Summary: Discover how a true picture of God enables us to enjoy life now and look forward to eternity with God
We continue in our mini-series trying to answer the question, "What is God like?" We’re not doing this simply to tickle our intellect or to be religious. We are doing this to answer a second question, "What difference does it make to know what God is like?"
Earlier this week, I was getting Esther ready for bed. She has a habit of whining about being tired when Susan cleans her up. And Susan would sympathize and comfort her. But this was the first time she whined about being tired when I cleaned her up.
So I said to her, "You took a nap this afternoon and you woke up at 5:30! You are not tired!"
Immediately, Esther’s eyes beamed wide open and with her upper body tossing side-to-side she said, "Then, why am I going to sleep?" Susan and I looked at each other and just burst into laughter.
When we discover what God is really like, our eyes will beam wide open and our lives will say in the way we live, "Then why am I worried?" Or, "Then why am I insecure?" "Then don’t I have peace?" "Then why do I feel so guilty?"
When we know what God is really like, we begin to throw off unhealthy habits of thought, unhealthy habits of relating, and we begin to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Having a true picture of God enables us to enjoy life now and look forward to eternity with God.
We’ve already covered three attributes of God in two previous messages: They were His self-existence, His oneness, and His victory.
The first attribute we’ll look at this morning is the attribute of God is everywhere.
Now this does not mean that God is in the trees, in the rocks or living in His creation. That’s pantheism, or believing that God is a force in nature. The Bible doesn’t teach pantheism. God reveals Himself in the Bible as separate from His creation but to be present everywhere at the same time. Some use the term omnipresent.
We can see this attribute of God in the Old and New Testament. When Abram and Sarai kicked Hagar out of the house in Genesis 16:13, we read, "[Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ’You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ’I have now seen the One who sees me.’" Hagar found that God was present even with those who are abandoned by men.
We read in Jeremiah 23:23-24, "’Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the LORD, ’and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ’Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD." God is omnipotent.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 139:7-8, "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." The Psalmist is telling us that we can’t hide from God. There is never a place where we are that God is not.
Jesus explains to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21, 24, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." Where we worship is not as important as how we worship, because God is not limited to a place or a building. He is everywhere. He is with us Monday through Saturday, at work, at home, at the supermarket, at school and on the freeway.
But why should we care that God is everywhere? Well, if God is everywhere, He sees everything. That means that God not only see your smile and warmth at church, but He sees your struggle with your habitual sin even when no one else is looking. God not only sees my diplomacy in church meetings, but He sees my impatience with Esther.
Most of us think to ourselves, "If God really knew me, He wouldn’t love me. If He really saw what I did when no one else was looking, He would be so disappointed in me. If God found out that I had given in again and again to the same temptation, He would not forgive me." Folks, the God we worship is a God who sees all. He is everywhere. He knows. And yet, He forgives. He loves. He perseveres with us.
Parents, our job is not to make sure our children go to the best university, secure a well-paying and prestigious job or marry up. Our job is to make sure that our children know that the God they worship is everywhere, even though we, as their parents, can not be everywhere with them.