A GOD Who Is Near At Hand

Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

Jeremiah: 23:23 KJV

I think this is a consciousness we need to develop - the consciousness that we live constantly in the presence of God. God is near at hand.

I think sometimes we create false impressions in our prayers when we pray at the beginning of a service, "O Lord, it is so good to gather in Your presence, to be in Your presence this evening." You don't gather in the presence of God. You are in the presence of God wherever you go.

Or we say, "Now, Lord, it has been so good to have been in Your presence tonight. Bless us as we go out now," as though we will be leaving the presence of God at the church. You don't leave the presence of God. He goes with you.

God does not dwell in a church as opposed to some place else. God is with you when you are at your house. God is with you while you are driving your car. If you are crooked and ripping someone off, God is there. If you have corrupt business practices and you are taking advantage of someone, God is there.

You can look sanctimonious in church and close your eyes and sing the choruses, but God see what you're doing during the week. He is not a God who is far off. He is a God who is near at hand.

- Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
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