WAY BEYOND ME

Ps.139:7 – Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there!

One of the stunning things about the Lord is how He is so powerful and infinitely expansive and at the same time, so personal and intimate. These two seemingly contradictory realties are actually the very foundation of our Christian faith. Our God created a universe so big and complicated that man can’t crack the surface of God’s great creation. He created the vast universe that is so huge that our computer generated telescopes can’t find the end of His creation. Maybe that’s because creation mirrors the infinite nature of the Lord and apparently has no end. And then there is the complex nature of creation, Who created eyes and light, ears and sound, mouths and taste, and hands that feel. His creation points us to His incredible infinite knowledge. At the same time the Lord is incredibly personal and sensitive. We see His personal nature when He ministered to Jairus and his daughter, the thief on the cross, the woman at the well in Samaria: the gospels are filled with stories of how Jesus ministered personally to individuals. Here is David Jeremiah on today’s verse.

“Solomon, the son of David and the wisest man of his age, built a majestic temple to the glory of God…..Even though this temple was a wonder of the ancient world, Solomon reflected on the inadequacy of anything built with hands to contain the magnificence of God. He said, “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!”. Here is the paradox. We know that God is as far beyond us as the deepest reaches of the universe. Yet at the same time, “He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being”. Since God is both beyond us and beside us, His love also exists beyond us, beside us, and within us. His love is to us as the sea is to a fish: The sea is huge and expansive beyond the limited range of any fish, yet in it the fish lives, moves, and has its very being.”

We are brought to the amazing conclusion; God is bigger and more merciful that we can ever know. Knowing Him is the beginning of understanding and is better than life itself.

NOWHERE TO HIDE

Ps.139:7 – Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

It’s not like David wanted to flee God’s presence, he is just exploring the majesty of the omnipresence of God and the manifest presence of God. From his early years as a teenager David had experienced God’s powerful presence. From that first day when the prophet Samuel poured the anointing oil upon David, David became stunningly aware of the presence of the Lord. Worshipping in His presence and building a temple for His presence had become his lifelong dream. He had discovered his “one thing” worth living his life for. Here are some thoughts from Charles Spurgeon on today’s verse.

“Where shall I go?” It were well if we all thus applied truth to our own cases. It were wise for each one to say—The spirit of the Lord is ever around me: Jehovah is omnipresent to me. Or where can I flee from thy presence? If, full of dread, I hastened to escape from that nearness of God which had become my terror, which way could I turn? “Where?” “Where?” He repeats his cry. No answer comes back to him. The reply to his first “Where?” is its echo,—a second “Where?” From the sight of God he cannot be hidden, but that is not all,—from the immediate, actual, constant presence of God he cannot be withdrawn. We must be, whether we will it or not, as near to God as our soul is to our body. This makes it dreadful work to sin; for we offend the Almighty to his face, and commit acts of treason at the very foot of his throne. Go from him, or flee from him we cannot: neither by patient travel nor by hasty flight can we withdraw from the all surrounding Deity.”

It’s really impossible for our created, limited brains, to understand the Presence of the Lord. How could He be in Beijing and Fiji at the same time? How could He be touching someone in the Philippines and also someone in Africa in the same moment? Our God is the creator of time and space. Even the greatness of this universe cannot hold all of Him. His glory is spilling out of creation itself. Today, whether you feel Him or not, He is all around you. He is before you and behind you, He is literally in your face, eye to eye. One glimpse of David’s God and you too will spend the rest of your days pursuing that “one thing”.

“INFINITE HOPEFULLNESS”

HOPEFUL WEDNESDAY BY PARRIS –
The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:12

Last weekend I went on a women’s retreat to Fairhope, Alabama. It beat the record for “perfect”. Not only did the weather cooperate but Christ showed up! It was so nice to be in a room with women worshipping, dancing and praying together. The message of the retreat was “Let us draw near” with a true heart into God’s presence. While preaching I came across this quote from Andrew Murray- “Faith and hope ever go together. Faith is the “substance of things hope for”. Faith accepts the promise in it’s divine reality, hope goes forward to examine, picture and rejoice in the treasures which faith has accepted. Life in the nearness of God must be characterized with infinite hopefulness.” I just love this!
So many of us find ourselves wrapped up in “other pictures” of ourself and can’t seem to shake the failures that we find ourself in. But hope goes forward to examine the many other treasures God wants to give us. Are we moving forward or still holding onto to BACKWARD?

David in Psalms said, “Where can I flee from your presence?”. David took this as an immense comfort. “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,” he noted. “Even the darkness will not be dark to you” (vv. 9-12). At times we may feel lost in darkness. Grieving, fearful, guilty, doubting, discouraged? Not sure of God? God is said to crouch in the dark and the darkness is not dark to him.Though unseen, He is at hand. He has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Reach out your hand for His for He is there.

There never was a time in which we were unknown to God, and there never will be a moment in which we are beyond His observation. So let us draw hear with a full heart of faith, believing in His faithful promises.

I believe this is our error-not realizing even the night is light unto God. When we mess up and our heart is full of doubts and are angry at God, even then God calls us to draw near and grab a hold of what he has done and will continue to do. Your infinite helplessness gets turned into infinite hopefulness. Redemption wants to sing it’s song though you. Allow the Holy Spirit to change your mourning into dancing, and you too will begin to go on the biggest treasure hunt of your life!

GOD’S THOUGHTS ABOUT YOU

Psa. 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
Psa. 139:18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

As a child, I remember seeing television shows and movies that portrayed the local telephone operator. She had a giant panel in front of her and she would take incoming or outgoing calls and plug into just the right spot to connect the correct parties. Obviously, you couldn’t facilitate many people with that system. The reason I mention these strange telephone operators is that as a child, this is how I pictured the Lord dealing with our prayers and problems. The Lord seemed very far removed from my problems, and my life somehow didn’t even matter. All of that changed for me when Christ came into my life. Of course He has no limitations and therefore can facilitate all of us at the very same time. When I realized that the Lord actually thought about me, now that was a game changer. Today’s verse is one of those “too good to be true” kinds of passages. The best news is that it is true, the Lord has endless thoughts about you. Here is a quote from Charles Spurgeon about this verse.

“God’s thoughts of you are many, let not yours be few in return. They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee. Their sum is so great as to forbid alike analysis and numeration. Human minds fail to measure, or to arrange in order, the Lord’s ways and thoughts; and it must always be so, for he hath said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” No maze to lose oneself in like the labyrinth of love. How sweet to be outdone, overcome and overwhelmed by the astonishing grace of the Lord our God! If I would declare and speak of them, and surely this should be the occupation of my tongue at all seasonable opportunities, they are more than can be numbered; far beyond all human arithmetic they are multiplied; thoughts from all eternity, thoughts of my fall, my restoration, my redemption, my conversion, my pardon, my upholding, my perfecting, my eternal reward; the list is too long for writing, and the value of the mercies too great for estimation. Yet, if we cannot show forth all the works of the Lord, let us not make this an excuse for silence; for our Lord, who is in this our best example, often spake of the tender thoughts of the great Father.”

He has not only endless thoughts about you, He has a mighty plan. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think according to His power that is at work in you.

JASON’S LOVE SONG

LOVE SONG

Psa. 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Recognizing the Lord’s involvement in your everyday life is one of the most stunning revelations one can have. Suddenly, you become aware of God’s ever present nearness. Sarah Edwards used to use this phrase that pretty much tells it all, “God’s nearness to me and my dearness to Him”. The amazing thing is this, He has been all around us all along, we were just clueless. In a moment of time all of that changed, His nearness becomes overwhelmingly real and almost unignorable. Jason Morant wrote a song called Love Song that pretty much sums
this up. This song has been sung in our church for years, the message is timeless.

Where can I go
Where can I run from You
You’re everywhere

You know all my thoughts
You see through my ways
And still You come to me
And so I sing a love song to You
And so I sing a love song to You

From Heaven above
Earth down beneath
Your love rains down on me

You know all my thoughts
You see through my skin
And still You come to me
And so I sing a love song to You
And so I sing a love song to You

You walk on waves
You run with clouds
You paint the sky for me to see
Your majesty
Your majesty is why I sing

And this is a love song for You
And this is a love song for You
And this is a love song for You
And this is a love song for You

You walk on waves
You run with clouds
You paint the sky for me to see
Your majesty
Your majesty is why I sing

Yes it’s all for You
In my life a love song to You
In my life a love song to You
Everything I do
In my life a love song to You
In my life a love song to You
In my life a love song to You

This sudden revelation of God’s nearness changes everything. It changes the way we live our lives, the way we view others, and most of all, the way we look at The Lord. He is not uninvolved and uncaring, He is up close and personal and involved in all the details of our lives. The words to Jason’s song speak of God’s greatness and majesty and at the same time of His personal involvement in our lives. That is the shocking thing about The Lord, none of us are insignificant and none of us are forgotten. He is aware of your pain, your doubts and even your secret sins. Nothing escapes His notice. This is the beautiful part of this love song, it includes us. We are not just observers, we enter into this song. This song actually becomes the very fabric of our lives. Be still for a moment, be still and know that He is God.

SOMEONE IS THINKING ABOUT YOU

SOMEONE IS THINKING ABOUT YOU

Psa. 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

One of the amazing phenomenons of the twenty-first century is the social networks available to all of us. Of course there are many reasons for their success, but surely one of those reasons is the ability to find out what people think of you. We don’t want to be thought of badly, all of us want respect and love, and social networking provides an avenue for us to snoop or fish for what others are thinking (not that you ever do that). When we discover that the most incredible being of all, the Creator of all things, actually has thoughts about us, that can become quite encouraging and quite frankly, hard to understand. Charles Spurgeon spoke powerfully about this concept in his comments on Palm 139:17. Check this out.

“How great is the sum of them! When we remember that God thought upon us from old eternity, continues to think upon us every moment, and will think of us when time shall be no more, we may well exclaim, “How great is the sum!” Thoughts such as are natural to the Creator, the Preserver, the Redeemer, the Father, the Friend, are evermore flowing from the heart of the Lord. Thoughts of our pardon, renewal, upholding, supplying, educating, perfecting, and a thousand more kinds perpetually well up in the mind of the Most High. It should fill us with adoring wonder and reverent surprise that the infinite mind of God should turn so many thoughts towards us who are so insignificant and so unworthy! What a contrast is all this to the notion of those who deny the existence of a personal, conscious God! Imagine a world without a thinking, personal God! Conceive of a grim providence of machinery! — a fatherhood of law! Such philosophy is hard and cold. As well might a man pillow his head upon a razor edge as seek rest in such a fancy. But a God always thinking of us makes a happy world, a rich life, a heavenly hereafter.”

The Lord not only has thoughts about you, He literally can’t get you off His mind. Even our most beloved friends and family don’t think of us constantly. You may frequently be in their thoughts, but with the Lord, we are constantly before Him. His plans are full of grace, well thought out, eternal, and certain to be fulfilled. His plans are higher than our plans and are never disappointing. His thoughts and plans for you have a two fold thrust. First, you were chosen before the foundation of the world so that your testimony will bring glory to the Lord and also glorify His plans of redemption. Secondly, He saw you in your misery, the results of your sinful behavior, and He determined to rescue you. This rescue not only frees us from our sins, but also brings us into relationship with Him. That is the place where we find our satisfaction, our purpose, and unspeakable joy. His plan never changes. He get’s the glory, we get the joy.