Safe in God’s Presence

O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high; I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:1-12

There are two possible ways to respond to today’s Scripture passage. Some people find great comfort in knowing that God is always present in their life and nothing escapes His notice. This is usually the response of believers, because we understand that He cares for us. Why would we ever want to get away from the One who saved us and eternally loves us?

But for other people, the same psalm brings discomfort—they feel exposed when they realize it’s impossible to hide from a God who knows everything about them. So even though they can’t escape the Lord’s omniscience and omnipresence, they react like Jonah and attempt to run.

Sometimes they act out of pure selfishness. The flesh has a strong tendency to believe it knows the best course of action, regardless of what God says. Fear of failure or criticism can also result in disregarding His will. But often the problem is that people simply consider obedience too costly. What they fail to recognize is the real risk of fleeing from the Lord: missing out on His abundant life (Matt. 16:24-25).

Instead of seeing Psalm 139 as restrictive, try to recognize it as the all-encompassing protection of God. He’s always watching over us for our good, and there is great peace in trusting and obeying Him.

Listen to Dr. Michael W. Wesley Sr. on OnePlace.com
Watch Dr. Michael W. Wesley Sr. on LightSource.com