She’s a four-year-old chowing down on pizza and breadsticks and prodding us with deep theological questions in between bites.
Where does God live? She drops it casually into family chatter just like “What are we doing tomorrow?” or “Can I have some more lemonade, please?”
I nudge my husband’s elbow. Pass. Your turn.
So, he walks her through theology and doctrine right there as she slurps through her straw. God is omnipresent, everywhere and always there.
I mean what country does He live in? Munch, munch, munch.
He doesn’t live in a country, but there is one special place where he is present and that is Heaven.
And His angels?
Yes, and the angels.
I think He has 61 angels.
He has lots of angels. Lots and lots.
But she’s distracted now and that moment when you feel like your child’s faith is that moldable clay in your parental hands has passed. She heard it—God is everywhere. He is always with you.
Christian parenting 101 pop quiz over.
She may think He has only 61 angels, but one lesson at a time.
I’ve been spending all year pursuing God’s presence right here in this minivan life, so her question lingers, bouncing around in my head and heart.
Where does God live?
Right here. Always with me. Here in this place and that. Here in the stress and the rush. Here in the quiet corner I’ve sneaked into to hide away from the noise.
I can nod my head right along with the lesson I know so well, and yet still I choose to pursue more.
It might even seem like a fruitless endeavor. Why pursue God’s presence when His presence is here, always here? He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will not abandon you.
I know how it goes.
I’ve felt the difference, though, between knowing God is with you while you fill that dishwasher up with bowls from breakfast and when you’re passing back the snacks in the minivan while zipping from school to ballet class and then to church.
And that moment when you don’t want to move because God’s presence is so heavy in this place, you feel the Holy Spirit’s fingers leaving deep impressions on your spirit, and you simply not walk away from this very second the same as you were just the second before.
Israel saw the difference. God was with them as they pounded out those bricks in Egypt. Four-hundred years of slavery and He never abandoned them. He was there all the time.
Yet, they headed out of that bondage and into the desert, stopping at that holy mountain where God’s presence came down in power.
On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
God came down to that mountain.
And Moses went up.
This is a graphic picture of the distinction between God’s general Presence and His manifest Presence…..there are times when He is more present, when He manifests Himself uniquely, when He becomes more obvious that nature’s designs or a whispering voice. Sometimes God shows up.
All this month, I’m pursuing God’s presence by Retreating and Refreshing. Because sometimes we have to escape the everyday rhythms of life in order to breathe in and out the presence of God.
After all, Moses had to go up on that mountain.
I need to go, as well.
So, we pray:
God, come down to us, we pray. Bring the full weight of Your glory here so we can see you.
And then sometimes we need to shake off the daily grind, walk away from the ordinary, and go up on that mountain ourselves.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Retreat and Refresh?