Being with God

My relationship with God and my entire life have been radically reshaped by the realization that He is a Living Being, and He is constantly, personally, immediately with me.

But if God is omnipresent—if He is always everywhere—what’s so special about His being with me? Isn’t He with all of us, always, inescapably?

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
(Psalm 139:7, NASB)

I am always with Him, but isn’t everyone, including the most hardened unbeliever? Why does He sometimes specify His presence, as if to limit it?

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
(Psalm 145:18, NASB)

Picture yourself in a crowded restaurant, sitting with one you love. Technically you are with everyone in the restaurant. But in a deeper sense, you are only with your friend. It’s not a matter of physical proximity. The person sitting immediately behind you at the next table might be physically closer to you. But you are with your loved one because you enjoy a mutual relationship of love and trust with them. You care deeply about every aspect of their life, their every concern, and they feel the same about you. You are leaning toward each other. Your ears, your eyes, your mind, and your heart are focused on one another, hungrily straining to hear and know and be with the other in the fullest sense possible.

That is the sense in which God is with His people.

I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth…
Those who are far from You will perish…
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.
(Psalm 73:23-25, 27-28, NASB)

God is as near to you as you will allow Him to be. But it takes two to form a relationship.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8, NASB)

The Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. (2 Chronicles 15:2, NASB)

He is calling you to a closer personal relationship with Himself. How will you respond?

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