Yesterday was a Gumby Day – a day when I was being stretched thin to meet everyone’s expectations. Take care of this problem, go do that, don’t forget you promised to do this, can you fix this?, I could really use your help, why didn’t you ____________?
Stop!! Slow down!!
I can’t be everywhere at once!!
But God can ……..
We believe that God is omnipresent meaning he can be everywhere at once. Why do Christians believe this?
There are certain attributes of God that are shared with mankind; we called these communicable attributes. For example, wisdom. People can be wise though they will never be as wise as God. His infinite wisdom will never be fully shared with us. Similarly, God will share some of his knowledge, though we will never have all of God’s knowledge. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth. (Isaiah 55:9) We can imitate God’s love and share that attribute, but we will never be as infinitely loving as God is. So it is with all communicable attributes; God shares them with us to some degree but never to the same degree that he possesses himself.
Then there are attributes that God shares very little or not at all, such as his omnipresence. People do not have the ability to be in more than one place at one time. How is it possible for God? Because he is not limited to space and time. He existed before the creation of the world; he created space and time.
23“Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the Lord,
“and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places
so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.
7Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
God cannot be contained by any one space, no matter how large. Nor is he reduced to being a “part” of all things or “living in” all things such as rocks and trees; that is a pantheistic idea. The Star Wars use of The Force is a form of pantheism. That is NOT how the God of the Bible is described. Rather, he is present everywhere in his whole being, though distinctly separate from his creation. He is available to all people at all times to sustain, support, bless, or pronounce judgment as the situation may require.
When I am frustrated by my limitations, it’s helpful to know that there is One who has no limitations. He is never confined to one place or out to lunch with someone else, but instead is beside me and able to help me through whatever circumstances I face right now ……….. any time …………. any day.
As you raise your mug today, give thanks to the God who is above and below, in between and all around.
Much of the information here was taken from Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com