Today’s message explores the third and final of the “omni” attributes of God. Omni means ALL. Comprehensive. Complete.
- Omniscience means God knows everything there is to know about everything.
- Omnipotence means he has all power to do all things.
- Omnipresence, theme of today’s message, means he is everywhere at all times.
Isaiah 57:15 describes God’s Omnipresence in a simple way as well as any scripture. READ. God is high and lifted up ~ the God of the heavens, whose footstool is the earth, God is far and above us in everyway, yet he is personal, he is here among us, he is in my life, he is near. You can see both… we can sing songs of the Majesty of Christ, as high as the heavens beside songs such as, What a Friend we have in Jesus. He is both because the Lord is Almighty residing in the heavens, but he is near he is here!
According to Is. 57:15, the presence of the Lord, the transforming power of the Lord is for the lowly and the contrite…contrite means to feel a sense of sorrow…a realistic view of our own sins and nature. Isn’t it ironic that God is nearest to those who know they don’t deserve his presence? ///////
Three principles of God’s omnipresence (outline & some general thoughts Ray Pritchard)
God is Not Limited by time or space
One of the greatest statements of omnipresence is found in the inspiring words of Psalm 139:7-12: 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. 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. If I say, ‘‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Pretty complete list of God’s presence. Tell me Where is God not? God cannot be contained in buildings… in cities or nations…No room for exclusive claims like I have a better grasp of God than another person, or that my group has superior understanding… we better check any sense of moral superiority at the door, or that God is more American than any other nation…
God is always present whether we believe it or not. In the early days of space travel, one of the Russian cosmonauts returned from orbiting the earth to announce that he had looked out his space capsule and had not seen God anywhere. A preacher challenged him that Sunday [Criswell], “Let him take off his space suit for just one second and he’ll see God quick enough.”
God is present in the difficult moment of life: suffering, pain, sickness, sorrow, anger, grief, bitterness, divorce, betrayal, murder, rape, sexual abuse, cancer, warfare, famine, earthquakes, fires, floods, accidents, personal loss, and at the moment of death. God is always available to us wherever we go at all times. As a boy I memorized Psalm 23, at times I’d have fears at night, and I’d find peace by praying Ps. 23…
We may rely fully on him no matter how hard our situation. If you are having a hard time seeing God, I know a place you can find him. Visit residents at Lynden Health Care Center. You’ll see God. If you’ve never been and it makes you nervous, ask me to take you… ask the wonderful people, is God good? Everyone is different of course and depression is not uncommon, but faith is also on full display as many many saints of God sense his presence and find strength in his spirit….
What does God’s omnipresence mean for us? The next principle is warning:
God can be ignored but he cannot be avoided
God is everywhere at all times. But the Lord gives us a choice in how we perceive him… You can ignore God but he will catch up with you. Only one time in scripture, Genesis 16:13, God is given a haunting name: El Roi, which means “The God Who Sees.” Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, is the one who gives God this name: “You are the God who sees me, for I have seen the One who sees me.”
Question: Is it good or bad that God sees everything you do? Another way to ask the same question: is the judgment of God good or bad?
The God who sees me is bad news for those that are trying to hide from the sight of God. Rev. 6:15-16 describes those that want to hide from God at the end of time: “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
God knows. God hears all. God is the God that sees. We are all given the choice to ignore God, but he still sees all because he is everywhere, at all times. There is no place that God is not.
To put it another way: Jesus makes people nervous. Have you ever noticed many people in our culture don’t want to say they are Christians, but they want to claim Jesus ~ Jesus in a box of their creation that is…. They like a Jesus that doesn’t die for our sins, a Jesus that is all loving, but not judgmental by their definitions so they can have a license to make decisions that may not be in keeping with Christian values and biblical principles. Jesus makes people nervous because they don’t want a Jesus that is ever present, but rather a Jesus of convenience they can ignore if they choose to try and live without any accountability other than their own rules.
I earlier asked the question: Is it good or bad that God sees everything you do? is the judgment of God good or bad? It is bad for those that attempt to hide from the fullness of God. But the fact that God sees everything we do, that God judges us continually, is good news for those that want to learn, to commit themselves to him, to grow. This leads to the final principle springing from God’s omnipresence:
God promises to draw near to anyone who will draw near to him
This is the good news of God’s every watchful eyes: God is always near his people. Go back to the foundational scripture of this message, Is. 57:15. READ. For those who recognize their true sinful nature and invite God’s presence, the promise is a transformed life. God’s presence is repeated over and over again and is perhaps the greatest news for those that embrace him: Hebrews 13:5b says, ‘‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” In Matthew 28:20b Jesus promised, “I am with you always.” Deuteronomy 31:6, as he was nearing the end of his long life, Moses reminded his people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The Bible also tells us that God draws near to us in times of pain and suffering. Psalm 34:18 tells us that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Many of God’s servants have experienced God’s powerful, inspiring presence in the in the middle of great sorrow. Often they look back later and marvel at how God brought them through when their own resources completely failed. Many of you have that exact story… you look back and can see God was with you…
God is everywhere at all times. There is nowhere that God is not. That’s bad news for those that try to hide from him or those that edit the fullness of his loving character, his death on the cross. But for those that recognize their sinful nature, their dependency and need on the Almighty, it is good news, with the promise that he will revive you and be with you in all situations. The Lord is ever present…
God draws near to those who approach him in humble faith. In Psalm 145:18 we read that “the Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” James 4:8 challenges us to “come near to God and He will come near to you.”
I want to end with a look at the familiar Ps. 23, the first four verses… I want to highlight what one person called “The Best two words in the 23rd Psalm. READ.
Notice the change from “he” to “you"…. even though the Lord is with us every day, we don’t always feel his presence right beside us. But for those who believe, when stress and difficulties visit, it is so amazing that in those moments is when the Lord seems closer than ever… The Lord is my Shepherd, “he” does this and “he” does that… beautiful and wonderful truth. But then David speaks of walking through the valley of death and boom, he immediately says, “For you are with me…”
Thank God, I do not have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death alone. For he comes when trials come… I have seen it over and over at the moment of death… the latest was Maynard, a few hours before he died, he was content… I saw it with Don Nielsen, Don Hammingh, Kay Bishop, Pauline Nims, my own father….
“For you are with me…” I don’t think that only applies to literal death, but any trials, for those who believe, there is no greater news than that he is watching and is near in all trials… He is the shepherd walking beside the sheep and reassuring them by his calm presence. If God is with us, we have nothing to fear. Thank God, we don’t walk through the dark valley alone. Jesus will walk with you….
There is no place that God is not. God is omnipresent: He is everywhere, his center is in all places and his circumference is beyond measure. He is high and mighty, residing in the heavens, he is near living within those who call on his name. God is ever watching, bad news for those that try to hide from him or deny the fullness of his Lordship, but good news for those that call on his name, repenting of sins, inviting him to revive…. Thank you Lord that you are always near. Amen.