Years ago my daughter had a computer game called “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” It tested our knowledge of geography, the locations of natural and man-made wonders, and a lot of world trivia. We loved it, but we didn’t get many answers right!
Thank goodness we don’t have to play a game to learn where God is! We know he is everywhere -- all-present. He’s omnipresent! In Psalm 139:7-10 David expresses his awe at God’s amazing presence:
“Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea, even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me.”
This attribute is really hard for us to grasp because we cannot share it in anyway. We can act merciful or gracious to a point, but we’ll never be omnipresent. A.W. Tozer says that we struggle to fathom this attribute because we think in human terms of geography or astronomy, or in miles or meters or light-years. He says, “The omnipresence of God requires that wherever there is anything -- even hell -- the presence of God must be.” Tozer notes that “Jesus could go to the right hand of God the Father and still say to the people of earth, ‘I am with you always’ (Matthew 28:20) because Jesus Christ is God, and God being spirit can be instantaneously everywhere at the same time.”
God is near to everywhere, everyone, and everything. In spiritual, nonmaterial things, closeness and likeness are the same quality; distance does not mean anything. But because we are dissimilar in nature from God, and we think in limited human concepts, we feel distant from God. According to Tozer, the Holy Spirit’s challenge (if he has any) is to make humans so spiritual that they can experience the presence of God and not be separated or distant from him.
God is with you and me, right here, right now. But because our sin makes us morally different from him, we are alienated from him. Thankfully, God gives us a chance to be reconciled to him when we accept, by faith, our need to be cleansed of sin through Jesus’ death on the cross. 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that we can become “partakers” of God’s divine nature, thus eliminating our difference, our alienated spirit. As we open our hearts to God, he gives us a spiritual transplant and we can know his presence within us.
So, where is God? When do you experience the light and joy and strength of his presence in you? Take time to read Psalm 139 and ask God to show you where he is!
This is the eighth post in a series by NCF Director Jane Hall on God's attributes. She is inspired by the writings of A.W. Tozer in "The Attributes of God Volume 1 with Study Guide: A Journey Into the Father's Heart."