Sermons

Summary: What do we mean when we say that God is everywhere?

GOD’S PRESENCE - OMNIPRESENCE

Early American Indians had a unique practice to train their young braves. On the night of the young brave’s 13th birthday, on his threshold of manhood, after learning hunting, and fishing, and scouting skills, he was put to one final test. He was put into a dark, dense forest, and was expected to spend the entire night alone. Up until that point he had never been separated from his family and tribe where there was a lot of security for him. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. After taking off the blindfold, there he was in this thick woods. And after what would seem like eternity, finally dawn would break, and the first rays of sunlight would break through the dense forest. And he would look around, and to his utter astonishment he would see down the path an outline of a man standing there holding a bow and arrow. It was his father! He had been there all night, watching over his son, protecting him even though he couldn’t see him.

Psalms 139:7-12 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

This is what theologians call God's omnipresence, “The Lord our God is everywhere at once.” He is everywhere present all the time. Paul Little states that “God is not a substance spread out in a thin layer all over the earth. ¬ All of Him is in Chicago, in Calcutta, in Cairo, and in Caracas, at once and the same time.” God is everywhere at once. There's no point in the universe where God is not. He is not limited by time or space. He is not confined to any one location.

That is a hard concept for us because we are finite creatures. Have you noticed that it is impossible for you to be in two places at once? You may have wished that you could be in two places at the same time but you can't. I face this every week as I stand at the door. I would like to greet and talk to everyone but there is only one of me. Maybe you have wished you could have said hi but there was already someone talking with me. Imagine that they invented a time machine that would allow you to go back in time 24 hours. This afternoon I get into that time machine. That would mean that this morning there would be two of me. That would certainly make things better. But then both of us go back. That means this morning there would be 4 of us. Now imagine I keep doing that until there is one of me for every one of you. I could give everyone my complete and undivided attention.

God is infinite. He does not dwell within time and space so he can be completely with and give His undivided attention to every person on earth at the same time.

When Henry Norris Russell, Princeton astronomer, had concluded a lecture on the Milky Way, a woman came to him and asked: “If our world is so little, and the universe is so great, can we believe that God pays any attention to us?” Dr. Russell replied, “That depends, madam, entirely on how big a God you believe in.”

Saying that God is omnipresent does not mean that God is IN everything. That's called pantheism. Don't confuse the creator with His creation. I am not saying that God is part of everything, but He is everywhere at once and can be with every person at once.

This scripture tells us three things about God’s presence;

1. DEPTH (vs. 8) – God is with us spiritually

It says here that “if I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” The word here used for depths is the Hebrew word SHEOL or hell. David is not saying here that God is in hell. There is no way while we are still living to visit heaven or hell. There are times when we may feel like it. All of us have good days and bad days. The good news is that God is always with us no matter how we are feeling. The Holy Spirit is in us – connected with our spirit. David once wrote;

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