The prefix omni– comes from Latin, meaning “all,” so when people say God is omnipresent, it implies that the presence of God is everywhere. God is regarded as omnipresent in many religions, but in Judaism and Christianity, this notion is segmented into God’s immanence and transcendence. Even though God is not completely immersed in creation or pantheism (God is everything and everything is God), “He is present everywhere and at all times.”
Naturally, God is present in all facets of the natural state of things, in all circumstances, at all times, and in all places (Isaiah 40:12; Nahum 1:3). So, what exactly does the Bible mean when it says God is omnipresent? Can God truly care for us if He is everywhere? And can we hide and run away from God?
Is God Everywhere (Omnipresent)?
While some claim that God is physically present everywhere, this is not the true definition of omnipresence. The Bible clarifies in detail that God does not reside on Earth or elsewhere in the physical universe, as stated in 1 Kings 8:27. On top of that, the word “omnipresent” cannot be found in the Bible itself.
It is the knowledge of or awareness of everything (conscious presence). As a result, omnipresence is made more explicit by claiming God is everywhere at once, in the sense that He is fully conscious of the entire physical universe, past, present, and future, as well as being able to direct His attention to anybody or anything at any moment.
Bible verses that appear to imply that God is present everywhere are metaphorical and refer to his conscious presence (knowing or being aware of everything) according to Psalm 139:7–10. Instead, it demonstrates that he is a person and that he dwells in the spiritual heavens (1 Corinthians 15:44). It never conveys God as living everywhere at the same time (Isaiah 6:1–2; Revelation 4:2–3, 8)
What Does It Mean That God Is Everywhere (Omnipresent)?
“The Lord is everywhere,” and as a follower of Jesus Christ, we need to apply and comprehend the true meaning of this phrase. Particularly when we attempt to relate it to ideas like God’s manifestations, evil cannot exist in places where God is: in heaven, on God’s throne, in the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ, and in the reality of hell.
Even though not everyone may experience God’s presence, it is always present in all of His creation. God may be constantly present in one situation while not revealing His presence in another.
God said in Isaiah 57:15, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit.” Furthermore, Psalm 33:13–14 proclaimed, “From heaven, the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth.”
God’s omnipresence is defined as being present in all dimensions of time and space. Despite the fact that God is present in all space and time, He is not locally restricted to any space or time.
God is especially attentive to those who call on His name, intercede for others, adore God, petition, and earnestly pray for His forgiveness (Psalm 46:1). “He is supremely present in the presence of Jesus Christ, who is His Begotten Son,” seen in Colossians 2:19, and divinely present in the catholic faith that covers the entire planet and will not be defeated by the gates of hell.
In addition, God’s dwelling place is in the highest heaven, as Isaiah 57:15 reveals: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” The Lord is a spirit person according to John 4:24. Thus, He cannot be seen by a mere human being.
If God Is Everywhere, Can He Really Care For Us Personally?
God is deeply concerned about His people. God, despite living in the spiritual world, acknowledges anyone on earth who sincerely wants to please him and behaves on their behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9; 1 Kings 8:39).
On the other hand, His followers are always under the safeguard of God’s existence. Even the darkness will not be devastating or scary to everyone who follows Him because there is nowhere we can escape from His light and His vision. His presence and comfort can be felt at any time and place.
God has promised to be with us at all times. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you,” Isaiah 43:2 says. Also, he expressed it to us in Hebrew 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
Can We Hide From God?
God said that no one could hide from Him through the prophet Amos, who proclaimed in Amos 9:2, 3, “Though they dig into hell, from there my hand shall take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down; and though they hide on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.”
Moreover, Proverbs 15:3 reads, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Additionally, Jeremiah 23:23–24 communicates, “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.”
Scripture clearly states that there is no place in the world, no place in the universe, where God is not present. His existence is everywhere. In line with this, God told Jacob in Genesis 28:15–16 that He would never abandon us until He had completed His plans for us.
The Misconceptions About Omnipresence
What we fail to fully understand about the phrase “God is omnipresent” is that He is present everywhere in creation. Rather, the truth is that God dwells neither elsewhere in the physical universe nor on the earth (1 Kings 8:27).
Furthermore, the stars and other creative works “are indeed declaring the glory of God,” according to Psalm 19:1. But, to use an analogy, God does not live in his creation, just as an artist does not live in his work. Yet, we can know something about the painter just by looking at his painting. Likewise, the physical world enables us to know the Creator’s “invisible qualities,” like his power, wisdom, and love for us (Romans 1:20).
“God must be omnipresent in order to know all things and be all-powerful.” This is another misconception. Instead, the fact is that the holy spirit of God, or active force, is His power in reality. According to Psalm 139:7, “Through his holy spirit, God can perceive and do anything, anywhere, at any time, without being present in person.”
Also, Psalm 139:8 teaches that God is omnipresent by saying, “If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there, and if I were to make my bed in the grave, look! You would be there,” which is a misconception to us. The fact is that this Bible verse is not talking about the location of God. It metaphorically tells us that no place in the universe is too remote for God to be able to act on our behalf.
God is omnipresent. The Creator can be found all over the universe that God created. He can be found everywhere. That’s why you and I are never alone. God promises in Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, and Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave or forsake us. In line with this, Romans 8:9 reads, “The Holy Spirit indwells every true Christian.”
God’s presence can be found everywhere in the universe. Thus, God’s omnipresence should serve as a reminder that we cannot hide from God when we sin (Psalm 139:11–12), but we can come back to God and Jesus Christ in faith and repentance even without taking any steps (Isaiah 57:16).