Edition 3: Day 38

“The Lord is my shepherd…he leads me…He guides me…you are with me…”
 — Psalm 23


When I Google images of God, I see a very unhelpful caricature. There are a hundred versions of a muscular, slightly-older-than-middle-aged, white-haired, bearded man with kind eyes somewhere in the clouds. Unfortunately, this image has contaminated the Christian imagination.

God is not a sky-dwelling muscular man. Jesus said that “God is Spirit…”

(John 4:24). God is omnipresent; wherever God is, He is wholly there. One of the points Jesus was making is that God is not more in Jerusalem than in Samaria. No; wherever we are, God’s supreme presence is there.

David made the same point in Psalm 23: whether we are by the cool waters and green pastures, or we are at death’s door, or in enemy territory, God is with us.

We can have confidence in all situations because God truly is with us.

He is no more with us at a church service than throughout the week. Jesus said, “…I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:20). We live in the presence of God. “…In him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28).

The real question is not whether God is present; it is whether we are present.

Are we really present to God’s attention and grace in each moment? Do we have an increasing awareness of His nearness, or are we waiting for our next prayer meeting or church service to experience His presence?

Reflect on Psalm 23 and let it awaken you to God’s delightful and comprehensive presence that’s with us every minute of every day, wherever we go.

1. Take a few minutes to reflect on your image of what God is like.  Does it align with Scripture, such as the passages highlighted here? If not, ask God to refine your understanding of Him.
2. Are you present?  Ask God to heighten your awareness of His constant nearness to you. Pause throughout the day to acknowledge God’s presence.

Stuart McKnight is Lead Pastor of Vernon Alliance Church, in Vernon, British Columbia. He and his wife, Teresa, have six children. They have enjoyed the Okanagan Valley for twelve years. In their words, “They get to live where everyone else goes for holidays!”

Photo credit: EssjayNZ via / CC BY-NC-SA

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