Consider this common routine of many people: They get up from a good night’s sleep. They head into the kitchen for some breakfast. They get ready for work or school. They arrive at their destinations, have a normal day and then come home. They eat dinner, maybe watch some television and then go to bed. And through all of that, they might not have given any thought to God. Why would they? The day seemed to go quite well without Him.
This is the experience of many people, even some Christians. What is missing in this scenario is the recognition of God’s presence throughout the day. God is present while you sleep. He is present when you sit down to eat and when you rise to go to work or school. He is present all day and all night.
Why is it that we struggle to realize this? Why do we forget God? Why do we think that God is not necessary in our lives? The answer to this is manifold. First, we must recall that we are inheritors of a fallen nature, and we live in a fallen creation. The problem is sin. Adam and Eve, when they first sinned in the Garden of Eden, began a chain reaction that has been passed down to all mankind, right down to us today. Consequently, sin makes it difficult to see God as necessary in our lives.
The sin Adam and Eve committed was that of self-rule. By eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they decided and stated that they knew better than God what was right and good. Their choice to disobey God was a statement. It was a choice to say that He was not necessary in their lives. We have contracted this sinful thinking through Adam’s sin, which was imputed to us. Though we were not there to commit the sin, as children of Adam, we still inherit the consequences.
So, what can we do about this? Well, it seems that this is a matter of perspective. The fault lies with us: on account of our sin, we are either unable or unwilling to realize God’s presence in our lives. If we believe that God is not present, then we can easily reason that God is not necessary either.
The Bible has many ways of showing us, however, just how present and necessary God is to us. The point of the matter is this: are we willing to believe what the Bible says about this? David reminds us of God’s presence in Psalm 139. David writes in vv.7-8, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”
David acknowledged that wherever he was, he was always in God’s presence. He couldn't go anywhere on earth to hide from Him. David understood God’s nature; he understood that even if he could not see God, he knew God was there. David was satisfied with knowing God was present without ever having to see Him. This satisfaction then led him to understand just how necessary God was to him. Knowing that God is present enabled David to trust him to lead him into the way of everlasting life.
The Apostle John, writing in his first Epistle says, “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:12-16).
This passage teaches us that God is not visible. No one has seen him, yet to those of us who love God and are in him through confessing faith in Jesus Christ, John says God abides in us through the Holy Spirit. This is his way of testifying of his presence. Abiding in us is the way he perfects his love in us; abiding in love means God abides in us.
Finally, after his resurrection, Jesus told the Disciples, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) These last words of comfort from Jesus were more fully realized when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. Jesus’ presence through the power of the Holy Spirit empowered the Disciples to spread the Gospel and fulfill the Great Commission.
We must make every effort to recall just how present God is in our lives. Only then will we realize just how necessary he is in our lives, as well. He is our comfort in this life. He provides for our every need as he sees fit, and if we understand this, then our average day will never be average again.
Episode 363 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer questions about pluralism, marriage with a non-Christian, Jesus’ baptism, the historical accuracy of the book of Genesis, reading...