way? If you cannot, ask Him to do so! He has promised to be with His followers on this earth “to the end of the age”:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:18-20).
You can also take comfort in the fact that God will be not only with you but also with those about whom you are concerned and burdened. While distance separates us from others, it does not separate God from them. God resides in a special way with all those who are humble and of a penitent heart before him:
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Is. 57:15).
Therefore, let us pray that God would help us to be poor in spirit and pure in heart that we may “see God” (see Matthew 5:2-12).
With Prayer, Mark Worden
© July, 2012 Scripture quoted: ESV – Emphasis added
Verses for our meditation: God Is Omnipresent
1 Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”
2 Chronicles 2:6, But who is able to build [God] a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?
Isaiah 66:1-2, Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. “
Proverbs 15:3, The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Jonah 1:1-4, Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.
Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Acts 7:48-49, “Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest?’”
Acts 17:24-28, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”
Ephesians 1:16-23, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.