Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The All-pervading Presence of Our Omnipresent God

Dr. Paul J. Palma - Professor, Regent University Biblical Studies & Christian Ministries

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

A common scenario in my household goes something like this, “Dad, something’s wrong with the TV, it won’t turn on, can you come over and check it out?” My reply, “Give me a minute, I’m fixing the chain on your bike and I can’t be in two places at once.” Imagine if you could be in two places at the same time. You’d be able to able to accomplish so much more. You could meet the needs of those who depend on you in half the time.

God doesn’t have the same problem. He’s always in two places at the same time. In fact, He’s everywhere ... all the time. God’s ability to be in all places at the same time is what is meant by the attribute of God known as omnipresence—built from the Latin omni meaning “all.” Literally God is all-present. All of God is in all places at all times. As the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah:

“‘Am I a God who is only close at hand?’ says the Lord. ‘No, I am far away at the same time. Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?’ says the Lord” (Jer. 23: 23-24, NLT).

God can be close at hand and in another place at the same time. He is present in all the earth and the heavens. The Hebrew word for heaven, shamayim, has reference to a dual reality—both the place of the sun, moon, and stars, as well as the unseen abode of God and the angels. While God lives and dwells eternally on the throne in heaven where He has dominion over all things, He is also present throughout the created realm of the physical universe. This is an awe-inspiring and comforting reality. The God who reigns over all things created and unseen is present in your life at every moment, wherever you go. No one can hide from His presence. This may provoke a wholesome, godly fear. Because He is with us and sees all that we do, we ought to live vigilantly, ever seeking to uphold His sovereign will.

His omnipresence is also a comforting reality for every Christian. It means He stands with us, beside us at every moment, to guard our steps and fight our every battle. His very Spirit is in our midst to assure us of the way forward. In Jesus the Almighty and All-present God has revealed Himself to us personally. He has become for us Immanuel (“God with us,” Matt. 1:23, NIV). Through Christ, in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we can have confidence and live in fullness of God’s strength. He will stand strong on your behalf, leading you thru every trial, fear, and worry in life. When you feel as though you can’t accomplish everything you need to on your own, God will supply the way. When the needs of others weigh on you, even though you can’t be in two places at once ... He can. The sovereign God of the universe is on your side to steady your path and lead you forward in the path of victory.                  

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-10, NIV).

Copyright © 2016 Paul J. Palma. Used by permission.

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