Attributes of God, part 7
God is everywhere. That’s a pretty commonly taught thing in churches, so it is an easy one for us to understand, at least surface. But, I feel like God’s omnipresence is sometimes used like Santa Claus- if you aren’t good, God is watching, and you won’t get any presents come Christmastime…
Now, there is a bit of truth in that- God is always watching us and we will have to give an accounting before Him of our lives someday, but think deeper.
Like, if God is everywhere, how come I don’t always feel Him?
Or, if God is everywhere, is He in hell, too? And, if so, what makes it so different than heaven?
And, (my first question) how is omnipresence so different from infinitude?
So, the answer to the last one, just in case anyone else is wondering, infinitude means that God is huge, and is everywhere. (See a previous blog for further discussion). Omnipresence means that God is close, no matter where you are.
The answer to the middle question is easy to answer, hard to understand. Read the following verse: (copied from theword.net, emphasis is mine)
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I fleefrom thy presence?
8If I ascend upinto heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
That kind of says it right out- God is in hell. Which was not something I’d ever thought about before, but, it makes sense. If God is everywhere, well, everywhere means everywhere. However, I think the rest of the answer to the question- if God is in hell, why’s it so different from heaven? – is answered with the first question asked above.
If God is everywhere, why don’t we always feel Him? Why do we often feel so far away from Him? One reason is we think in such a physical means, that we can’t feel Him. We are so busy looking for things we can physically touch and see that we don’t take the time to look for what we can see with the rest of us- our inner souls. God is everywhere, as we’ve just established, which includes inside of all of us. (Which is an idea I kind of wrestle with, I must admit. I have a lot of friends who are New Age (not supporting that belief at all, by the way, but I understand why you have it if you do), and so say that my God is the same as their god. I believe the difference between an omnipresent God and god being in each of us in bits is that I look to God within and without me and acknowledge that God being within me does not in any way make me God, while most New Age holds that we are all gods or a piece of god, because god is within us. ) We see from such a human perspective- from what we know or think that we know. We cannot really get in touch with God….
….unless we are changed and enabled to see with a spiritual perspective. Which is what the whole born again process is about. Because we receive God’s Spirit, we are able to be in touch with God’s presence and see Him everywhere, if we are willing to look. We feel much closer to God because we can understand Him; we have something in common with Him, a common ground. So we understand the omnipresence of God much better, and He isn’t just Santa Claus anymore, He’s a friend and helper and guide and so much more.
So back to the whole question of heaven and hell. If we have been changed to be able to really feel the presence of God and communicate with Him, we can do that in heaven. If we have not been changed, even if He is there is hell, it makes no difference. It is eternal separation from knowing the One who made us desire Him most of all, who is our fulfillment in life.
And the best Christmas Gift ever!