Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The Presence of God
I'm my study, I've discovered that there are two different "presences" of God. There is the omnipresence of God, and the manifest presence of God.
We know three things about the nature of God. We know He is omnipotent, which means He's all-powerful. We know He is omniscient which means He's all-knowing. And we know He's omnipresent, which means He's everywhere at every time.
The Psalmist was extremely familiar with this presence.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, 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. 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." Ps. 139:7-12.
Also, Jeremiah heard God say it like this:
Jer. 23:23-24 "Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? says the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? says the Lord."
God is everywhere at every time. He sees everything we do in the public and in the secret places. We never have to worry about being alone because of this.
On the other hand, in Exodus 33:14-15 Moses followed the manifest presence of the Lord. He said that He didn't want to go somewhere where the presence of God was not.
Isaiah 55:6 says "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."
In Hosea 5:15, God says that His presence will leave His people. "I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense."
A. W. Tozer puts it like this, "The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when, and as we are aware of His presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work is to show us the Father and the Son"
So as seekers of God, a prayer of "show me Your glory" or "come meet us here" would be appropriate, if we understand it in the context of God's presence never leaving us, but simply making itself known to us.
I've also heard people talk about the "abiding" presence of God that lives within the believer. I haven't studied this as much as I would like to yet, so it didn't make it into my list, but that's on my list of things to study next!
If you read this post, please give me a comment! What do you think about this understanding of the presence of God? How do you pray in regards to God's location?