Last week, we discussed God’s omnipotence. Today we’re talking about the second “omni” connected with God: omnipresence. Literally this word means that God is present everywhere. Unlike us, God doesn’t have a physical body that’s bound to one location at a time. Although this is hard for us human beings to even imagine, He’s able to be in all places all at once. Jeremiah 23:24 says He “fills heaven and earth” (NIV). There is nowhere He cannot go or is not aware of (Hebrews 4:13). He’s somehow able to give attention to everything at the same time without ever being stretched thin or less present in some places.
Although He is present everywhere at all times, it’s a different kind of presence than we’re used to when other people are physically with us here on earth. At certain points in history, however, God chose to enter our world in special ways to accomplish a purpose. God’s presence was manifested (made immediate, obvious, glorious, and terrifying) to His people first in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) and then the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1). These locations were where God dwelled with His people and helped them understand who He was. Later, God came to earth in a new way: in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Then, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers, who are now the “temple” of God (1 Corinthians 3:16).
So what does God’s omnipresence mean for us?
First, we can rest assured that God is always aware and in control of everything. Colossians 1:16-17 says that through the Son of God “all things hold together” (NIV), including all created things throughout the universe and all earthly powers. No matter how out of control things may seem, God is present through it all.
Second, as believers, we have immediate access to Him at all times. In Psalm 139:8-10, David says,
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.” (NIV)
During the height of the pandemic, when many went through quarantine and isolation, we felt how serious loneliness can be. We prized even long-distance connection with other people through blurry Zoom calls. But with God, we are never alone. We’re less than a moment away from contact with Him.
Finally, we should recognize that as believers we are currently the temple of the Holy Spirit and be careful to act accordingly. As Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians, this includes both how we treat ourselves and how we treat others.
What do you think? I’ve barely even scratched the surface of a discussion of God’s presence here. How do you experience God’s presence and what do you want to add to this discussion? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!