How often would you like to be in two places at once? We all face that conflict, those times when the various spheres of our worlds collide. When work calls, a birthday party is happening, and our child is playing a football/soccer game — all at the same time! It’s in those times we wish we could be in two or even three places at once. An impossible wish for us, but not for God. Another aspect of God’s revealed character is His being everywhere at once, also called omnipresence.
The prophet Jeremiah recorded, “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:23–24, NASB95) And the Psalmist wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:7–10, NASB95) Where can I go from God’s Spirit that He isn’t there? Nowhere.
This revelation of God’s everywhereness is so contrary to our human experience it is difficult for us to grasp. We often talk of God as if He is a distant cousin living in a far-off country. That God is “up there.” Or only in certain places at certain times like the sanctuary of a church building on Sunday morning. We may even think that God is in the nicer places but stays away from the dark, rough, and ugly places. Even in the deepest darkest pit of sin and despair, God is there.
The two previous attributes of God, His all-powerfulness and all-knowing had a revealed element of self-limitation. Not so with God’s everywhereness. From the space between the nuclei of an atom to the farthest reaches of the stars, God is there. In our darkest moments and our highest celebrations, God is there.
But here we must also be careful lest we worship creation and not the creator. While God is in the tree, the tree is not to be worshiped as God. Neither the stars, or the sea, or the mountains, or other people are to be worshiped even though God is in all of those.
We often think that someone is too far gone for God to reach. Perhaps we’ve even thought that about ourselves. But that is not so. God is there right now.
Or perhaps we’ve assumed God can’t see our secrets, but He can. A very young child is often mystified by a parents disappearance behind a blanket. Out of sight means the parent is gone. They can’t yet process that the parent is simply on the other side of the blanket. We do the same thing with God, doing things and thinking things in secret we assume no one can see – not even God. But God does see.
The flip-side of that truth is that God is also there wherever and whenever we want to talk to Him. We don’t need to run to a special place or wait for an appointed time. God is always right there right now. When the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere – God is there. When we’re distressed and worried in the middle of the night – God is there. He’s there when something goes wrong at work or when our dreams fall apart. God is there when we run the other way or try to escape through various addictions.
No matter where you are or when it is – God is there.