Psalm 139:1-6 ESV
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.”
If we are walking with the Lord, in fellowship with him, in obedience to his commands, as a matter of our life’s course, these words should bring us comfort.
Nonetheless, if we are walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, yet while we profess faith in Jesus Christ; and if we are putting on a false image of righteousness while we willfully are doing what is evil when no one else can see, then these words should not be comforting to us. For, we know that God sees it all, and we can’t hide from him.
But not much is hidden these days. Oh, I am not saying that deception does not abound. It does! But I am saying that privacy is becoming more and more scarce to where our every conversation, our every journal entry on our computers, and our every text and video chat and email, etc. appear to be being monitored and recorded somewhere without our consent.
This reminds me of this Scripture from Luke 12:3 ESV:
“Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”
So, while this can be disconcerting, I can’t help but feel as though this Scripture here was predicting the times in which we now live. But this should make us more thoughtful of every word that we speak, too. So, although no one likes his or her privacy invaded, it can be a good thing if it makes us think before we speak, and if it causes us to weigh our words carefully, which I think will also make us more aware of wrong attitudes in our hearts that need to be forsaken and replaced with godly attitudes.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
Our Lord knows us inside and out, because he is the one who made us. Not one of us is an accident. We are all here for a reason. We have a purpose.
In fact, the Scriptures teach that those of us who are in Christ, by faith in him, were chosen by God before the earth was even formed. He chose us, even before he created the world, to be holy and blameless before him (Ref: Rom. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4).
Doesn’t that just amaze you? It does me! And, not only that, but he knitted us together in our mother’s wombs. Do you know what that means? That means that God gave us the parents we had, and that he placed us in the families we were placed in, whether our experiences were good or bad.
He doesn’t condone evil. He doesn’t approve of or lead people to sin. But, as people of the earth, we are going to be sinned against. We aren’t all going to have happy childhoods. Some of us will grow up being abused and feeling unloved, and we may have to go through a healing process to overcome the affects those abuses and lack of love had on our minds and hearts, too.
Nonetheless, what this tells us is that God is absolutely sovereign over our lives. He created us for a purpose. And, that means that he allows both good and evil to come into our lives to accomplish his purposes in our lives, to make us into the people he wants us to be, in order that we might do what he has called us to do. And, history has proven this to be true.
And, to take this even one step further, it says here that all the days of our lives were written in God’s book, the days that were formed (ordained, planned) for us, before any of them even came into being. God knew who we were going to be, and he knew all that we would go through even before he made us, because he created us for a specific purpose.
So, I believe that God, in his sovereignty, chose me to do exactly what I am doing today even before he formed me in my mother’s womb, and even before he created the world. This was his plan for my life, for such a time as this. He made me for this exact purpose. And, part of that preparation, for what he has called me to be and to do, was that I had to go through the things in my life which he has allowed me to suffer. Glory to God!
Psalm 139:17-18 ESV
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
I love this! This is so comforting to me that God is always with me, always speaking words to my heart, leading me and guiding me in the way that I should go. He speaks words of correction, encouragement, comfort, hope, and healing, urging and inspiring me to live for him and to walk in his ways.
But it isn’t just the words that he speaks, but it is his thoughts. And, the Bible teaches that if we are in Christ, by faith in him, that we have the mind of Christ within us.
This doesn’t mean we read all of God’s thoughts, though, but we can certainly know a vast number of them, and more and more as we walk closely with him in fellowship with him and in obedience to his commands. For, the more we know of him, and the more time we spend with him in his word, and the more that we walk in his ways and in his truth, the more he reveals himself to us, and we feel his heart, too.
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
I need this, don’t you? I pray this regularly, because I don’t always know my own heart, perhaps not as well as I think I might. I need the Lord to show me where I am failing, and where I need to change, or where I need to grow more in his word. I need him to direct my steps, and to correct me when I am wrong. And, I need to continue to admit when I am wrong, too.
When I am writing devotionals, he is leading me and guiding me into what to say, and I am able to choose words carefully, for I can always go back and delete something if I didn’t say it right the first time. And, I proofread at least twice what has been written before I post it, and I do this prayerfully, always asking the Lord to correct anything that is wrong.
But, in the normal course of life, in casual conversations, I don’t always say everything the right way. I am not saying that I say sinful things, or that I say mean things, but that I could do better in what I say and how I say it. But the Lord is helping me to do better at communicating.
And, one of the things he is using to help me is the knowledge that our conversations are being monitored, perhaps not all of them, but some of them are. And, I think that is something that would help all of us if we thought that everything we say could be shouted from the rooftops, literally. I think it would make us more thoughtful of the things we say more casually, perhaps, and that we would do better to take our thoughts and our words captive to make them obedient to Christ.
So, you pray for me, please, that I will always think before I speak so that my words will always honor the Lord and that I will not falter in what I say even in casual every day conversations that I might think are private, but not secretive – there is a difference. And, I pray that you, as well, will do the same, so that we honor God with our lives in all our words, and in all that we do for his honor, glory and praise.
Here We are But Straying Pilgrims
By Isaac Newton Carman
Here we are but straying pilgrims;
Here our path is often dim;
But to cheer us on our journey,
Still we sing this wayside hymn:
Yonder over the rolling river,
Where the shining mansions rise,
Soon will be our home for ever,
And the smile of the blessèd Giver
Gladdens all our longing eyes.
Here our feet are often weary
On the hills that throng our way;
Here the tempest darkly gathers,
But our hearts within us say: [Refrain]
Here our souls are often fearful
Of the pilgrim’s lurking foe;
But the Lord is our defender,
And He tells us we may know: [Refrain]
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