Our Ever-Present God
Open Your Bible
Psalm 139:1-10, Exodus 33:16, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Isaiah 66:1-2, Matthew 1:20-23, John 1:29-34, Acts 17:22-29, Colossians 1:16-20
BY Jessica Lamb
God is not only universally present above and beyond creation; He is also personally present, dwelling with His people.
Sometimes, I’m afraid to acknowledge the nearness of God. I’m afraid of what I’ll hear, or what uncomfortable truths I’ll have to face about who I am, because to encounter God’s presence means to be made more and more like Him (2Corinthians 3:18). So I ignore the reality of His persistent, relational presence, and instead turn to distraction: working more, endlessly scrolling through social media, blasting my favorite podcast, or binge-watching a television show—anything to numb my heart and mind.
But to live this way is to miss out on really knowing Him, to miss the opportunity to join the psalmist in proclaiming the gift of God’s presence: “As for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, so I can tell about all you do” (Psalm 73:28).
Once I started looking for the theme of God’s presence in Scripture, I began to find it on every page. Sure, I’d thought about God’s presence before. I know He is enthroned on high (Psalm 113:4–6). I know He fills the heavens and the earth and that there is nowhere I can go where He doesn’t see me (Psalm 139; Jeremiah 23:24).
But Scripture has so much more to say about God’s presence. In passage after passage, we’re told that God also desires to be relationally present with His people. Authors and biblical scholars J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays even suggest that this is the central theme of the entire Bible.
God heard every time the enslaved Israelites cried out against the injustice they suffered in Egypt (Exodus 3:9), and He showed up in a visible pillar of cloud and fire to lead them on their journey out of captivity (Exodus 13:20–22).
God is before all things and holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), and He intercedes for me in wordless groans when even I don’t know how or what to pray (Romans 8:26–27).
God can’t be contained in any house built by human hands (1Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24), yet He walked off the dusty roads of Judea and into the homes of sinners, tax collectors, drunkards, and fisherman to eat and drink with them (Matthew 24:49; Luke 10:38–42; 19:1–10).
As you’ll discover in this reading plan, we were created for this kind of relationship with God—to live in His presence, experience His goodness, and enjoy Him all the days of our lives. God has always drawn near to His people, and even now, He invites us to draw near to Him.