If you were a church kid like me, you may have grown up a little confused about the presence of God. HA! You may have heard statements like these: “Jesus lives in your heart,” “Jesus lives in Heaven and He’s watching over us.” “Jesus is with us as we travel” “Don’t be afraid, Jesus is laying beside you.” Or the best one “ If Jesus was sitting right beside you, would you behave this way?” That’s a little scary! Ha!
Although this may have been confusing to my child’s heart that needed concrete, tangible answers about the Presence of God, I realize now as an adult that all of the above statements are actually true about God. He is everywhere. He is here with us whether we are aware of Him or not. And as our dear friend Danielle Strickland has said “God is always present. The eternal I am.” He is Omnipresent - His presence is everywhere at the same time.
Of all of the character traits of God, I find this one to be the most comforting. For the moments I felt alone, I could remind myself that God was right beside me. Maybe I couldn’t see Him but His presence could still be felt and known. For the moments I felt broken, I could lean on the scripture that tells us that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” and that in these times, He was closer to me than ever before.
As I scanned the scriptures, I read story after story about how God reminded His people that He was with them, especially when they felt scared and insecure. In Psalm 23, David writes “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.” In Joshua 1:5-6, God gives Joshua these words of courage as he is leading the Israelites into the promised land “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous.”
I could name so many men and women in the Bible who hung on the truth that God was with them, especially when they were in the middle of something bigger than themselves: Noah, while building the ark for a rain no one had ever heard of, Moses as He rescued his people from the clutches of a powerful Pharaoh, Joseph who endured years of suffering and came forth as a governor of a nation, Deborah as she courageously led her people to battle. And my favorite, the prodigal son, whose earthly father is a beautiful representation of a Heavenly that is longing and waiting to absolutely RUN to be by our side, to prepare a beautiful spread for us and give us robes of glory even in our brokenness.
As you can see, God in His greatness goes to extravagant lengths to remind us of His presence. The most beautiful depiction of this was when He sent His own son down to earth to be with us, fully human and fully God incarnate. Even the angels declared His presence that glorious day and He was called “Emmanuel”- God WITH us.
Beloved, just as the Lord has made known His presence to His people throughout the ages, He wants to make himself known and draws near to us as well. He wants us to believe in the depths of our hearts that He is with us and that He will not forsake us. He wants us to lean into His presence and know and feel His love for us deeply. He wants us to love Him in return and enjoy a beautiful and sweet relationship with Him.
Sister, let me pause here to reflect on the fact that the enemy will use hardship and suffering to keep you in a place where you will doubt the presence of God. He will create uncertainty about the very existence and the heart of our Heavenly Father. The enemy knows that when God’s daughters believe with 100% certainty that God is with them, they will not only overcome any trial that comes their way, they will be brave and bold enough to change the world for God’s glory! For you see, those that believed that the Lord was with them not only cast aside fear but they went on to fearlessly accomplish incredible feats for the kingdom of God! Stories of the Apostles in the Bible are proof that God took a bunch of scared, ordinary men and used them to bring the gospel to the nations of the earth. They persevered, endured and courageously rose to the life that the Lord had called them to.
We can too!!
We are called to a rich and glorious purpose filled life and the Presence of our God will take us there.
Sewa Fields was born in India and raised in both India and the US. She currently lives in Buford, Georgia with her lovely 8 year old daughter Ellie. She works for the school system as a Student Support Team Coordinator. Sewa saw that the scars, pain and heartbreak were all part of the journey to find who she really was in Jesus, that being broken and vulnerable gave her a platform to help other women who were also struggling with their own losses and ultimately the realization that God is a God that redeems every hard story in ways we can never imagine. Connect with Sewa on IG.