Psalm 139:7 – “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” NASU
I have heard, even said, and I’m sure you have as well, “God showed up today,” speaking of a church service or an event. I have a problem with that statement when it is viewed in light of God being somewhere else and suddenly showing up where we were. That is a mistaken view of God and His presence. Some may totally disagree with me at this point but let me continue and hopefully, we will arrive at an agreeable conclusion.
If this Psalm is the truth, then God didn’t just show up, He was already there, we just didn’t recognize, receive, or accept Him. We did not recognize the manifestation of His presence for whatever reason but to convey the idea that He ‘showed up’ is to suggest that He is not, as this verse declares, EVERYWHERE! I believe and believe that the Bible teaches that God dwells in His creation and is present in all His works. At the risk of sounding as though I embrace the doctrine of Pantheism, I contend that there is no place we can go where God is not.
Go back to the Garden of Eden and consider the error of Adam. I am not talking about His error in choosing to disobey God but the fact that once he had disobeyed he attempted to hide from God. Adam and Eve heard God in the Garden and they hid from Him or attempted to. Imagine that! Most of us would laugh at such a feeble attempt to hide but tragically we demonstrate that we believe it is possible to be somewhere God is not. Go back to my earlier statement of someone saying, “God showed up or turned up here today.” That is an expression of the idea that He was not there and therefore not everywhere.
We mistake the Presence and the Manifestation of God as being synonymous. The failure to recognize and embrace His manifestation is not an indication that He was not there. We either believe Him to be Omnipresent or we do not. There can be and is the Presence of God but there may not be the open Manifestation of Him. In Jeremiah 23:23-24, we read, “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide in secret places so that I cannot see Him? Declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the Lord.” If that is the truth, then we readily see the difference between the Presence of God and the open Manifestation of Him.
God wants to be found of us or by us. We are told to ‘seek the Lord’ and if we understand that to mean that He is afar off, in hiding, or not always present we make a grave error. We are to seek Him so that our receptivity of Him is enhanced. We seek Him so that the eyes of our spirits are open to receive and recognize Him.
It is possible and likely that we will not always sense Him, feel Him, or recognize His presence but He is there! The fact that He is Present does not mean we notice, feel, recognize, or embrace that presence. That’s why we pray, worship, praise, and always seek to be filled with the Spirit of God! Jesus instructed us, in Matthew 6, to pray that the Kingdom of God would come, and the will of God would be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Does anyone think that God’s Manifest Presence is not realized at all times in heaven? Would anyone suggest that God might be absent from His creation at any time?
He may seem far off, but He is there! He is there all the time, every time, and no matter where we go, He is there! The problem is not the absence of His presence but the sensitivity of our spirits and hearts to recognize His presence. We are sometimes too preoccupied with visible things to see the invisible presence of God. We are so accustomed to that which we call reality we miss the reality of His presence in the invisible realm. It is when we live in a consciousness of His presence that we learn to exercise authority and power over the powers of darkness. It is then that we become bold as lions and fear are banished from our minds and our lives.
My prayer is, “Lord, help me to recognize your presence.” I want to take up permanent residence in His presence and fulfill the purposes of God for my life and complete my assignment on this earth. My heart cries as the Psalmist in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” He continued declaring, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?’” He did not ask, “God when are you going to show up?” He recognized the reality that God is there, everywhere, all the time and the problem was not the absence of the presence of God but His failure to enter into that presence.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!