The Omnipresence of God

Omnipresence means that God is present everywhere at one time.  He is “all present” in terms of His nearness to everyone and everything.  God isn’t simply everywhere in general terms like, for example, the way a substance is spread throughout an area by diffusion.  In the same manner as we discussed when we looked at God’s infinitude, God doesn’t fill a space but rather exists outside of space.  There are no borders around God and neither does God fill a container, even so vast a container as the Universe.  The Universe, for all its enormity, cannot hold God but instead the Universe is contained within God.  Everything that exists in time and space is found within God as does everything that we have not yet discovered or imagined.  He does not live in space since God is Spirit and He is infinite.

In biblical terms, God in His essence is near; His consciousness and attention are equally close to everyone.  So, if the question, in any of our circumstances, is “Where is God?  Where are you God?”  The answer is that He is right where you are.  He could not be anywhere but right there.  Jesus could be going to the right hand of the Father while at the same time assuring His disciples that He would be with them always.  Distance means nothing in relationship to being close to God.  We think in spatial terms relating to geography or astronomy but God isn’t contained in those dimensions.  Tozer writes, “When we come to anything that is intellectual, spiritual, or of the soul, space, matter, weight, and time have no meaning at all.”  God is near to all and everything, not because of location but because of His essence.  Tozer illustrates that by way of the closeness that one has with a friend versus an adversary, though by location we could be sitting in a room with the adversary and a thousand miles apart from his friend.  He continues that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to spiritualize His people so that they no longer think materially but rather spiritually and to recognize that it isn’t proximity that distances us from God, but incompatibility.

The incompatibility of mankind with God is what actually separates from God because He is not distanced from anything at all.  David writes in Psalm 139:7-8, “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.”  We have a separation that is greater than the span of the East is from the West because it goes to the core of who we are and not where we are.  It is our dissimilarity with God that separates us and reveals to us that we are far from God.  We are far from His character and nature making us unlike Him in spirit; our “distance is one of character, not space.”  Tozer references Ephesians 4:18 when he says that we have become alienated from God and any sense of remoteness is due to the fact that we cannot have fellowship or communion due to our incompatibility with God.  He answers the feelings and questions of so many who struggle with the imminence of God, “They don’t find Him because God and man are dissimilar in their moral nature.  God is perfect holiness, man is perfect iniquity and the two can never meet. That’s why God seems so far away.”

God’s response to the dissimilarity of nature was to take upon Himself the responsibility to close the gap between man and God.  2 Corinthians 5:19 states that, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  There could be no middle ground where both parties would compromise for the sake of unity.  God could never become less than Himself and concede to sin, so instead God conquered sin and the power of sin, so that we could become new creatures.  As new creatures, we bear within ourselves a foreign moral nature that is ours in Christ.  In Christ, and because of Christ, there is now no longer a moral obstacle.  “Christ has removed everything,” writes Tozer, “so man could come home.”  When this takes root in the life of a believer, it is like the experience of Jacob in Genesis 28.  Jacob has a dream one night as he is fleeing to Haran.  In the dream, he sees a ladder to heaven and God stood above it declaring to Jacob that He would be steadfast and His presence would be with Jacob and never leave him.  When Jacob awoke, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it… How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16-17).  At one moment, though everything about the place we are in stays the same, it is transformed into the house and gate of heaven as God reveals just how near He is.