Many go through life without any consciousness of God’s presence and purposes in their life. But God wants to be totally involved in our lives and we won’t begin to experience the fulness of our relationship with Him until we acknowledge His presence and live accordingly.
King David recognized this when he wrote Psalm 139. He began this Psalm by speaking to the Lord, “You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.” (Psalm 139:1-4) What David acknowledged in that prayer is true for each one of us as well. Think about that for a moment: The Lord knows you and me intimately. Nothing about us is hidden from Him. He knows everything about us: our plans, our goals, our thoughts, our words—everything. This is both comforting and sobering depending on how we’re living.
David shifts his prayer in verse 7 where he prayed, “where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” And in the next verses he concludes there is nowhere he can go where God is not present. Think about this too. Whether you’re at home, at work, at play—no matter where you are, God is present with you.
During several times in my life I’ve found myself in circumstances where the Lord seemed distant or even absent. This feeling can especially prevail during times of suffering and grief. Yet, I realize that my feelings are fickle, and if stop to consider what is happening to me, I see God’s presence and power in my life despite what I’m experiencing and feeling. Many years ago, I underwent a life-threatening surgery. I went under the knife not knowing whether I’d wake up again. I didn’t know whether I’d leave my wife a widow and my boys fatherless. This was a frightening time, but God was with me and my family. He knew the outcome before I even knew there was a problem. That was a life-changing experience. As a result, I strongly identify with David’s closing prayer in this Psalm. In verses 23-24 he prayed, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
This prayer brings the Psalm full circle to a sweet conclusion. For if God already knows everything about us, then when we invite Him to know us thoroughly and to expose anything harmful in us, we’re humbly submitting to His will and His way in our life. We’re asking Him to have His way in our lives, for that’s what we ultimately desire. Is this your desire?
Scripture Reading: Psalm 139
Personal Application: Read Psalm 139 aloud to the Lord, making it your own prayer. Then, listen to Him. As you invite Him to search your heart, what is God revealing to you?
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5