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Here, There, and Everywhere - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2020 2:00 am

Here, There, and Everywhere - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 22, 2020 2:00 am

The Beatles wrote a song called "Here, There and Everywhere" about a couple's desire to be together at all times. This title also expresses a unique attribute of God. Dive into this topic as Skip shares the message "Here, There, and Everywhere."

This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.




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Where is God? God is here, there, and everywhere. That's what I'm calling this message.

Yes, I know it's a title of a Beatles song. That stuff is just in my head. But that is what sums up God's nature. God is here, and there, and everywhere. God is everywhere present. That truth can be a little tough to understand, but when you do, it can be so encouraging. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares why you can take comfort in the knowledge that God is in all places at all times. At the end of the program, Skip and his son Nate share how God's omnipresence can shape your worship life. Because God is in all places, any place can become a holy place, and that just opens up life, right? I mean, you can be on a camping trip, you can be in your car, you can be in a courtroom, you can be in a mundane meeting, but you can make it a holy place by getting in touch with God.

Be sure to stay with us after today's message to hear the full discussion. Right now, we want to tell you about a resource that will help you tap into a deeper faith and more meaningful prayer life. Recent research has found that Google searches for the word prayer have surged worldwide alongside the spread of the novel coronavirus. In fact, Google Trends data shows that the search intensity for prayer doubles for every 8,000 COVID-19 cases. But is there a right way or a more effective way to pray?

Here's best-selling author Kay Arthur. Where the battles raging were to be on the front lines, on the front lines on our knees, on the front line standing in the full armor of God. Kay's book, Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days offers simple but powerful instruction on how and what to pray and what to expect when you do. And it's our way to say thank you when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air.

Give online securely at slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Now, we're in Psalm 139 as we get into the message with Skip Heising. People have asked, where is God when I want to find Him? Do I need to go to Jerusalem to find God? Or do I make a pilgrimage to Rome? Do I step into a cathedral and that's where God is and will meet me?

Or do I go out in nature that He created? Will I find God there? Where is God? A little boy was having a discussion with his mom about this and asked mom, like a lot of little boys are want to do, mom, where is God? She said, God is in heaven. He said, so does He live in heaven?

She goes, yes. So he said, so where is Jesus? And she said, well, Jesus is in your heart. And the little boy said, but I thought Jesus and God were like the same.

How can that be true? I mean, is He in heaven or is He in my heart? So she's a little bit confused, a little bit frustrated. And she said, this is what parents, this is what we say, sweetheart, it's hard to explain. That's our explanation. Sweetheart, it's hard to explain. After another long pause, little boy said, so where's the Holy Spirit?

Now she's getting really uncomfortable and all she could come up with is, I think it's time for your nap, sweetheart. David's question in this psalm is very short and to the point, it's the question, where? He asked it twice in verse seven, where can I go from your spirit or where can I flee from your presence? Asked in another way, where is God? David's answer is equally as simple. There.

Where? There. Notice what he says in verse eight, if I ascend into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, 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. So where is God? God is here, there and everywhere. That's what I'm calling this message.

Yes, I know it's a title of a Beatles song. That stuff is just in my head, but that is what sums up God's nature. God is here and there and everywhere. Now David's question is a rhetorical question. He's not asking the question to get information. He is making a statement. He's giving a message. Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

As if to say, nowhere. Psalm 139, as we mentioned last week, is divided into four distinct sections with six stanzas per section. And each of those sections deal with a different attribute of God, one we dealt with last time. We're dealing with the omni attributes of God. God is omniscient. We looked at last time we were together, which means God knows everything. And we discussed and discovered that God's knowledge is not accumulated knowledge. He doesn't have to learn anything or go to school or be informed or piece ideas together to come up with an understanding of something. His knowledge is instantaneous, complete, total, comprehensive. That's one attribute. A second attribute we deal with now is God's presence.

Something else, just a reminder, we touched on this last time. When David writes Psalm 139, he is not writing a theological premise or article. He's writing a psalm. It's a worship song.

It's a worship tune that they sang in the temple in Jerusalem. So what I love about this is David is not viewing God with these attributes theologically. He's viewing God with these attributes personally and applicationally.

It's what it means to him and what it should mean to the people of God. And so I just want to ask you, when is the last time that you just praised God for his being something to you, not for his doing something for you? Just the fact that God is present. Just the fact that God is powerful. Just the fact that God knows everything. That's what David does in Psalm 139. Now in all of the attributes of God that we're dealing with, every single one of the ones we're dealing with is out of touch for us.

We can't do or be these things that God is. They're called non-communicable attributes. But we can sort of relate and sort of understand a couple of them. For example, I think we can partially grasp God's omniscience. Because after all, when we're with a group of people, there are some people who are smarter than other people that know more about a subject than others. I've gotten together with people and I get amazed at how much they know about a particular subject.

I might know a little bit, but they know a great deal. So in a comparative sense, they know much more than I know. So we can kind of say, well, God just knows much more than they know. So we can partly grasp that attribute of omniscience. Also, when it comes to God's omnipotence, His all power, which we'll look at next time, we can partly grasp that. For again, after all, some people are stronger than other people. Some people have a more powerful position in society than others have. So they have power and we can just sort of extrapolate that out and say, God has more power than they do.

But when it comes to this attribute, this is a brain freeze. This we do not comprehend or understand. Because when we talk about God being everywhere, we have to realize we can only be in one place at one time.

All creatures can only be and always be in one place at one time. We are finite. We are limited. We are localized. God can be present everywhere.

That's why it's a difficult attribute to discuss because we can't relate in any way to it. God can be our Father in heaven, Matthew chapter 6. At the same time, He can be a God who is near at hand, Jeremiah chapter 23.

Something else before we dive into our text. Sometimes in the Old Testament, God's presence is localized. In the sense that when the children of Israel walked through the wilderness, through the desert, God's presence was with them in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.

It was an emblem. It was something visible that reminded them and showed them that God was in particular with His people, taking them out of the bondage of Egypt. Also, when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it, the Bible tells us that the presence of God, the glory of God, in the form of a cloud, filled that temple. So God was very present with His people on that occasion.

And yet, Solomon wisely prayed at the temple dedication these words. But will God indeed dwell with men on earth? For indeed heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple? Yes, God is with us, but I realize this building can't contain God.

The universe can't contain God. So, let's go through verse 7 through verse 12 together. Let's notice the question, a universal question by the way, where is God? And we'll discuss this feature, this characteristic, followed by an explanation, a rational explanation that David gives as he drills down into the meaning of this attribute.

And then finally, we'll look at a conclusion, a practical conclusion. We begin with the question in verse 7, where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? I guess my first question would be, why would anyone want to flee from God's presence? Why would anybody ever desire to be far from God and hide or run from God?

And the answer to that is, I guess it depends on how you're living. Depending on how you're living, you're either going to want to be close to God or far from God, but one of the mistakes that people make is thinking they can actually hide from God. I know it's dumb, but it happens. Jonah was one of those dumb guys. Jonah was a prophet of God, yet it says in Jonah chapter 1 that he got into a boat and tried to go to Tarshish, it says to flee from the presence of the Lord. What a nincompoop.

You would think a prophet of God would know better, there's no place you can hide from the presence of God, but he tried. I read a story this week that was so funny and a true story. In most states, it's the policy that in the colder months, if you're in a police force like a state trooper where this took place in Montana, that if there's a stalled vehicle off the shoulder of the road, you always stop and you check it. Well, it was in the wintertime in Montana, three in the morning, and a state trooper by the name of Alan Nixon responded to a call that there was a car stalled on the side of the highway. So he drove to the side of the highway just outside of Great Falls, Montana, saw this car in a snowbank, engine was still running. Officer pulls behind the car, lights flashing, steps out of his vehicle, goes over to the stalled car, again the engine is running, taps on the window with his flashlight, no response. He looks inside, sees an older man passed out behind the steering wheel with a bottle of vodka on his lap, empty bottle of vodka, keeps knocking on the window. Finally, the man comes to, the driver looks up and sees the police officer, notices the bright flashing lights, and he panics.

And he hits the gas. Now he's in the snowbank, but he hit the gas. When he did that, the car's speedometer read 30 miles an hour, 40 miles an hour, 50 miles an hour, but again, he's in a snowbank. He is stuck in the snow, the wheels are spinning on the car, he's not going anywhere.

But the speedometer is reading 50. So this state trooper had a good sense of humor, he decided he's going to run in place next to the car. So he's running in place next to the car and this driver is freaking out thinking, this guy can run 50 miles an hour. Finally, the officer just was, he had too much. Before he burst out laughing, he just said, pull over. Guy pulled over, needless to say, he was arrested. But there was a guy getting sober in a jail cell that night who swore there's a Montana state trooper who can run 50 miles an hour. And he was trying to flee from his presence.

So it depends on how you're living. If you're living right, you're not going to want to run from God. If you're living like you should, you're going to want to be closer to him. You're going to want to experience his presence more. When we talk about this feature, the omnipresence of God, it is stated this way theologically. God is everywhere present in the totality of his being.

Now I'm just making this statement. I'm not saying you're going to be able to understand it. And I certainly am not saying I understand it. But that's how the Bible reveals that God is everywhere present in the totality of his being.

Now that has a couple of implications that go with it. Number one, it shows us that God cannot be contained in a building. That's what Solomon's prayer was all about at the dedication when he said, I realize that even heaven can't contain you and the heaven of heavens can't contain you, much less this temple that I have built. Paul the Apostle on the Areopagus in Athens stated before the Greek philosophers, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands. Yet I have heard over the years people refer to the church building as the house of God.

I had my mom when I was a kid. I go to church. This is what I heard every Sunday at church.

This is what I remember at least. Don't run in the house of God. That was my takeaway every Sunday. Don't run in the house of God.

Because I was a little energetic kid who liked to run. But my mom said don't run in the house of God. Can you imagine my delight when I became a believer in Jesus Christ at age 18 and read the scripture and discovered I am the house of God? You are the house of God. The Bible says you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God doesn't dwell in buildings or in places or on properties.

He dwells in people. That's a New Testament construct. So God cannot be contained in a building. Second, the implication is that God cannot be localized in a city or a nation.

Why is this good news? It means that I don't have to go on a pilgrimage to a special place where God is going to show up in a greater capacity. There are belief systems even within Christendom that say you have to go to this special place where a miracle happened.

Crawl on your knees and God will be there. Listen, I'd love to take you to Jerusalem but it's not like if you pay the money to go to Jerusalem God will meet you in a special way and He'll be closer there than He would be if you were in your little apartment or your home here. Although tour guides love to have fun with this idea because Jews typically were geocentric in their worship. They would pray in Jerusalem. God said I'm going to place my name in Jerusalem.

There were three pilgrim feasts every year where they left their homes and traveled to Jerusalem and had a feast and a celebration and a sacrifice and they prayed. So that mindset is still with many of them and I've had tour guides in Israel address our group and tell people now you know when you pray in Jerusalem it's a little bit different because you might be from the Rocky Mountains and have beautiful vistas of the mountains or you live on a lake and you see the magnificence of God's creation but I want you to know though you can pray anywhere in the world when you pray here in Jerusalem it's a local call. It's a local call. As if to say you just get a little more direct line to God when you pray here. But because God is omnipresent, everywhere present in the totality of His beings, I don't need to go to a special place. God doesn't dwell in special places.

And that means that that'll save us from sort of this pseudo moral superiority that some people have. God is an American. God is not an American. God is not a Republican. He's not a Democrat.

He's not an American. God is available anywhere in the world for all people, all races of all times. That's the beauty and truth of God's omnipresence.

Where? He answers there. Now let's look at the explanation of that. Let's kind of drill down a little bit because David poetically says three different things. He says death can't hide us from God. Distance can't hide us from God. Darkness can't hide us from God. All three of those truths are in this psalm. Go back to verse eight. If I ascend into heaven, you are there. Now that makes sense, obviously.

Our Father in heaven. But now the only way you can get to heaven, you, short from the rapture of the church happening in your lifetime, the only way you're going to get there is how? Death. You'll die. You'll die, but you'll be instantly alive in His presence.

Okay? So if I go to heaven, you're there. But he continues, if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. Now the word here for hell is the Hebrew word sheol.

You might have that in the margin of your Bible. Sheol. And sheol literally means the grave. The grave. The ancient belief system is that when a person dies and is buried in the grave, sheol, he is cut off from God. He's cut off from God. So in the ancient belief system, you die and you get buried in the grave and the ancients would say, God is nowhere.

David says, they're wrong. When you die, God is now here. He's on this side of death. He's on that side of death.

He's on the side of death. If you're a believer or an unbeliever, you'll be ushered before the final judgment of God for Him to make an evaluation on your life. Now for an unbeliever, it's not too pleasant.

The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die and after this, the judgment. I don't know if you've read much about Voltaire, the French atheist a couple hundred years ago, but he was such an outspoken critic against God, against belief in God and in particular against Jesus Christ. He absolutely hated the Lord Jesus Christ. He said publicly of Jesus Christ that he was a wretch. But he couldn't get rid of God even when he died.

When Voltaire was on his deathbed, he cried out to God, I'll give you half of what I'm worth for six more months of life. And then he said, then I shall go to hell and you shall go with me. Oh, Christ.

Oh, Jesus Christ. And with those final words, he died. He died in misery, but calling out to the God he said he didn't believe in. Now, turn the coin or turn the page for a believer, for a Christian. Death is glorious. It's a homecoming.

It's where we go from the real world to the really real world. In heaven, the presence of God far different than it is now for us. Yes, God is present with us now, but in heaven, the presence of God will be direct, visible, unmitigated, unfiltered.

You'll be directly in his presence. When a believer dies, I'm always hesitant to say he died or she died. I'd rather say, because I think it's more accurate, he moved. She moved. What do you mean she moved? Yeah, she went to heaven. That's where she is.

She is very much alive right now in the direct, unfiltered, unmitigated presence of God. That's Skip Heitzing with a powerful message for you from the Series 2020. Now, here's Skip and Nate as they share how God's omnipresence can shape your worship life. Today, we are reminded that God is everywhere and he sees everything that we do.

That truth should inform how we live our lives, especially as believers. Well, Skip, we can worship the Lord in many different ways. So how should knowing that God is omnipresent shape our attitude of worship?

OK, I'll take a stab at that. Because God is everywhere, I don't necessarily need to be anywhere. So there's not one particular place that I have to be to get in touch with him because God is omnipresent.

I'll put it in another way. Because God is in all places, any place can become a holy place. Think about the burning bush. Take your shoes off because you're standing on holy ground.

He's out in the middle of the desert. There's nothing holy about the dirt of the Sinai. But it was when the presence of God was there. Joshua had a very similar experience when he talked to the angel of the Lord before a battle.

He was told to take his shoes off because he was on holy ground. So because God is in all places, any place can become a holy place. And that just opens up life, right? I mean, you can be on a camping trip. You can be in your car.

You can be in a courtroom. You can be in a mundane meeting, but you can make it a holy place by getting in touch with God. So beautiful.

It brings significance to when Jesus died, that veil in the temple was ripped, signifying that we no longer have to communicate with God simply in a place, but he's everywhere with us. And the relationship that brings is truly astonishing. Good reminder. Take advantage of the torn veil. Thanks, Skip and Nate.

Well, we hope this conversation encouraged you. And right now we want to tell you how you can help keep these teachings you love coming to you and encourage others by connecting them to Jesus. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit slash donate. That's slash donate.

Thank you. Come back again tomorrow as Skip Heitzig talks about the intimate relationship you can have with God because he's present everywhere. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-13 01:01:20 / 2024-01-13 01:10:50 / 10

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