(Friends: during this series, the messages may frequently be longer than usual due to the subject matter. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will find the considerations interesting, and hopefully, helpful in our walk with the Lord. Glen)
Part 22 – “The Here of God”
“Where is God?” The question can mislead us if we look for an answer out and away from the place whereupon we presently stand.
Since we “live and move and have our being” in God, His “Where?” is always here (Acts 17:28). Craning our necks to gaze into the distance, as it were, hinders us from the glory that exists in our present locale. As Jacob confessed at Bethel, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not!”, so are we tempted to wait for another venue before we open our eyes to see the great fact of our existence (Genesis 28:18).
The Lord Jesus Christ exists in places where it seems He could not and should not be. Human wombs, mangers, tables of sinners, crosses, tombs, and the hearts of trusting souls – all comprise the “here” of God in ways beyond our understanding and expectation. Thus, the venues, circumstances, conditions and situations wherein we find ourselves always teem with the dynamic presence of Christ. We may recognize the truth only vaguely, and, like Jacob, we may not know it at all. Nonetheless, the fact remains that God’s “Where?” is always here.
When considering this truth not in terms of proximity, but of spiritual reality, an amazing bestowal of grace awaits our needy hearts. We need not wait for “the sweet by and by” to relate to God in the trusting faith that avails itself of the peace and joy resident in the Christ-graced here and now. Paul and Silas, for example, “prayed and sang praises unto God” from a prison wherein their feet were bound in stocks, and their bodies bloodied and beaten by the cruel lash (Acts 16:25). Our brethren of old did so not because of their own dedication and discipline (singing in such a circumstance does not result from mere self-control and restraint), but from the fact that God’s “here” inhabited their “where.” As with the three young men of old who met the Lord Jesus in the furnace, so did Paul and Silas open their eyes in prison to discover the transcendent presence of God as the great fact of an hour no doubt grievous, but even more, glorious (Daniel 3:25).
Our own “here” may presently comprise a venue of blessing. Conversely, it may seem laced with buffeting, or it may appear that nothing at all of value and interest transpires. Whatever the case, the Word of God calls us to acknowledge the Christ of God as present and actively engaged in fulfilling His Father’s purposes and the benefit of our hearts. Our Lord’s “Where?” is here. We can relax our craning necks, replacing them with the open eyes of faith that “prays and sing praises” to the God who fills our every “here” with Himself.
“The whole earth is full of His glory.”