If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
In my Ladies Bible Study class, we have been studying A. W. Tozer, an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. Although he had no formal theological training, he received two honorary doctorates due to his lifelong work in convincing Christians that not only was there the possibility, but a necessity for a deeper relationship with God.
In the mid-1950's, he vigorously warned Believers that the church was on a dangerous course toward compromising with "worldly" concerns. He wrote, "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that." As you can see, he was ahead of his time. The decline of the Church has proven him right.
But I loved the verse for today, because it is one Tozer used to celebrate God's divine immanence. Immanence is a character of God; one in which He permanently pervades and sustains the universe and everything in it. I think it is something we Christians forget as we face insurmountable odds; or as we flirt with the temptations of the world.... God is everywhere, at all times, in all places. Wherever we are, and whatever we are going through, He is there!
So why aren't we at all times aware of that, and celebrating it? I fear it is because, as a society, we have busied ourselves with worldly pursuits that take our attention away from Him. We are too busy making a living; too busy entertaining ourselves; too busy with the distractions that occupy our minds. There is no time to give thought or consideration to receiving the Holy Spirit's prompting. We have made no room for Him in our busy lives!
But, as Tozer points out, and I have realized, it takes practice and commitment to build a long-term response to the Holy Spirit and deeper relationship with God. But we cannot do it on our own. As with everything we receive in this life, it is a gift of God, who has purposed it not only for our benefit, but to glorify Him. But we must put some effort into it, too. We must recognize and cultivate our desire to grow this relationship; and it can only be strengthened and deepened by exercising our spiritual muscles.
So we must wean ourselves off the "instant gratification" turnstile, and realize that knowing and feeling and experiencing the immanent Presence of God is more than a computer click away. He is there! And you can find Him in the Word of His Holy Bible. That's where you will find your answers to whatever ails you or any problem that you have. But it is the joy and the comfort and the reassurance of finding Him and experiencing Him that is worth all the time and effort it will take. He will reward that effort with ever-increasing knowledge of Himself and your life will never be the same.