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Stephen asked us the very important question ‘Where Is God?’ yesterday morning. Like many people, he has a tendency of putting objects ‘in a safe place’, only to forget where that safe place is. Sometimes we can be like that with God, keeping Him ‘in a safe place’ for special occasions and then not remembering where He is.
Elijah, in a time of difficulty and trial, must have wonedered where God was. (1 Kings 19:9-18) God was not in the great wind or the earthquake or the fire, but came to Elijah in a gentle whisper, Often, we may find God in unexpected places.
Some answer the question ‘Where is God’ by answering ‘God is in heaven.’ Mankind was created in God’s image, in the image of God’s triune glory, but in rebelling against God and seeking a life of independence, found a ‘God-hole’ in life which can only be filled by a relationship with God through His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus may physically be in heaven now, but has sent His Spirit to dwell within us.
Others may say, ‘God’s in church’, which leaves us confused at times (if a church closes, does that mean God has moved somewhere else?) God does indeed dwell within His church (the people of God), but it’s best if we don’t limit God’s presence in this way. In English, there is a clue to where God is in the word ‘where’ itself; if we remove the ‘w’, we are left with the word ‘here’, and that is such a wonderful truth. God is here, with us, wherever we are (a fact we are reminded of as we think of the name ‘Immanuel’ – ‘God with us’.) As we share in Holy Communion, we are reminded of this truth; God is here with us.
God is also ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ is, because ultimately He is everywhere. God’s omnipresence is one of the characteristics which makes Him God. We can be reassured by the fact that God is here, there and everywhere! We can’t hide from His presence (Ps 139) and His presence is not limited to set places (church meetings, for example). We can experience the presence of God wherever we are.