“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10 (ESV)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the British Baptist preacher, said this psalm “warns us against that practical atheism which ignores the presence of God, and so makes shipwreck of the soul.”
It is easy to say that we believe God is present everywhere, but it is not so easy to live like we believe it. In fact, we are all in danger of living like “practical atheists” in one way or another. For example, I have noticed that when a visitor is present in my home, I tend to be kinder to my wife and more patient with my children. But if I believe that God is always a visitor in my home, then shouldn’t I always behave that way?
The doctrine of God’s omnipresence is both frightening and comforting. As a sinner, it’s frightening, because during the most despicable moments of my life, this holy, righteous, all-powerful God has always been there. But as a saint, it’s comforting, because in Christ I am forgiven of all my sin, and this same holy, righteous, all-powerful God has promised never to leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
The doctrine of God’s omnipresence has other applications to everyday life:
- It comforts us when we are lonely.
- It helps us fight against the temptation to indulge in “secret sins.”
- It encourages us to do good deeds that other people do not see.
- It motivates us to pray anytime and anywhere, because God is always listening.
Father in heaven, forgive me for the ways I live as though You are not present. Help me to remember Your presence with me today, as I live in the light of this glorious truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Live this day as though God were present with you every moment, because he is.