The Omnipresent God


This is lesson 6 in the series "The Attributes of God."
 

The Omnipresent God

“Omni” means all.

Omnipresent means “all present” or, more correctly present everywhere at the same time.

The Earth is about 196,940,400 square miles.

 

Each one of us takes up 10 square feet.

Each person is on 0.00000000000018% of the earth

God is on 100% of the Earth.

If we walked 3 mph it would take us 3747 years to walk on every square foot of the Earth.

God is on all of it at once.

And even beyond that, He is present throughout the depths of the Earth.

In fact, God is present in every part of the Universe down to even beyond the atomic level.

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 which I have built!”

God does not fill the universe like a hand would fill a glove; rather, God fills the universe like the ocean fills a bottle on its bottom.

Omnipresence is not to be confused with pantheism. Omnipresence states that God is present everywhere. Pantheism states that everything is god and that god is everything. Omnipresence is truth; pantheism is blasphemy.

God is spirit. Spirit and matter do not compete for space. The can coexist.

Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Each atom only exists or stays together because God holds it together. So should there be a place where God does not exist then, in fact, that place could not exist either. It wouldn’t even be empty space; it would be nonexistent.

Because God is omnipresent it means that all of God exists in every place. There is no place in the Universe where God is more loving or more holy. We do not have to go to a church or a temple to get more of God.

When the Bible speaks of God sitting on a throne in Heaven that does not mean that the person of God is in Heaven and everywhere else is some kind of non-personal spirit. Nothing could be God that is not all of God.

God’s omnipresence vs. the presence of God

 

These should not be confused.

One is the positional being of God; the other is an immediate relationship with that being.

Psalm 16:11, “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.”

Though God is everywhere it is obvious that there is not fullness of joy everywhere.

The presence of God is not just an awareness that He is present; the unrighteous can believe that and still be joyless. The presence of the Lord is experiencing what He is, not merely that He is. It is drawing near to God that He might draw near to us. The presence of God is direct intimate communion. It is not merely thinking of God as Creator but as Father and friend.

You can be surrounded by people and everyone is ignoring everyone else. Presence does not necessitate intimacy.

Or there can only be two people but be in a relationship.

We can never escape God’s presence

Jonah 1:3-4,  

3But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

 4The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

Verse 3 twice states that Jonah was fleeing from the presence of the Lord. Then the very next verse tells us what the Lord did to Jonah.

Jonah was never further from God on the ship then when he was being directly spoken to by God on the land.

Jeremiah 23:24, “Can a man hide himself in hiding places
         So I do not see him?" declares the LORD
         "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD.

Hebrews 4:13, And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

As with God’s omniscience, when we are tempted to sin we should remember that God is right there.

Where can we go to avoid the One who fills all in all? The solution to rebellion and temptation is not escape but obedience.

God all around us

 

When a solder goes into a war zone he does not want to be exposed and vulnerable. Danger can come from any angle. He prefers to be surrounded by as much armor as possible with the best option being inside an armored vehicle.

There are many ways and angles that life can hurt us. Sometimes our past can haunt us. At other times we may be heading into a bad situation. We may be blindsided by a malicious attack from a colleague, friend, or relative. But praise God that He is there for us.

God is behind us. He protects us from our past. Isaiah 58:8, “The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”

God is above us. He covers us from those who arrogantly stand above us and make accusations. Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge.”

God is in front of us. He goes before us so that we might make right decisions. Isaiah 45:2, “"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth.”

God is under us. He cushions and comforts us when we fall. Deuteronomy 33:7, “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

God is to our left and to our right. He guards us from unexpected attacks. Psalm 125:2, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”

Of course, God does allow some attacks to get through but even then He is there to give wisdom, support, and comfort. We are truly surrounded by God.

What Does God’s Omnipresence Mean to Us?

Nothing can block out God

 

No matter how great the evil surrounding us

No matter how large the physical barrier

No matter how thick the darkness

God can always hear our prayers

He can always deliver us

He can always comfort, support, and encourage us and fill us with His grace

He is always with us to the end of the age

Matthew 28:20, “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

He will never leave nor forsake us

Hebrews 13:5, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, " I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

No matter how horrible the crisis or how confused life may become, God is always right there to help us out. No matter how deep our sin God is always there to give us victory. Even if we are abandoned by all others God is still there for us.

God is not so much a lighthouse that we have to move towards to get out of trouble;

Rather, He is like a shepherd who picks us up and carries us away from danger.

If God is for us then who can be against us?

If God is with us then who can triumph over us?

Who could ever imagine a god as great as the One who is real? We could never create a god as great as the One who created us.

Living God’s Presence

 

As we enter into a saving relationship with God one thing we notice is a greater awareness of His presence.

Brother Lawrence wrote “Practicing the Presence of God.” Even just the title alone should inspire us. We should always make ourselves be aware of the presence of God.

Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Notice that He is in our midst. He is not across the street or across the Universe. If God were a person right now then each and every person could always and everywhere reach out and touch Him.

Maintain a constant mindset of God being right here with you.

·         While singing in the church, think of God sitting next to you.

·         While driving, think of God as in the seat beside you.

·         While going to sleep at night, think of God as lying down in bed with you.

When you pray, don’t pray as if God is distant, but prayer as if God is right there face to face with you.

When you read your Bible, do so with the feeling that Jesus is leaning over you from behind reading with you.

Cook, brush your teeth, get the mail: do all things with God as your constant companion.

Psalm 73:23-24

    23Nevertheless I am continually with You;
         You have taken hold of my right hand.
    24With Your counsel You will guide me,
         And afterward receive me to glory.

Discussion Questions

1)      In addition to the ones discussed above, what are some other assurances that God’s omnipresence means to us?

2)      If God is everywhere, then why do so many people, including many Christians, feel so abandoned and alone?

3)      How does knowing that God is omnipresent help us as we go through life?

4)      How will our understanding of God’s relationship to us help us in our relationships with others?

5)      If God is all around me and with me then why do not I feel His presence in some special obvious way?

6)      Romans 8:9 reads, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you but if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” If God is everywhere then how can someone not have the Spirit of Christ?

7)      Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” If God is omnipresent then is not He already in our midst all of the time anyway? So what does this verse mean?

Situation

Floyd got saved around a year ago and when he started coming to your church you became friends. Though you know that no one completely cleans up every aspect of their life soon after becoming a Christian you have a suspicion that Floyd still regularly indulges in pornography. You have asked him about it and his reply is always that he used to be heavy into it but that stopped immediately after he got saved. Then one day you are at his house and you notice a pornography magazine that was carelessly left on a table. You notice that it is a recent issue. Just then Floyd walks into the room and sees what you have found. He stammers but cannot explain it away. You ask him to sit down. What will you say to him and how might God’s omnipresence prove to be a deterrent?

 


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Copyright Bob La Forge 2011        email: bob@disciplescorner.com