Summary: Living in God’s Presence means realizing that God is with you anywhere and everywhere you are 24/7 … and that He is more concerned about every part of your life than you could possibly imagine.
Today we’re going to learn about the God who is always here … who is always there [point out into the congregation] … and there [point to a different part of the congregation] … who is always everywhere. Just as God is infinite with respect to time, so He is infinite in terms of space. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere present at the same time. His Presence is unlimited … present in every part of space with His whole being.
During World War II, two Dutch sisters … Corrie and Betsie ten Boom … hid Jewish people in their home and helped them escape from the Nazis. They eventually got caught and were sent to Ravensbruck, one of the most notorious concentration camps in Germany. There they endured incredible hardship, deprivation, and suffering … yet they ministered to hundreds of their fellow prisoners who needed to hear about their Lord and Savior. Their barracks were transformed into a Bible study and prayer center.
Eventually Betsie became deathly ill. As she was being taken to the prison hospital, Corrie tried to shield her sister’s body from the sleet that stung their bodies. After the orderlies set Betsie’s stretcher on the hospital floor, Corrie leaned down to hear the words on her sister’s weak lips. “… must tell people what we learned here,” her sister whispered. “We must tell them that there is no pit too deep that [God] is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we’ve been there.”
There is no pit too deep that God is not deeper still. When I wake up in the morning … God is with me. When I kneel to worship Him … He is with me. When I drive my car … He is with me. When I get on a plane … He is with me. When I arrive at my destination … He is already there.
God is not limited by time … or space … or height … or depth … or our level of faith. He is always with us whether we are taking giant steps of faith or we are taking the first baby steps of faith. As David proclaims in Psalm 139, God is everywhere out there … but He is also here [touch heart]. He lives inside of every person who puts their trust in God through faith in Jesus Christ, amen?
In 1944, Dietrich Ritschl’s city was bombed. Thousands of people were killed. After the bombing stopped, Dietrich was lying on a bench in the railroad station that was serving as a makeshift hospital. Looking up through the partially destroyed roof as the fires were burning all over the destroyed city, he caught a glimpse of an inscription carved into one of the remaining sections of the ceiling. It read: “Beyond the stars there must live a gracious Father.” Lying there, looking at that inscription, he thought: “I do not want such a god. I do not want a god who is beyond the stars. I want a god who is here. I want a god who is present. A god who is available. A god who knows and understands my situation.”
While we are rightfully awed by the reality of God’s universal presence in every inch of space, what we need most is the sense of His manifest presence here … His presence being near to bless us. We want a God who dwells with us and understand us and understands what it is like to live with us. According to the Prophet Isaiah, we have such a God: “For this is what the High and Exalted One says – He who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isaiah 57:15)
For 400 years, the Hebrew people lived as slaves in the land of Egypt, surrounded at every turn by their pagan gods and their pagan culture. They must of felt like David when he wrote Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken us? Why are You so far from saving us, so far from the words of our groaning?” For 400 years, they cried out by day and God did not answer … by night and God appeared to be silent (Psalm 22:1-2).
And yet, God did hear them. God was with them … and with an old man by the name of Moses on the backside of nowhere a thousand miles away. “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt,” God tells Moses. “I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7-8a). “So now, go!” God commands Moses. “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (v.10).