Storm

Wherever You Go I’m There: God’s Omnipresence

Lately, have you noticed how depressing everything seems around you? Or how easy it is to have your day ruined? If not, just turn on any news station or check through your timeline on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platform.

The Bible teaches us over and again: if we take our eyes off of God, we will descend into the depths of despair. We gain strength and hope only in dwelling in him and on his word. It is in the firm knowledge that nothing can separate us from his presence and rescuing power wherein we gain our hope for the future—no matter how bleak things may appear at the moment.

Consider what the the Psalmist cried out:

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.
-Psalm 139:7-10

Let me repeat, the Psalmist had it right when he said, “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.”

For the psalmist, this wasn’t some abstract theological point to chat about over tea, but a very practical truth that wherever he went, or could conceivably go, God would be there with him. When we ask God for our “bread for today,” what is it that we really need to get us through? What this means for us is that there isn’t a single place in the universe that we can go where God is absent. Whether far away from the earth, on the earth, or deep under the sea, we will still be operating within the sphere of God’s presence and care.

We can experience this truth when we pray for our “daily bread.”

Have you and your family been transferred overseas to a very different place and culture? Have you been abandoned or recently divorced and left with children, bills, unemployment, and all the worst of it? Are you faced with bankruptcy, a long hospital stay, or your worst nightmare in one form or another?

If so, the doctrine of omnipresence is very relevant to you. The truth of God’s omnipresence means that whenever we’re called upon to step out (even way out) of our comfort zones, we can be assured that the doctrine will move from the realm of speculative theology to the realm of real, nitty-gritty life. The “bread for today” may be more grace, patience, comfort, guidance, rescue, or just more of the kind of “bread” we can put in the bank.

Try looking at it this way: when you’ve just shown up for your first day of work somewhere across the world, or just walked out of the divorce or bankruptcy court, or checked into the oncology ward, then say to yourself, “This is exactly where God is at home, where he’s been many times before, where he’s already been preparing the way for me, and the place he intends to reveal himself most fully to me in his time and way.”

This new view of things makes all the difference in the world. Keep reminding yourself of this: there’s no place, not a single cubic inch in the universe, where God is not available to us. He does dwell in heaven, that is, in a dimension that’s mostly still mystery to us right now, but dwelling in heaven doesn’t mean that he’s far away from us, only that he’s far different from us, yet very near. Jesus taught that God is just a whispered prayer away, just inches (not light-years) away, and that by what he accomplished on earth, immediate access to God’s inner sanctuary has been established for us forever.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38

John Snyder

John I. Snyder is an international pastor, conference speaker, and author of the book "Resenting God: Escape the Downward Spiral of Blame" (ranked #1 on Christian Ethics in Theology on Amazon) from Abingdon Press. His highly acclaimed prayer guide "Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God" (ranked #1 on Meditations on Amazon books, #1 on Prayer on Amazon Kindle, #9 on Christian living on Amazon) from Thomas Nelson Publishers has transformed the lives of readers all over the world, taking them on a 100-day journey in prayer over a specific issue or circumstance in their lives. Pastor John received his Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and he received his Doctor of Theology degree magna cum laude in New Testament Studies from the University of Basel, Switzerland. John has been featured on Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Fox News, Faith Radio Network, Cru, American Family Radio Network, In the Market with Janet Parshall, The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh, Miracle Channel, Bill Martinez Live, and many more. Pastor John is host of the podcast The Walk on Theology Mix. The Walk is about our faith walk, the way we live out our faith in our daily life. It brings conversations of faith from all aspects with writers, pastors, friends, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others

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