“Then Jacob woke up and thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!’” (Gen. 28:16, NET).
How often is the Lord “right there,” and we don’t realize it? He is incredibly close to each one of us. In Him we live, and move, and have our being. His presence with us in not a vague theoretical concept. He is truly closer than the blood pulsing through our veins. He is paying attention to every subtle thought that crosses our minds, to every sigh that escapes our lips.
His closeness to us is expressed in His name, Immanuel, which means “God with us.” The names of God reveal His essence, His being, His nature. Being close to us is not just something that He does; it’s who He is. Being intimately near and involved is part of His core character.
Frequently, though, we are like Jacob, going about our business, without being aware of the Holy Spirit’s closeness.
The pressure’s off; we are in good company. Jacob is not the only one of the “greats” in the Bible for whom this was true. Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians, giving them guidelines about marriages to unbelievers. He added this proviso to his advice: “…I say this (I am saying this, not the Lord)…” (1 Cor. 7:12, NCV) Yet, God made sure that very counsel became part of the canon of Scripture. Clearly, Paul was actually writing the inspired word of God without even realizing it!
We can take comfort in this truth. Even when we are not aware of the Lord being at work in and through us, He always is.
At the same time, what a mind-boggling opportunity we have – to grow in awareness of Holy Spirit’s nearness and constant activity in our lives! Let’s ask Him today to empower us to tune into what He is doing around us.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8, NIV).
The wind of the Spirit is blowing. Will you close your eyes and breathe in the breath of God? He is in this place; will you know it?