Where is God? Lots of people have a take on where God might be. Atheists believe that there is no god of any kind, anywhere. Agnostics believe there may be a god or some type of higher power, but we either don’t know what that is or perhaps we cannot know. Deists believe the universe was set into motion like the gears of a clock, but that we are tiny and insignificant to such an omnipotent God. Then there’s New Agers, Scientologists, Oprah and so forth. Some spend their entire lives looking for God, but he isn’t hard to find. The truth is it should be hard to miss God.
In the Garden of Eden he was right there with Adam and Eve. He walked daily in the garden in the cool of the day, and humanity had a personal relationship face-to-face with God their creator. They were expelled from God’s presence when their sin ruined the personal fellowship they once had, but even after Eden God was never far away.
In most of the Old Testament God’s presence dwelt in the Holy of Holies. The veil in the tabernacle/temple separated the holy place from the Most Holy. Pictured above is the tabernacle as depicted in the book of Exodus. In Jerusalem they built a more permanent structure with a similar design. Only the high priest went once a year before the presence of God to make atonement for Israel. And everything had to be just so, or he would die in God’s presence. God was always in their midst; he was so close yet so far away.
In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) God walked the earth as Immanuel, God with Us. Jesus is God/God is Jesus. Consider this passage from Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… Jesus is incarnate deity. God himself was robed in flesh and walked the face of the earth for 33 1/2 years. The Pharisees were “looking for God” and he was standing in their presence screaming that we was right there. The spiritual leaders of Israel missed it. Most of the Jews missed it. For that matter, most people still miss it. Jesus is considered a wise teacher and a prophet by many but recognized as the Son of God and in fact the true and the living God by only a few. The relationship of the trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is one that exists from everlasting to everlasting. It is not a myth created by Constantine centuries later that Jesus claimed to be God. Jesus is either Lord, lunatic or liar, but I must leave it at that for now.
After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven. So then, were is God now? Is he in heaven looking down on us? Is he at church, sitting in the dark six days a week waiting for us on Sunday? Jesus’s post-resurrection appearances are ascension are recounted in Acts 1, and the apostles are told to remain in Jerusalem. Then in Acts 2:
And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… -Acts 2:2-4
The Holy Spirit of God dwells in the heart of every believer. Paul reminds us (see 1 Corinthians) that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are his dwelling place. God is never far away. When we could not enter his presence, he came to us. Jesus came a long way from his throne in glory to be born in a feeding trough in a little town in the middle of nowhere. He promised he would not leave his followers, but that the Comforter would come. After they were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, Peter preached a sermon declaring Jesus the resurrected savoir for the first time. About 3,000 people were saved that same day. The church grew as souls were added daily.
God is near. God is here. For the believer he is with us always. For the non-believer, for the seeker, for the one looking for God, he is never farther away than the nearest Christian. Any born again believer should be able to lead another person to Christ. You don’t have to be a pastor, preacher or Bible teacher to be an evangelist. One that knows Christ as a brother should be able to simply introduce him.
God is near. Seek him while he may be found.