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Here, There, and Everywhere - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2020 2:00 am

Here, There, and Everywhere - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 23, 2020 2:00 am

God is everywhere present in the totality of His being. That just might be one of the hardest-to-understand characteristics of God, but as Skip shares in the message "Here, There, and Everywhere," it's an attribute that will comfort you greatly.

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

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The psalmist says, Even there, the darkest place you can think of, the furthest place you might find yourself, even there your hand shall lead me. If you feel like you have no direction, there is a God willing to take you by the hand and lead you.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip talks about the intimate relationship you can have with God because he's present everywhere. But first, we want to share about where you can hear even more uplifting teachings from Skip. Well, I want you to know that because of support from listeners like you, our media ministry is expanding. Our weekly half hour TV program is continuing to grow. In addition to our weekend broadcast on the worldwide Hillsong channel, we are now being seen each week on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

Thank you for your donations that make this expansion even possible. It's a joy to see the teaching of God's Word reach even more people. Here are the viewing details for Hillsong and TBN. Watch Connect with Skip Heitzig on the Hillsong channel on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. Mountain or catch it on TBN on Sundays at 5.30 a.m. Eastern. Be sure to tune in then to hear more solid Bible teaching from Skip.

And did you know that you can play a vital role in keeping the power of Scripture on air for you and so many others? Call right now to give, 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Now we're in Psalm 139 as we dive into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. 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 that means that that'll save us from sort of this pseudo moral superiority that some people have like 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 song. Go back to verse 8. 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. You'll be ushered before 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 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. They graduated.

They've been coronated. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, said Paul. So death can't hide us from God. A second part of the explanation, not only can death not hide us from God, distance can't hide us from God. That is you can't go anywhere in the world where God's presence is not. Now look at verse 9. If I take the wings of the morning and I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, the Mediterranean sea was there for David at that time, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. This phraseology is a poetic description to describe a long distance, a far distance, going west, especially west of Israel, which is all Mediterranean sea.

The term the wings of the morning is a reference to the rays of the morning sun cresting over the horizon and filling the early morning vistas. So it's as if David is saying, if I could get on a ray of light and travel 186,000 miles per second and go from one end of the visible horizon to the other end in an instant, I can't get rid of God. I can't travel anywhere like Jonah thought he could to escape the presence of the Lord. If I take the wings of the morning, you are there.

I can't escape God. If you go to the moon, God is there. In fact, a couple of our astronauts who landed on the moon, you know how long ago that was?

1969. We landed on the moon and our astronauts from the moon, from the space capsule, looking back at the earth, some of you are too young to remember this, so YouTube it, but they read out of Genesis chapter one. They opened up a Bible and they read and it was broadcast all over the world. As they look back over the earth, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

They read that creation account. They were saying, God is now here. What's interesting is sometime later, a cosmonaut went up into space and on his space mission, he came back afterwards and addressed a crowd and he said, I went into space and I looked around and I didn't see God.

He said boastfully. A man in the audience turned to his friend and said, if he would have stepped out of his space suit, he would have. So you got a cosmonaut saying, God is nowhere. You have an American astronaut saying, God is now here. David is saying, God is now here. Death doesn't hide us from God. Distance doesn't hide us from God. And finally, darkness doesn't hide us from God.

Look at verse 11. If I say, surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light about me. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from you, but the night shines as the day.

The darkness and the light are both alike to you. A good number of people are afraid of the dark. It might surprise you just how many, 11% of American adults, children might be always afraid of the dark, but 11% of American adults are afraid of the dark. That's a higher percentage than those who are afraid of heights.

So it ranks up there pretty, pretty far. People who are afraid or have a phobia. So people are afraid of the dark. And if you ask them why, it's simply because they feel in the dark more vulnerable. They can't see as far.

They can't make jokes. They can't make judgments of where they're going or who's watching them or who's coming at them. So it's that sense of vulnerability that causes them to be afraid of the dark. So David is saying, though people might be afraid of it, there's really no reason to be because though you can't see in the dark, God can see you in the dark. You're covered.

You're okay. Now let's take this thought and apply it metaphorically. Have you ever gone through a dark time emotionally, a dark time spiritually, a dark season of your life? Perhaps this season that we have been in for some of you have been, has been depressing and dark. I know for a lot of people it has.

We have seen a spike in suicides, a spike in depression during this time. And people are sensing darkness and some are even saying, God, I feel far from God. I feel like God is distant. And I want to say to you, if you are feeling that way, you can't believe your feelings. Your feelings are lying to you. And when you start feeling God is far from me, you tell your feelings you're a liar. That's not the truth.

Because the God that I love and follow in the scripture is a God who is near at hand. So some people are afraid of the dark. Other people are not afraid of the dark. They wait for the dark. They love the dark. They go out after dark.

Why? Because for the same reason, the darkness hides them from people. People can't see them. They want to commit a crime. They want to steal something. They want to attack somebody. They're going to wait till it's dark, usually. Every major city after 6 p.m., the crime starts spiking and peaks at about two in the morning.

Pitch black. I heard a story of a thief who was casing a house from his car across the street, watching it. He knew the family was going on vacation. When the family left for vacation, at about two in the morning, he left his car, walked over to the house, picked the lock, walked into the kitchen. And as he walked into the kitchen in the dark, he hears a voice. And the voice says, Jesus sees you and so do I. Whoa! He takes his flashlight out, looks around, doesn't see anything, keeps walking. He hears the voice again.

Jesus sees you and so do I. And he goes, what's going on? He goes over, he flips the switch to see what's going on. And he goes, what's going on? He goes over, he flips the switch in the kitchen to get the light. And he looks over across the kitchen on the counter in a cage is a parrot. So he's thinking, oh, that's all it is? A parrot saying that?

This is not a big deal. But then he notices just below the parrot, below the counter on the floor, is a Doberman Pinscher with his teeth glistening in a crouched mode. And just then the parrot says, attack, Jesus, attack.

Oh, that was a dog's name. So some people are afraid of the dark, some people wait for the dark. But now let's bring this to a conclusion, if I can. I want you to go back to verse 10, because there's a couple words that I think just bring us to the place we need to be. With this beautiful attribute of God. Verse 10, the psalmist says, even there, the darkest place you can think of, the furthest place you might find yourself, even there, your hand shall lead me. If you feel like you have no direction, there is a God willing to take you by the hand and lead you.

I love this, this picture. A little child walking across the street takes hold of a parent's hand. Now the parent, if the parent is smart, will not rely upon the grip of the child to hold his or her hand. The parent will grab a hold using the parent strength, grab a hold of that child's hand.

Am I right? That parent is not going to let that child make a judgment of can I hold or not. I'm going to hold you as we walk across. God is going to hold you because he is everywhere.

He'll hold you. Even there, your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. So if you're feeling unstable, know that your God who is readily available is there to lead you, direct you, direct your steps, give you direction in life, and stabilize you. Now last week I gave you three takeaways for the attribute of God's omniscience. Today I want to give you three takeaways for this attribute of God's omnipresence. Number one, if God is omnipresent and he is, it means I am never alone.

That's pretty obvious. I'm never alone. God was with me when I got out of bed today. He'll be with me when I go to bed tonight. He was with you this week when you got into that little fender bender. And you didn't look out your rearview mirror well enough and you've gotten that little rat, God was there. When you went to the doctor and the doctor said, I'm sorry, it's a positive result for cancer, God was there.

Or COVID, God was there. God was there on your first birthday. He'll be there on your 65th birthday. He'll be there on your 91st birthday.

It means you are never alone. I'm going to put up a scripture. I want this just to wash over you this morning.

Let this be sort of a takeaway for you. This is Isaiah chapter 43 verse 2 in the New Living Translation. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.

Make that your promise today. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. The flames will not consume you. Will you go through them?

Yes. Will it take your life and ruin you? No, because God is with you. God is with you. One of the last promises Jesus ever made was this, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. He told his disciples, remember that?

End of Matthew, end of Mark, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Well, there was a minister on an airplane sitting next to a woman who obviously didn't like to fly. She had her Bible out. She was praying. She was getting nervous.

The plane started its engine, started taxiing toward the runway. She got even more nervous, grabbed the armrest and started sweating profusely. And the minister could tell, this poor gal needs a little comfort. So he turned to her and said, sister, I can tell you're a believer, sister, it's going to be okay.

I've done this a thousand times. And besides, Jesus promised these words, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. She looked back at him and snapped.

He did not say that. Jesus said lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. She knew she was about to go up pretty high.

And she thought that promise wouldn't apply. Whether you're high or low, whether it's dark or light, whether you're in America or Arabia, God is present. Here's the second takeaway. Because God is omnipresent, I can travel courageously. That might sound like an odd application, but hear me out. Because God is omnipresent, I can travel. I can go places. I can travel courageously. We have for years sent missionaries out all over the world in dangerous places where in some cases it would be life threatening. And if we were to say, don't go, it's dangerous. They go, are you kidding? God called me there, but you might die.

They'd say, let me revise that. I will die someday. And I'd rather die doing that than sitting back at home because God has called me.

They feel very strongly about their calling to the mission field. This last year, my wife went over to Iraq and was in ISIS tunnels. Two days previously, ISIS warriors had occupied those temples. They dug them out. Now, I didn't know she was doing that until afterwards. I probably would have said, you're not doing that. But she knew that God called her to build playgrounds for kids impacted by terror.

So she did it. I mean, if the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, then yes, be cautious. Take precautions in your life, but don't live with fear. Christians should be fearless.

We should be fearless. I have a friend who's traveled all throughout the Middle East for years, for his whole life. He's had guns pointed at his head, life threatened, knives stuck in his side. And he is the most confident, joyful person I have ever met.

Every time I'm with him, I think I want to grow up and be like Sammy Dagger. He is fearless. He is filled with happiness.

The joy of the Lord is a strength because God is omnipresent. I can travel courageously. You might feel it's easy to stay cocooned and stay at home. And there's no risk at all in that. And I understand what all that implication is. But you know, all of life is mitigated risk.

All of life. When they put me on a bicycle, that was a risk. When I got on a skateboard, that was a risk. All the different motorcycles that I've done and bicycles and mountain bike crashes that I've had, all of those are risks.

And I understand the risk in them. But as a believer, I think you can live courageously and fearlessly. Isaac Watts wrote many, many hymns.

One that he wrote that was a poem goes like this. Within thy circling power I stand on every side I find thy hand. Awake, asleep, at home, abroad, I am surrounded still by God. Oh, may these thoughts possess my breast, where'er I roam, where'er I rest. Nor let my weaker passions dare consent to sin, for God is there.

Which brings us to our third takeaway. And that is because God is omnipresent. I am accountable.

You see, even accountable. You see, the presence of God is a good thing, but for some people it can be a bad thing. If you are living your life as though God doesn't exist on a daily basis, if you're running from him like Jonah or like Adam and Eve, it's that they tried to flee the presence of God, one day that will catch up with you. And let me say it today, if you feel far from God, guess who moved? It wasn't God.

It must be you. Maybe you are running in the wrong direction. Aren't you glad that God doesn't do social distancing? God didn't go, oh, excuse me, you have to stand six feet apart from me. God brings you close to him. He is with you now and will always be with you in darkness, in light, in anywhere you travel through a positive or negative test. God said to Moses, I am with you. God said to Joshua, as I was with Moses, I'll be with you. God said to Paul, the apostle in prison, when he didn't know if he would live or die, he said, don't be afraid. Speak boldly for I am with you. My encouragement as we close is if you are running from God, stop, turn around. That's called repentance in the Bible and run to him.

That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from the series 2020. Now we want to share about an exciting resource that will help you rediscover the power of prayer. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said it is possible to move men through God by prayer alone. Ian Bounds, who authored nine books on prayer, said God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be. And Billy Graham said to get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.

Here's Skip Heitzig. You know, the Bible says that we will experience God's peace when we pray, and it tells us to pray about everything. We want to help you know how and what to pray and what to expect.

That's why we're offering Lord Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days by Kay Arthur. When you give to support this ministry, prayer is meant to up the game of peace and joy in our hearts. Lord Teach Me to Pray is our thanks when you give $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, connecting you and others to God's Word.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. We're excited to share how God uses support from friends like you to connect others to His Word. Just listen to this letter one listener sent in.

Thank you so much for your clear, true, precise, interesting and challenging messages. There is nothing I enjoy more than good preaching and teaching of God's Word. I'm so thankful a friend at church put the Word out about your ministry on 91.3. You make stories like this possible when you give to connect more people with God's Word. So we invite you to continue that support by giving today at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888. Again, that's 800-922-1888.

Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares why you can live more confidently in the Lord because of His power. What if you had unlimited power? What if you could do anything at all and there were no limitations on energy? The resource was always there. Well, that happens to be one of the qualities that God operates with. God is all powerful. 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 / 2024-01-12 11:01:31 / 2024-01-12 11:11:15 / 10

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