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Where Is Your God? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2023 12:00 am

Where Is Your God? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 22, 2023 12:00 am

Walk moment by moment in the presence of God.

What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Chosen Generation
Pastor Greg Young
Sunday Morning
Jane Pauley

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, March 22nd. God rules over all things. He is also intimately present in all places and in all circumstances. Today's podcast asks, Where is Your God? Would you turn to Psalm 139? Psalm 139 begins, O Lord, thou has searched me and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and my up-rising. Thou understandest my thoughts afar off, thou compasses my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and lay thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high, I cannot attain unto it. And then he asks a question, and he exhausts all the possibilities for he says, Whether shall I go from thy spirit, or whether shall I flee from thy presence? If I send up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me.

Yea the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day, the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Little girl came home from Sunday school, her mother asked her what they had studied, she, a very small young lady, she finally was able to explain, she said, we studied the omnipresence of God. And her mother chuckled a little bit, she said, well, what do you mean by omnipresence?

Figuring she hadn't learned a thing. Well, she said, Mom, what the omnipresence of God means, there ain't no place that God ain't. And that's about as well as you can place it. Now if I should ask you, how do you explain the omnipresence of God? I doubt if you and I could improve on the little girl who said, the English may not be right, but the theology is perfect. There ain't no place God ain't. And yet there's more to be said about the omnipresence of God than that. The psalmist was not trying to escape God when he asked this question. When he said, whether shall I go to flee from the presence of God, did not mean that he was trying to escape God.

He was asking a question, and then exhausting all the possibilities to show to us that there is no place anyone can go and escape the presence of God. Now sometimes that's just super great. And sometimes if you were honest, wouldn't you say that there have been times in your life you'd like to hide from God?

I think all of us would have to admit that at one time or the other. When you and I describe the omnipresence of God, how do you explain that? Well, let's look at the meaning of it in just a moment. And then let's talk about what the message of the omnipresence of God means to us personally on a day by day basis. When we say that God is omnipresent, we say that he's omniscient. That means he knows everything.

He's omni, that is all knowing. He's omnipotent, that he's all powerful. And that he's omnipresent means that everywhere is in the presence of God. And that's better than saying God is everywhere.

For example, the pantheist would say that God is everywhere and everything is a part of God. The trees are a part of God. The ocean is a part of God. This is a part of God. That is a part of God. All of these may be the acts of God and the creations of God and the expressions of God's power, but a tree is not God.

And God is not in a tree like he is in the human heart. So that you and I do not believe that everything is God. You see, those who believe that everything is God and explain away God by saying that, do not believe that God is a personal being.

The pantheist do not believe that God is a personal being dwelling in the human heart in a very special way. God does not dwell anywhere in his whole creation in the same way in which he indwells the human heart through the Holy Spirit. Now, if God is not omnipresent, then you and I cannot call him a sovereign God.

The fact that he is sovereign means that he is in absolute control of everything. To do so, he must know all things and the attributes of God and not only that he is omnipotent and sovereign and omniscient, he is likewise involved in everything. So when we say that God is everywhere, it's far better to say that everywhere is in the presence of God. There is no place that God is not. And so we need to understand that when we say that he's omnipresent, that does not mean that he's over here, over here, and over yonder, but rather that every place and that all things, everything that is happening, all of space out yonder beyond the hundreds of billions of miles, all of that is in the presence of a sovereign God. And therefore, when the Psalmist says, whither shall I go from thy spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

And the answer is always without question nowhere. There is no place to go and escape the presence of God. Now, every believer knows that that is one of the most comforting thoughts about God, that you and I walk every day in the presence of God. You can't walk out of his presence. You can't walk out of his sight. You can't walk out of his reach. You never go beyond the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotence of God.

You and I are always in hearing distance, always in reach, always in the boundaries of his love. He is omnipresent for all of us. Listen, there is never a time in the life of a believer when you and I cannot find God. We don't have to wonder where God is. We do not need a compass to search out where God is or some light that shines throughout eternity to find our God.

Because our God is not out there. He's not up here, down here, up yonder. Everywhere is in the presence of God and every believer knows, even though we say that God is by our side, he's closer than that. God lives in the human heart of every single believer. So when you say, where is God brother? He's in me.

He's in you. He's omnipresent. Now when you think about his omnipresence, it takes God to be omnipresent. You see, some people think the devil's omnipresent. The way they talk about the devil, they say the devil's everywhere.

No, he's not. The devil does not have the same attributes as God. Only God is omniscient. The devil doesn't know everything. He's not omniscient. You say, well, the way he works in my life, it looks like he knows what I'm going to do. Well, he's checked you out long enough and he's tracked you down far enough. He has enough demonic spirits working on you. Sure, they know what you're going to do, but that doesn't mean that Satan's omniscient.

He cannot touch you unless God allows him. And he surely isn't omnipresent. There is only one devil and he cannot be everywhere at the same time. Now he has enough helpers, he doesn't really have to be. Some of them are demonic spirits and I'm afraid some of them are human beings.

But he has enough helpers that doesn't need to be but one of him. You and I know that we serve a living God who is always present in the life of the believer. Now, when you and I think about God being omnipresent, I think about for example, when Solomon was dedicating the temple in his prayer, he was talking about talking to God about who he was and the kind of God is he asked the question. He says, how can you be the God of heaven and the God of earth? How is it that you are the God of all the universe and yet you're willing to inhabit a house that we're going to build with our hands? Listen, the God, holy, omnipotent, absolutely eternal. That means he's unlimited by time.

Omnipresent, unlimited by space. That same eternal omnipresent God can indwell the life of a little seven year old boy and the life of a 70 year old man in the very same way. He's God. And you see, a believer never has to pray, God come into my presence. Now, we go to that verse in the 18th chapter of Matthew when he says, where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. So if that's true, we don't ever have to ask him to come into our midst. Oh Father, come into our midst tonight.

Now, you know what we're really saying? We're really saying, Lord, help me to feel you're here. Now listen, the problem is not with God as to whether he's here or not.

The problem is with you, whether you are sensitive in your spirit to the spirit in the presence of God. So that we don't ever have to ask him, Lord, come into my presence. And you see, we don't even have to ask, say to him, Lord, tonight I'm coming into that presence.

Oh no, you're not brother. You've been there all day long. Now you see, it's little phrases like this and prayers like this that indicate something of what we feel and our lack of understanding. Now a fellow who's going to live like the devil all day long, I suppose he does like to pray that.

Now Lord, tonight I'm coming into your presence on my knees by my bed before I go to sleep. Because he doesn't really want to believe and feel that he has walked in the presence of God all day long. You and I live in the presence of God every single second of our life. And he says, whither can you go to escape the presence of God? And he says there is no place to go from the presence of God. In Jeremiah, I want a good passage here that I want to share with you.

And if you'll turn to this one, because it may be that somebody has a little problem and once in a while, you need to just be reminded of this. Jeremiah chapter 23 and verses 23 and 24 he says, Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? That is, do you only see me in one location and not everywhere? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him, saith the Lord? Do not I feel heaven and earth, saith the Lord? Now you see, if you think sometime you're going to be able to get away from the Lord and just slip away and do this and do that and do the other, I want to tell you, my friend, he says you cannot. You see, there is no escape. And the honest believer who really wants to grow in the Lord, he doesn't want escape from God. He wants awareness of his presence.

Now listen, now watch this carefully. You and I will respond to the awareness of the presence of God in one of two ways. We will respond to our awareness to him in one of two ways. Either that will be an expression of joy, an expression of praise, an expression of gratitude, maybe audible or in song, whatever it might be, or sometimes our response to his presence is absolute total silence so thick you can feel it.

Why? Because we are awed by the presence of God. Now I believe there's one thing we could probably use a little bit more of and that's that. An awareness of God that would absolutely stifle every expression within us because we are awed by the presence of the holy, righteous, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God. And there's some things in the presence of God we would never say or think or do. There's sometimes in the presence of God and an awareness of his presence we don't want to say anything. Sometimes, and I'm sure it's true in your life, sometimes when I'm just by myself praying and just talking to the Lord, sometimes I want to be absolutely deathly quiet.

Because when I am the quietest, his presence is the most real. And that's why a prayer life that is only a monologue between you and God and you doing all the talking is absolutely a tragedy. Because you see, most of the time if we are doing all the talking, God doesn't have a chance to say much. But it is in the presence of God. And this is when I think about who God is, sometime I don't want to say anything.

I want to get on my face and close my eyes and cover my head as if I were covering my soul in the presence of God. When Moses came down from the mount, they knew something had happened to him. He'd been in the presence of God. His face, the Bible says, did shine. You see, the presence of God, the very reality of it ought to do something about what we think, about the way we act, about what we say, about what we do.

Listen, let me tell you something. The more aware we are of the presence of God, the greater our soul is going to reach up in and express something of what we are feeling. You see, the man who drags into the worship service on Sunday morning and Sunday night and passively sits down, he may be aware of the crowds around him.

He may be aware of listening to a sermon, but is he aware of the presence of God? And let me tell you something, because God is omnipresent does not mean he reveals himself the same way in every situation. When you are alone quietly in prayer, you're going to feel something about the presence of God you won't feel in a crowd. But on the other hand, when God's people meet together, and they're lifting their hearts in praise and adoration and blessing to God, when our hearts get so full, our lips have to express something and sometime we thank God I'm just going to shout sure as I'm sitting here. That is just as right in the eyes of God as the person who sits there in absolute total silence. Because you see, listen, the awareness of the presence of God does not affect everybody the same way.

One man is totally silenced by his presence, and the other person is totally overwhelmed by his presence and has to express something. I remember the time I learned to be tolerant about this matter of the different ways people express what they feel about God. And some of you can recall that more than likely. Few years ago, we had a fellow who came to preach a revival for a week.

And most of the people here, the first part of the week were young people. And these kids just leaned over the over the rail all the way around this place, they were just leaning over, absolutely consumed by what he was saying. Now some things he said, I just want to sit there absolutely deathly quiet. Those young people just break out clapping, I think to myself, what's the matter with this crowd? And then when I'd want to clap, they didn't do anything. And so it dawned on me that they were feeling the same thing I was feeling, but it was affecting them in a different way. When he'd zero in on sin, I mean, he just pour it on and you just think they were just going to cover up and hide in conviction, they'd break out clapping.

And what they were saying is, you're getting to me. Whereas you and I would want to be quiet and say, Oh, God in heaven, forgive me. The awareness of the presence of God does not affect everyone the same way. Therefore, we should not criticize one man if he wants to shout another man he wants to keeps absolutely silent. There may be sometimes when I think it ought to be quiet and sometimes I think people ought to shout.

But there ought to be freedom of expression. But you see, it depends upon your awareness of his presence. In fact, the awareness of his presence affects every single thing we do, not only in the church house, but everywhere we are. I want you to turn to First Corinthians for just a moment because there's a verse here that really struck my heart when we talk about the presence of God. Because you see, he says in First Corinthians chapter one, verse 29, when a man is aware of the presence of God, there'll be something you will never find.

Paul is talking here. Look, if you will, in the beginning in verse 27, but God have chosen the foolish things of the world that confound the wise and God have chosen the weak things of the world that confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world and things which are despised have God chosen Yea all things which are not to bring to naught things that are in order to do what that no flesh should glory in his presence. Do you know what you'll not find the presence of God is pride and egotism. Listen, the more aware we are of God, the more we want to yield and submit and as as john said in the presence of Jesus Christ, he says I want to become nothing in his presence. He was aware that Jesus was the Lamb of God. We need to learn what it means to be conscious of being in the presence of a holy God.

It will affect every single thing that we do. Thank you for listening to Where is Your God? If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 07:02:45 / 2023-03-22 07:10:13 / 7

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