One of the greatest challenges as a believer for me has always been wrapping my head around the omnipresent nature of God. In the simplest stream of thought, it means accepting that God is everywhere. He is here in my backyard in Jacksonville, Florida as I write this post while He is also, at the same time, across the world in a country I’d have to Google in order to spell correctly.
Everywhere at the same time.
What we often misunderstand, because it is not often communicated from the weekly pulpits of modern churches, is that the omnipresent nature of the Father really means that He is present in all places at all times: past, present & future, simultaneously. That’s a deep, sci-fi-ish, thought and yet, to acknowledge God as the one and only deity is to accept that time and space have no dominion over Him.
Okay, so now that I’ve got you chasing your tail with “what-if” thoughts and dipping your toes into the vast pool that is theological study, let us circle back to the point of this post.
I have spent countless hours in intense conversations over the topic of faith. Deliberate critics of Christianity are often intent on solving or having explained to them every mystery of the Bible before making their choice to ‘believe’. Yet, as they dig deep into major scientific theory, behavioral psychology and their own common sense, they found themselves tripping over the principle of faith.
The Bible teaches that faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith, demonstrated, can be as major as believing that God will ensure that your family is fed even when there is no money in the bank to buy food and the cupboard is bare. Or it can be as minor as trusting that your children will be safe while they are away from you at school. At the end of the day, faith is about having certainty in the promises of God and total confidence that He is bringing them to fruition in your life even when you cannot see them coming to pass. For some of you this may seem simple enough, but for others, this is a HUGE LEAP. The analytical human mind, practiced in making its own way in the world, will struggle a bit here.
This is where I want to encourage you, my precious friend.
You might be surprised to find out that I do not believe in “blind faith”.
Romans 10:17 states that “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Most of us would agree that knowing the truth must come from exposure to the truth. If all we ever hear or listen to are lies or even partial-truths, we will only ever know and behave according to that knowledge. But when we are exposed to the truth we behave differently.
The message of the word about Christ is fairly simple: He came to seek and save the lost and He did so by living a life drenched in love, grace, mercy, and kindness. Because He loved, He spoke the truth as plainly as possible to all who would hear his words and welcomed them with open arms and taught them to do better, after they knew better.
So what on earth does this have to do with the omnipresence of God?
Everything for me.
Remember when I told you that I quit my gainful employment based on the conviction that God wanted me to write? That was a massive leap of faith for me and my family, yet, it wasn’t a blind one. I didn’t wake up one morning with a wild hair and decide I wanted to be the next Beth Moore. Not at all. I spent months in the Word, studying, reading, praying and listening to the Spirit of God. I sought the support of my husband and the counsel of others much wiser than me. The decision ultimately became an act of faith when I chose to be confident about who God said I was and what I was supposed to do with my life. It became an intentional journey of obedience and adoration. Every day is a step made with trust in my Father.
Even now, in those moments when fear and doubt creep into my mind, I have to shore up my faith. That doesn’t happen emotionally. It happens by diving right back into the truth I trust: the Word. I read and re-read passages like Psalm 147 and trust that if God was able to clearly make a path for me to jump out here in the first place, that He will reinforce every single step by that same power. I meditate on the immense fact that not only is He here with me, right now, in this moment but that He is already present in my future and holding it firmly in His hand.
Don’t doubt though, my friend, that faith is an active practice. The bible is full of great examples of godly believers walking “faithfully” before God. There are steps to be taken, choices to be made, and a commitment to keep.
But we will talk more about that next time. Until then, I encourage you to take moment and ask “What does faith look like in my own life? Is it blind and shallow or deeply rooted in the truth of God’s immense power and identity?”