Today’s devotional: who is this God who is present in our lives?

Christians talk a lot about the nearness of God—we take comfort in the fact that “God is with us;” we talk about feeling God’s presence in our lives. But who exactly is this God who is “near” us? The understanding that God is present among us could be comforting or terrifying, depending on the nature of God and the purpose behind that closeness.

Today’s Slice of Infinity devotional talks about this mysterious “nearness,” and explains why God’s watchful presence is encouraging rather than frightening:

There are many who take comfort in the thought that God is among us, comforting our fears, quieting our cries of distress, standing near those who call, moving in lives and history that we might discover the God who is there. Knowing that Christ is with me in struggle and darkness is one of the only reasons I don’t completely surrender to my fears and stop moving forward….

But what good is it if there is a throne but it is empty, a kingdom without a king, a god who is close but like straw? Who is it who is near us? If god is an impersonal force, or a tyrant, or a distant, semi-interested being, the kingdom is no refuge.

The promise of God’s nearness is one that Christians rightfully utter as encouragement and cling to in joy, in fear, and in sorrow, knowing the face and character of the one who is near. When God promises his presence in Scripture it is more than just a promise of proximity and intimacy. There is a purpose for God’s nearness, the pledge of relationship, the promise of community. It is not an empty or superficial presence, having taken on the things humanity itself to draw intimately near.

How do you discern, on a daily basis, God’s presence in your life? How would your life be different if God did not promise to walk beside us in such an intimate way?

One Response to “Today’s devotional: who is this God who is present in our lives?”

  • I have so learned to deeply understand that His presence is always with me. Earlier in my Christian walk I would base God’s presence on whether I felt or discerned His presence and evaluate things by how they turned out. I am so glad He has allowed me to go through trials that I reflected on that demonstrated His sovereign hand at work. I do not see any other way for Christians to cement the loving presence of God in both the mountains and valleys than to put him first in our lives and then to rest in His orchestration of our affairs. God is faithful to us and even though things change around us His Omnipotence is ever present.
    If I did not discern and know His presence was active in my life I would attempt to do many things out of my own strength. I would in a sense control my surroundings my way and really end up burned out in my flesh. What a scary existence it must be for many unbelievers and even some Believers that do not understand they have God’s presence. All He asks of us to call to Him( Jer.33:3). Continually abiding in Him brings increasing rest to my soul.

    • Jill says:

      I have strayed from putting God first in my life. Can you give me some guidance on how you do it? I’m what my fiance calls a “baby Christian”, still learning the right ways of doing things. Any guidance on how to constantly put God first in our lives is appreciated!

  • Michelle says:

    I have learned in my daily walk with God that human nature is so funny and so changeable, that the only trueness to life is God, Everyday he decides to wake me up and give me the strength to go on, this strength cant come from those around me because there faith like mine in the past has been up and down. When I read the word daily I am encouraged to think in a powerful way, that I can do all things when I have Him. His love is so powerful that it is felt not only emotionally but mentally and physically in a way that no one has/will ever gave to me.

  • Thanks, great post. I enjoyed reading this.