Omni-Theologies Brought Down to Real Life
Paul Tautges has served Immanuel Bible Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as pastor since 1992. He is also an adjunct professor of biblical counseling and conference speaker. Paul has authored eight books including Counsel One Another, Comfort Those Who Grieve, The Discipline of Mercy, and Brass Heavens. He is also the editor of the popular Help! discipleship counseling booklet series (24 titles). Paul is a NANC Fellow and a Council Board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He and his wife Karen are the parents of ten children. Paul blogs regularly at counselingoneanother.com.
- 2013 Jul 10
At our elders’ meeting this past Monday one of the men brought a wonderful devotion from Psalm 139:1-18. Reading our way through this marvelous Psalm, our brother called attention to the normal way in which we rightly use this Scripture to defend and exalt the attributes of God, particularly the “omnis”: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.
However, that was not the purpose of his devotional. Instead, he shared how this passage has ministered to his heart in recent days and drawn him into prayerful meditation and praise for the intimacy of God’s knowledge and care for him. He gave two examples in the first person.
Omniscience and Omnipresence Are Intimate
I can dwell on the majesty of God’s omniscience and omnipresence and rightly conclude that God knows all and is everywhere…and stop there. Or, I can meditate deliberately on phrases like “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (v. 5) and “Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me” (v. 10), and understand that God’s knowledge and presence are intimate in relation to me. His exhaustive knowledge of me leads to His intimate care of me. The fact that He is always present everywhere leads me to walk confidently by faith, knowing He is right by my side. More than that, He is holding me!
Omnipotence Designed Me with Limitations
I can dwell on the majesty of God’s omnipotence, that there is nothing He cannot do…and stop there. Or, I can meditate deliberately on phrases like “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb…wonderful are Your works” (vv. 13-14) and “in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me” (v. 16), and lay hold of God’s omnipotence and wisdom in relation to me. That is, I can and must believe that not only is God very intimately aware of me, but He has designed in light of the plan He has for my life. He has already designed me with strengths and abilities and, yes, even limitations, in keeping with His wisdom.
Knowing that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent is one thing. But believing it—laying hold of truth about who God is---in relation to ourselves---feeds our feeble faith and nourishes our needy souls. As we think of these great theological truths, No, as we apply truth personally, by faith, we end up shouting from the rooftops: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (v. 17).