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?


  1. I have thought lately(the last few years)that there is a switch, like a light switch of our will, that is a God designed human element in which we can flip on...and expectancy becomes the conduit of the manifest presence of God. the only reason I believe it exists(the switch...I.E...pride) is unfortunately the frequency of my awareness of it and my stubborn way I avoid to turn it on. I suppose that "repentance" is the finger that pushes up the toggle.
    It is interesting that the God of the universe longs for relationship and yet leaves room for reciprocation. "We love Him, because He first loved us." The Robbie Seay Band has a song called "We Are Free" and in it God initiates His love toward us and waits for a response. I think if we respond in spirit and in truth God will show up and love on us and reveal what He is up to and invite us to freely worship Him to the uttermost...in praise, in fruit, in our very lives. The manifest presence, as I barely understand it, shows up at His bidding as long as we are open and humble to receive it...we will walk in and out of it and it will show up in daily life as fresh fruit waiting to be picked by those in need around us. When God shows up, love shows up, for God is love.

  2. Jerry, you're so right. There are times when the Manifest presence of God shows up even when He's not invited.


Thanks so much for the feedback!!

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