God is incorporeal (without body) He is not limited to a spatial location. He is equally present everywhere all the time. Think about that for a moment. There is absolutely nothing that can displace Him. He is not around the file cabinet displaced by the wood of the cabinet but He is equally through the cabinet as He is all around the cabinet. He is equally everywhere all the time. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’… Acts 17:27-28
We don’t need to go anywhere to be in God’s presence yet, there are times in Biblical history and in our own lives as well, when God manifests Himself in such a way that an individual or group of individuals experience more of Him.
“To be sure, God ordained in the Old Testament that his ‘presence’ be directly associated with the tabernacle in the wilderness or the temple in Jerusalem so that people could speak of entering into God’s presence in the sense that they came near to the place where he had appointed his name especially to dwell or to be identified with.[i] …But with those exceptions — namely, the localized presence of God in the temple in the Old Testament and the localized presence of God in the incarnate Christ — with those exceptions, the ordinary way of speaking about the presence or the nearness of God in the Bible is not connected with spatial orientation.”[ii]
John Piper describes 2 nuances of the presence of God –
- The presence of God from our perspective – in that there are times in which our awareness of God’s presence heightens our experience of the reality of God.
“Our experience of it means that we taste or feel or realize the reality of God more directly, more authentically, more intimately, more effectively — that is, producing more effects in our lives — more certainly, more satisfyingly, or more terrifyingly, and so on.” – Piper
- The presence of God from God’s perspective –
“God is yes, to be sure, omnipresent in some of his influences like his sustaining all things at all times, holding every electron and every sub-nuclear particle in its place. But he makes his influence more manifestly felt and experienced in particular ways and particular times, and this is what we are referring to when we say with the psalmist, ‘For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord my refuge, that I may tell of all your works’ Psalm 73:23. Here is Psalm 145:18: ‘The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.’ That doesn’t mean that God traveled some distance. It means he is near in the sense that he exerts his influence for our good in special ways and causes us to experience the sweetness of his reality in special ways.[iii] – Piper
Take a few moments today to simply practice your own personal awareness of His presence with you.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
Think About This: “Human beings by their very nature are worshipers. Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are. You cannot divide human beings into those who worship and those who don’t. Everybody worships; it’s just a matter of what, or whom, we serve.” ―