Where is God?

16 04 2016

7157768-3x2-940x627In conversations with men and women I am always interested in their understanding of God’s “address”. Generally, when asked “Where is God?” the answer is, “He’s in Heaven, of course, but I know He is also with me.” Most people know God’s eternal address but many also believe that He transcends heaven to be with us, helping us, giving us strength or whatever we need. From the scriptures and experience people have known that God can be counted on to always be near His people. One example is the 139th Psalm of David,

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?(v.7)

But there is another equally important truth that Jesus presented to His disciples recorded for us in John 14:17. Speaking concerning God’s Spirit, Jesus said,

“…He dwells with you..”,(the then, current reality) “and will be in you.”(the coming reality, bold highlight mine). He went on to say,

“A little while longer and you will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, And you in Me, and I in you.” (vv.19,20 NKJV)

To His disciples this was a very revolutionary concept. The same is true even today. Like the disciples we have little problem believing that God is with us, but to also believe with the same confidence that He is IN us is doubtful. For example, just watch how believers respond to common trials in their lives. The usual response is “Where are you God? Why have you let this happen to me?” This is the natural response to someone who only knows one side of God’s presence. The conclusion is made that while God was with us He somehow left us or the trials would not have happened. The question continues to compound itself by reasoning that God must have forsaken us because of sin, a lack of faith or that we don’t pray correctly. Is He trying to teach us something? And on and on.

Jesus was preparing His disciples for the reality that following Pentecost He would, by His Spirit, be in them internally. He was moving them to an even greater consciousness than of His physical presence. Had He continued to live with them in the external, physical  realm they would have continued to rely only on Him in this way with ongoing tentativeness. He wanted to give them an internal, everlasting, supernatural awareness, not limited by sight or physical senses, that was just as true or real.

If we know God is in us how does this change our view of life? For one, every trail we face is not just my experience but God’s as well. If He is in me, what I face He faces. What I experience, He experiences. My question changes from “Where are you God?” to “God, how are YOU dealing with this?” “What are YOU doing about this, Jesus?” It then is no longer me asking God for help to face a trial but realizing that He will face it through me. It is no longer my asking for strength, but seeing that God is my strength (Phil. 4:13). As Paul, we can learn that in the midst of our “thorn” His “grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) As we experience this grace we come to know the reality of Christ living in us.

Where is God? He is both with us and in us. This is the great “mystery” of our faith and what we want every person to realize so that they can live victoriously and free. (Col. 1:27)

be the branch in the vine

photo  Dennis


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