God, Where are You?

When I was a young lad, -- and on into my later years, I had the idea that God was very far away, perhaps millions of miles somewhere in the heavens above the clouds. I suppose many still have a similar concept about the whereabouts of God: that He is nowhere near us. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Psalmist wrote, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence" (Ps. 139:7-13). David was positive that God is everywhere. His Spirit fills the universe. He has not removed Himself from us. This means He is there where we live and work. The Lord said, "Am I only a God nearby...and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?...Do not I fill heaven and earth?" (Jer. 23:23, 24). "Heaven is my home, and the earth is my footstool" (Isa. 66:1).

How aware are we of God's presence?

No doubt at times we feel ignored, forgotten, and abandoned by all -- including God. This may be true of some of our closest human relationships, but not of our Lord. "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me" (Ps. 27:10). Feelings of loneliness and of being cast aside can rob a person of joy, of self worth, faith and hope. Such can lead to doubt, discouragement, anger, panic, hopelessness and unbelief.

This is exactly where the devil would like to keep us, to take advantage of us, to lead us to doubt God. But the Lord has given us His word that He will not leave us regardless of circumstances. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me" (Ps. 23:4). He promised, "When you pass through the waters...through the rivers...through the fire...I will be with you...for I am the Lord, your God...your Savior" (Isa. 43:2,3). The truth is, we leave Him; we ignore Him and become forgetful of His presence. Experiences of hardship in life are not an indication that God has abandoned his relationship with us.

The Bible portrays many who may have felt quite alone -- even abandoned by God. Among them are Job -- who lost everything including his family and friends; David -- during his flight from murderous King Saul; Stephen -- the faithful deacon, while being stoned to death for his faith; Paul -- in prison and during many other dangerous experiences; Peter -- under sentence of death; John -- while a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos. Oh yes, -- there are many more, but in each case God proved He was with them all the time.

God promised to be with us. The Bible is full of God's assurances that He will be with us. He will not forsake us. He will care for us, and we can fully trust Him. He said, "Never will I leave you" (Heb. 13:5). "I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you" (Josh.1:5). "I will live among you" (Zech. 2:10). "I will walk among you, and be your God, and you will be My people" (Lev. 26:12). "My Presence will go with you" (Ex. 33:14).

Jesus said, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Mt. 28:20). "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Mt. 18:20). He assured His disciples, "The Spirit...lives with you, and will be in you...I will not leave you as orphans" (Jn. 14:17).

What a revelation! Christ is not only with us, but He is IN US. This is something believers need to be aware of constantly. Paul reminds us, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple, and that God's Spirit lives in you? (1 Cor. 3:16, 17). "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:19). As long as we are God's children we are never alone for He dwells in us by the Holy Spirit!

Jesus said, "Remain in Me, and I in you" (Jn. 15:4).

Remembering that He is with us and in us, should give us confidence; it should be a source of faith and joy. It should also keep us from wrong doing. He sees, hears, is aware of our every intent, and is a witness to all of our deeds. This should keep us in good behavior.

He is with us because He loves us. He is concerned about us, and tries to help us. "Cast all your anxieties on Him; because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). But He needs our cooperation: -- our attention and our obedience.

We are not alone or abandoned. Don't let the devil fool you into thinking you are not important to God. You are! Be encouraged. Develop an awareness of His presence. God said, "Do not fear; for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God: I will strengthen you, and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"(Isa.41:10). "Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, who will sustain you" (Isa. 46:4). Encourage yourself by daily reading God's promises to be with you. Remind yourself often by telling yourself, "God is with me!"