God’s Presence (Omniscience)

Ps. 139

7* ¶ Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8* If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9* If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10* Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

Isn’t it a mind-boggling thing to consider that God never needs to go anywhere? Because he’s already there. God said through Jeremiah in chapter 23:

Jer. 23:23-24

23* “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?

24* “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

There is no place where God’s presence is not. Theologians call this the omnipresence of God. It literally means he’s all present. He is not confined by location, time, or any dimension.

This does not mean that God is everything, that would be a doctrine called pantheism. Some look around and say, “God is the sky. God is the mountain. God is the grass.” That’s not God, that’s his creation. Do not confuse the creation with the Creator. God is not everything, but our God is everywhere.

Paul said in Acts 17:28, “‘For in him (God) we live and we move and exist.'” That’s simply saying you couldn’t move apart from God. You couldn’t exist without God. He’s holding it altogether, He is the cohesive force in this whole universe. And so the fact is: God is everywhere. He’s all around me. He’s always beside me.

One of my greatest needs in life is to tune in to God and to understand the value of his presence. 

In our lesson, I want to suggest to you four conditions, common conditions of life where we need to sense God’s presence and where we can receive immediate benefit.

1) When I am worried, God is my confidence. 

Isaiah 43:1-2

1* ¶ But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!

2* “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.

Where he says, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” what does that remind you of? If you know your Bible, surely it reminds you, like it did me of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Remember? The captive Hebrew princes who wouldn’t bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, and so he threw them into that fiery furnace, and when Nebuchadnezzar managed to look down into the furnace, the Bible said, “He didn’t see three figures, he saw four.” And the fourth one the Bible says, “Was like unto the Son of God.”

The assurance of the omnipresence of God was the one thing that Moses needed at the burning bush.

Ex 6:6

“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

I’m your source of confidence.

David said in Psalm 16:8, he said,

“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” 

When you’re worried, God is your companion, do you know what the benefit of that is? God’s presence calms me down.

And the second condition is:

2) When I’m lonely, God is my companion.

Psalm 25:16 says:

16* Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.

17* The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.

18* Look upon my affliction and my trouble

Loneliness comes in all kinds of forms. There’s the loneliness from the death of a spouse. The loneliness of the death of a friend. There is the loneliness of divorce. There’s the loneliness of a business trip, the loneliness of going to a new school, the loneliness of growing old or feeling like nobody understands you. There’s even the loneliness of success.

Hebrews 13:5-6

“I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.

God has never asked you to do anything by yourself. He’s there. And when you realize that, you say like David did in that psalm, “Your presence fills me with joy.”

So what’s the benefit then? What’s the benefit of God’s omnipresence? We said a moment ago: When I’m worried his presence calms me down, but when I’m lonely, his presence cheers me up.

That leads to the third condition:

3) When I am tempted, God is my counselor.

I Corinthians 10:13

13* No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man…” that’s worth remembering.

The Scripture says we all share common problems.  If we share common problems, that means there are common solutions. And if there are common solutions, surely they’re found somewhere. The good news is, they’re found right here. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man.”

Now look at the second part.

“God is Faithful”

See, the benefit when I am tempted, God’s presence helps me out. He knows the struggle I’m going through and he’s already preparing an escape route because his presence is there.

Psalm 139

11* If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”

12* Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

God is always there. He is always watching and when I am tempted, he is my Counselor.

And then the fourth common condition, what we need to remember about God’s omnipresence,

4) When I am discouraged, God is my comforter.

Psalm 34:18 

18* The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Isaiah 40, beginning at verse 29. The Bible says there about God:

Isaiah 40:29-31

29* He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.

30* Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,

31* Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

I can think of a hundred times when I’ve been discouraged, when I’ve been defeated, when I just kind of felt like nobody knew and nobody cared. But you know what? That’s when you need to recognize God’s presence in your life. Because when I’m discouraged, he’s my comforter.

So what’s the benefit?

1) When I am worried, God is my confidence.

He calms me down when I’m worried

2) When I’m lonely, God is my companion.

         He cheers me up when I’m lonely;

3) When I am tempted, God is my counselor.

         He helps me out when I am tempted;

4) When I am discouraged, God is my comforter.

         He sees me through when I’m discouraged.

Now – how do we do that?  Let’s go back to Psalm 16 and see how DAVID did it. 

Psalm 16:1-11

16:1 ¶ A Mikhtam of David. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”

3 As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5 The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7 I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

 8 ¶ I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

In Psalm 16, then, we have a very important passage to consider.   It is a messianiac Psalm.  David does NOT speak of himself, he speaks of the Christ. 

We know this to be true because Peter quotes David in Acts chapter 2, he quotes from Psalm 16.  Let’s take a quick look at how Peter uses Psalm 16. 

Acts 2:22-27

22* “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know–

23* this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

24* “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

25* “For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

26* ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;

27* BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.

28* ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

29* “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30* “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,

31* he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.

32* “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

33* “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

Alright, we’ve set the context, David was speaking of the messiah.  We know that because Peter tells us so.  Back to Psalm 16:

I love what David said in Psalm 16:8, he said,

“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” 

Now you think about that for a moment. David didn’t mean that he had the power to take God and put him before him, God is already there. There’s no place God isn’t. He’s omnipresent. Do you know what David is saying? He is saying, “I have set the Lord always before me.” He says, I am tuning in, I am understanding that God’s presence is always right in front of me. And then he concludes that verse by saying, “Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

I want to share with you four ways to help you do what David did. You know David said in Psalm 16, “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

1) The first thing you’ve got to do is remind yourself of who you are . . . YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, and as such you a Child OF THE KING.

1 PET. 2:1-6

2:1* ¶ Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

2* like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

3* if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

4* ¶ And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

5* you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6* For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

7* This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”

8* and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

9* But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

10* for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

11* Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

12* Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Here is what the CHRISTIAN must remember . . .

God is around you, God is by you, and God wants to be in you. He wants to put his presence inside of you. And here’s why: Because when you feel these pressures coming from the outside of worry and loneliness and discouragement, you need an equal pressure from the inside fighting against them to save them all.

2)  Just be quiet. Be quiet. Do you know the reason so many people don’t get the benefits of God’s presence, simply because they’re too busy, too distracted.

3)  Develop the habit of praise.

Psalms 100:4 says,

4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

4) Talk to God about everything. 

David said in

Psalms 62:8,

8 ¶ Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Even as you’re forming the thoughts right here, he’s taking them out of your mind and he’s reacting and responding to them. 

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