Our Ever-Present God – November 20, 2020

Years ago, a good friend made a wonderful and convicting statement. He said, “When God seems far away, I am the one who moved.” This is a statement reflecting the wonderful reality of our ever-present God. God is always with us because God is everywhere. This has been called God’s omni-presence. God cannot be limited by space or time. The Psalmist captured this reality with his declaration, “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, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10).

The implications for our everyday life are staggering and comforting. This means that God’s very presence is holding all of life together. In Acts 17:28, Paul declared that we live and move and have our being in Christ. He told the Colossians that Christ holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). The writer of Hebrews states, “he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). This means that nothing happens apart from God’s control. Every situation, every blessing, and every trial comes through God’s gracious hand.

Yet, we must also understand that God acts differently in different places in His creation. God does not dwell in hell in the same way that God dwells in heaven. One is a presence of wrath, and the other a presence of joy and blessing. Sometimes God’s presence means punishment of the wicked (Amos 9:1-4), and sometimes God’s presence means blessing for the righteous (Psalm 16:11). This is both a blessing and a caution. For the wicked, God’s presence is a caution. He will defend his character and enact His vengeance.

However, for the believer, this presence is a blessing. Psalm 16:11 informs us that in His presence is fullness of joy. Revelation 21:3 tells us, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” As we reminded ourselves in previous weeks, God is faithful and loving. So, God’s presence for the believer stands as a wonderful promise. God promises us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5; cf. Deuteronomy 31:6).

When trials come, when darkness overwhelms you, when temptation strikes, when hurts deepen, run to God! He is ever present. He is there beside you. His Spirit dwells within you. You are in Christ and Christ is in you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. You are never alone. So, run to Christ!