What does it mean to be with God? We can’t see Him. We can’t feel Him. We can’t smell Him. How can we possibly be with Him or expect Him to be with us?
Pantheists tell us that we are all part of God. It’s wishful thinking at best. Deadly theology at worst.
And yet God is omnipresent, meaning that He is indeed everywhere. God is all around us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all people experience the presence of God.
Hear the words of the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 17:24-27:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone. From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (NET)
In one sense God is very near to all of us, but in another we can be separated by a vast universe. Understanding this is foundational to the Gospel. To be dead in sin means to be spiritually separated from our Creator—even though we could almost reach out and touch Him. In His famous passage from the third chapter of John, Jesus proclaimed that no person can see the kingdom of God without being “born again.”
When an individual enters into a New Covenant relationship with God, the Holy Spirit enters that person’s heart and becomes one with their spirit, bringing it to life. How amazing it is to have this indwelling presence of God! It’s a degree of oneness that goes far beyond any human relationship. But still there is more!
It’s through the manifestation of God’s presence that He somehow becomes tangible to us, enabling us to sense His nearness. Unfortunately we can also quench His presence by pursuing our own will above His.
As a Christian I am so thankful for the indwelling of God’s presence, but I’m also hungry for more. I know that He is always with me but I want to be with Him, living according to His paradigm and allowing Him to manifest Himself to an increasing degree. There’s nothing like knowing the nearness of our Creator! No high can compare!
If we hunger and thirst for God, we will be filled. As the hunger of the soul is fulfilled through God’s presence, contentment results. Those who feast upon filet mignon have little appetite for greasy hot dogs. In the same way, those who feast upon the presence of God, begin to lose their lust for the things of this world.
I don’t know about you, but I want to experience more of God!