There are No God Moments: Rethinking Divine Omnipresence

There are No God Moments: Rethinking Divine Omnipresence November 4, 2014

God Moment

By Jeff K. Clarke

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Let me say it up front – I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘God moment.’

By ‘God moment’ I refer to the phrase that speaks of those episodes when God is said to suddenly ‘show up.’ For Christians, the phrase would normally be used in the context of a church service, meeting or conference where God is expected to make an appearance.

The mindset that produces this kind of top-down theology can be explained this way —

God, as the wholly-other-than deity of the Old and New Testaments, lives off in space somewhere and periodically decides to come down from his throne to do something spontaneous and powerful. These episodes are often described as ‘God moments.’

Divine Omnipresence

However, if we spend even a few minutes reflecting on the phrase in light of what we’ve come to believe about God’s presence and activity in the world, oftentimes referred to as omnipresence, we will quickly discover that the very idea of a ‘God moment’ lacks support from the witness of scripture, as well as our day-to-day human experience.

If our definition of omnipresence says anything at all, it is this – God is everywhere present at all times. To maintain a personal dynamic, one that makes it less abstract and real, God is always present to all.

There is never a time when God is not there, making every moment a ‘God moment.

As a result, to intentionally infuse each moment with the awareness of God’s ever-present nearness is to do away with any notion of special interventions.

Divine Intervention

Divine intervention brings with it the idea that God is out there somewhere and we’re here, largely alone, until He arbitrarily decides to show up, often unannounced, to perform some kind of special act.

The word intervention when used in relation to God speaks of God as being outside of time and space, unaffected by us in any way and only occasionally deciding to drop in for a visit.

However, if we learn anything at all from Jesus’s incarnation, it is this – we are not alone. God is not aloof and is very much involved in every detail of our lives – if we let Him. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present help. He is the Paraclete, the one who will never leave us alone.

And, that’s the key.

God will be as present to us as we allow Him to be.

We simply need to remain consistently aware of His eternal nearness. What Greg Boyd refers to as God’s present-perfect presence (from Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now)

So, let us be aware of God’s ever-present nearness, find Him always in the now, and rethink our idea of ‘God moments.’

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Jeff K. Clarke is a blogger and an award-winning author of articles and book reviews in variety of faith-based publications. He blogs regularly at www.jeffkclarke.com – creating space to ask questions, stimulate conversation and inspire faith. He is on both Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeffkclarke and Facebook:www.facebook.com/jeffkclarke

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