Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
By omnipresence—also referred to as “ubiquity”—we mean that God is everywhere present in the fullness of His being. This allows Him to interact in any places at any times (even in multiple places simultaneously). Being in all locations present in the whole of His being, there is no place we can go and not be in His presence; this is a comfort for Christians and a torment to non-Believers. God is not spatial or dimensional in existence as we are; if He were, we would constantly be bumping our heads on Him. While it is beyond the scope of our understanding to work out how it is that God can be ubiquitous but act locally, we accept it in like manner as many other recalcitrant ideas: the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, the ex nihilo Creation, etc.
A.W. Tozer expands on this in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy:
The doctrine of the divine omnipresence personalizes man’s relation to the universe in which he finds himself. This great central truth gives meaning to all other truths and imparts supreme value to all his little life. God is present, near him, next to him, and this God sees him and knows him through and through. At this point faith begins, and while it may go on to include a thousand other wonderful truths, these all refer back to the truth that God is, and God is here.
Other attributes we’ve discussed so far:
[This post is adapted from Blue Letter Bible’s Theological FAQs page.]
Michael saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 7:51 am
Great reminder that He is with us no matter where we go!
cedrick saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 8:16 am
Who dares argue with the incalculable, inevitable truth of how finite and fragile we are as humans compared to the LORD God Almighty! When His presence will be revealed on that final day, the whole earth and the heavens will flee before him!
Marguerita saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 8:32 am
Wonderful!You’re so right the fact of God’s omnipresence does refer back to a thousand other mind boggling truths, like for instance the oneness of God and as it relates to the incarnation..”in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14). God was Jesus Christ manifested in the flesh. You put a such a simply spin to this truth…being in all locations present, in the whole of His being. Col 2:9, in speaking about Jesus, confirms this…for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.I’m so excited and stand in awe when I read and ponder on God’s omnipresence, it’s something our finite mind will never fully understand. I’m also humbled and grateful for His personal presence in my life. I absolutely love psalm 139, I confess it is my most favorite passage of scripture in the entire bible and I use it as the compass for my life:-). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the opportunity to share mine, may the Lord continue to bless and keep you.
Darlene Russo saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 8:52 am
I am teaching this next week in our woman’s Bible study, it is awesome to contemplate, however, I feel like I am venturing into uncharted territory. Within my understanding of this attribute is the knowledge that God even dwells in Hell, this is where His wrath is poured out, and He of course is not subject to the physical suffering.
Nevertheless, I wonder if at the same time He grieves for those who have chosen this destination, hard truth in my mind.
Walter Hearvey saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 9:04 am
It is still difficult for me to get my little mind to understand the awesomeness of our God!!!!!!
Dianna Beverly saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 9:30 am
How comforting it is to know my God is with me in times of suffering and trouble and he will always be with me no matter what situation life brings.
Behira / St. Augustine, Florida saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 9:38 am
Adonai is my a EVERY BREATH, MY REASON FOR LIVING, MY STRONGHOLD!!!! 9-13-11 @ 12:37 pm – Tues. TODAH ROBAH
Greg saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 10:28 am
That is a really gorgeous picture used for the title for this post! (working under the ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say…’ principle).
I will take issue with the ‘While it is beyond the scope of our understanding…’
The dynamics of flight… now that’s something beyond the scope of my understanding! Of course, I’m just kidding, because if I took the time and put in the effort, I’d be able to.
But it’s so much easier to speak loftily, supposing the things not understood, than to put that same effort into discovery. Because, honestly, as I’ve been writing this over the past… awhile… things have come together and I’ve gained much better understanding by it. (Romans 8:28; Matthew 11:25)
Jer 33:3 <— at this point faith begins… or at least a good place to begin!
It really is a gorgeous picture, though!
Crystal Rizzo saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm
I could never imagine what God’s schedule is like, lol. I tend to think in my little human mind and my prayers “God help me sort out my busy schedule, help me through my trials, give me wisdom”, and all the requests I set before the Lord thinking it must be alot of work for God with eeverything I am always asking of him but then I read and remind myself this and am encouraged that my sevanthood life along with everyone elses is very important to God and is NOT impossible because he is God and can be with me, alongside me, and at the same time he doing that for another brother or sister in the world that very same moment also, Now that is an awesome God! Amen?
Crystal Rizzo saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm
I could never imagine what God’s schedule is like, lol. I tend to think in my little human mind and my prayers “God help me sort out my busy schedule, help me through my trials, give me wisdom”, and all the requests I set before the Lord thinking it must be alot of work for God with everything I am always asking of him but then I read and remind myself this and am encouraged that my servanthood life along with everyone elses is very important to God and is NOT impossible because he is God and can be with me, alongside me, and at the same time he is doing that for another brother or sister in the world that very same moment also, Now that is an awesome God! Amen?
Ryan Vestal saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Great post! I’m trying to wrap this saying that I hear in almost every service I attend, as this def. relates to the post. I think its said when the service has reached an emotional height & is a statement based on feeling rather than solid Biblical truth. Not to say this is an essential doctrine, ofcourse not. I just want to make sure as I pursue Pastoral/Leadership Ministry that I’m not steered by these mottos I hear as to manipulate Gods people & tricking their feelings. So here it is, “Oh I feel the presence of God in this place, or, God is in this house.” Like duh, really, Where 2 or more are gathered I’m thinking, or ofcourse, the book of Acts says “God does not dwell in temples made w/ hands.”
Another question family, “Does the Omnipresent God that we serve, is He in the night clubs, strip clubs, gay bars, any place that would seem to have an overflow of wickedness. If so is He there watching? Convicting…..??? & when the Church service is done, does He stay in the Church? Lol, I’m sorry if these questions seem elementary. God bless, any help would be great, preferably scripture references attached. Grace & peace in Christ, your brother.
Gayle Howell saysJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord: I just wanted to thank you for the awesome website and let you know that I use it every day. I’m reminded of Jacob and
Gayle Howell saysJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm
God gave Jacob a dream where the angels ascending and descending to heaven on a stairway (or ladder) and the Lord God appeared at the top of the ladder and promised him, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Thus Jacob was introduced to the name of God, Jehovah-Shammah, which means “The Lord is there”. Once he had awakened from his dream, he built an altar out of the stone that he had laid his head upon during the dream, anointed it with oil and changed the name of that city from Luz to Bethel, which means “House of God”. Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of God and the gateway to heaven.” Thank you for being a part of God’s presence that we can turn to and receive guidance from His Word. God Bless You . . .