THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
The Omnipresence of God
By Lesley Mitchell
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.Although the word "omnipresence" is not used by King David in Psalm 139, this is a wonderful description of the omnipresence of God:
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in – behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
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…
Even the darkness will not be dark to you; The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:1-8, 12
The Latin word omni means "all" or "everything" or "everyone." When used as a prefix to the word "bus," it literally means the bus for all the people. But how can God be present everywhere?
The clue is in verse 7 of Psalm 139 — "Where can I go from your Spirit?" It is by means of the Holy Spirit that the Father and the Son have complete access to all of their creation. Interestingly, when Jesus took on human form, although he had divine knowledge and could read men's hearts, he was not omnipresent. The Bible tells us that God is Spirit, and all things are openly exposed to Him. Jesus also said that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
Consider how some 5,000 people were anointed with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit is inseparably linked with God's omnipresence. All believers in Christ are anointed with the Holy Spirit who dwells within them. The very presence of God is in them — millions of people at one time! The Holy Spirit intercedes for them when they pray, otherwise how could more than one prayer at a time be known to God? All Christians who can testify to miraculous answers to prayers are evidence of God's omnipresence.
It should be noted that although Jesus was perfect, and free from sin, when he took upon himself the sin of all humanity, he was separated from God during His crucifixion. "At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' mdash; which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" I mention this because in Isaiah 59:1-2 we read this warning: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." It is therefore important to remember not to grieve the Holy Spirit, who dwells within all believers and through whom God is omnipresent. Although he will never leave us, he can (and will) withdraw his influence from our lives and our ability to show God's presence to others.
Image Credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight; "Midwestern U.S. at Night"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | God-Father | Jesus-Christ
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