The omnipresence of God means that God is everywhere at the same time. While such an infinite concept is difficult for finite minds to comprehend, is it true? How does that change our perception of God?
Incorrect Perception: The Overbooked God
Have you ever tried to get an appointment with that really busy person? You keep trying to get on the calendar, but you can never get him or her to settle in on a time. Like the doctor that schedules an appointment months out or the friend who keeps promising to get together, some people just seem untouchable because of high demands.
Many people view God that way. They tend to believe that God is so busy that he is only able to focus on one person at one time. If that is the case, many people feel as if their situation isn’t critical enough to garner his attention.
God is not overbooked. God is omnipresent.
The Omnipresence of God
One way to determine if you believe in the omnipresence of God is to articulate His capacity for collecting information at one time. Imagine you had a room full of people who all filled out the following line:
God, my favorite name for You is ______________.
If everyone read the line at the same time, how many of those names could God hear, how many names could he match with the person who spoke it, and how well could he process all that was said in his direction?
- God’s presence is not restricted to one place at one time. It is incorrect to think that God only dwells in certain places and with certain places. If the heavens can’t contain God, neither can a building we construct (1 Kings 8:27; Col. 1:17; Isa. 66:1-2; Acts 7:48).
- God’s presence is available at all places at the same time. There is not a person to which God is closer than another. God is close to everywhere (Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:27-28; Deut. 10:14).
- God’s presence does not emanate a consistent demeanor with all people at the same time. The presence of God can evoke fear or calm depending upon one’s spiritual condition. He is able to respond differently yet simultaneously to all people (Amos 9:3, 15).
- God’s presence is always available yet our connection is hindered due to our sin. In our sin, we are like the first rebellion struggling with separation from God. God never lost Adam, but Adam lost Adam (Gen. 3:9). Our sins alienate us from God (Isa. 59:1-2; Eph. 4:17-19).
- God’s presence feels absent due to our unawareness. We need not pray for the presence of God for which we have been promised. We need to pray for God to stir our awareness of his presence which is constantly there (Gen. 28:16-17).
- God’s presence is tangibly accessible for all churches. The unique experiences that seem more connected to God’s presence have more to do with our focus than God’s willingness. God is never more present with one over the other (1 Cor. 14:33; Rev. 2-3).
- God’s presence provides His complete attention on you at all times. God is not limited to care for one of his children at a time. The fullness of God’s attention dwells on the entire Creation at every single moment (Ps. 16:11; Col. 2:9-10).