For the early part of next week, I am speaking at our school’s 6th grade outdoor school. I am honored and humbled at any opportunity I have to bring the word of God to people who are willing to listen to me. The theme for the week is “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Naturally, I decided that I would go along with the theme and use Psalm 139 (where we find this phrase/verse) as the backdrop for each message that I speak. If you have not ready Psalm 139 in the last 6 hours, I would suggest that you go ahead and read it now…before you read another word of this blog.
One of the things that they do at outdoor school is a night hike, where the kids have to complete a hike in the complete darkness (of course it is done in a very controlled manner). To get the kids ready for this night hike, I was going to share with them how God is always with us. In talking with my wife last night, she brought me to the realization that it is not God who is always with us, but us who is always with God. She challenged me to look it, and what I found as I read the chapter for the 2,309th time in the last month was shocking.
You see, the chapter opens and closes with David saying, “God search me and know everything about me.” Then in verses 7-12, we see what I thought was God always being with us. First of all, my wife was right, but onto what I found shocking. David is, for a lack of better word, “complaining” that he can’t get away from God. Read it again, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” When put into context, it almost sounds like David is saying, “I guess you know everything about me, because there is no escaping you.” Then there is a turn in the attitude of the psalm (verse 10) where he seems to make peace with it and says, “Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” and he goes on talking about God’s Protection.
I bring this up to say, we are always with God. His presence is everywhere. Sometimes we get this idea, attitude that we cannot do or say certain things in a church because it is “God’s house.” We do need to be somewhat respectful of that fact, but what good does it do us to live like saints in “God’s House” and live like the devil everywhere else? Perhaps it’s because I have spent a fair amount of time in a fair number of churches outside of religious services, but my opinion is that if you do it outside of the church, do it in the church (as long as you are not breaking laws or common decency). After all, it is God’s presence that makes the church building what it is, right? Have we not established that we are with God no matter what? He is everywhere we go, and he sees what is done anyhow.
God, thank you for your presence! Thank you that I am always with you, no matter if I want you to be or not. You know all, and see all. May my actions, words, thoughts, and attitudes be found to be pleasing to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.