When You Need His Presence

David JeremiahBy David Jeremiah4 Minutes

What if you called out to the heavens in prayer, uncertain if God was there? The assurance that God is always present in our life is the Christian’s deepest source of security. Even if His answer is delayed (Daniel 10:1-14) or His answer is, “no” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), that’s okay. What isn’t okay is a lack of assurance that God is always present in our lives.

Fortunately, that is not something we have to wonder about. We never have to wonder whether God is listening when we call upon Him.

The prophet Elijah had a moment of fun (okay, sarcasm) with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel concerning Baal’s presence. Baal’s prophets called on him for hours to send down fire from Heaven to consume a sacrifice on the altar. They danced, yelled, prayed, cut themselves – and the Heavens were silent. So Elijah said to them, “Call a little louder – he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” (1 Kings 18:27 MSG). But Baal never answered because Baal wasn’t there – then or now.

But as soon as Elijah called out to the God of Israel, God responded with a fiery answer that consumed the sacrifice. Elijah never doubted God’s presence in his life because he knew that God was always there.

In fact, even if we try to avoid God’s presence, which I don’t recommend, He meets us around every corner. That’s what Jonah discovered when he tried to flee from God and met Him in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. And King David discovered the same thing: “You have hedged me behind and before … Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:5, 7). David may have written this as he thought about his sins of adultery and murder that he tried to conceal. Far better, he concluded, to know that God is always there, even when we wish He wasn’t, than to wonder if He is there when we truly need Him.

Hand in Hand

God told the prophet Jeremiah that He “[fills] heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 23:24). And the apostle Paul told the skeptics in Athens that God “is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28). That means God is as close to you right now as the air you breathe – even closer. Regardless of where you are, what you are doing, or how you are feeling, God is present with you.

God is with us every moment for our benefit – to teach us, comfort us, guide us, correct us, encourage us, and celebrate with us. When we walk hand in hand with God by His Spirit, and others ask us the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15), we have the unique opportunity to tell them what it means to know the God who is always present, always listening, and always loving.

This article is an excerpt from Turning Points Magazine & Devotional and is used with permission by Turning Point.