By David Faust
I’ve endured my share of traffic jams, but there’s one time of the week when the highways are usually free and clear: Sunday morning. As a driver, I wish the roads were always so free of traffic. But as a follower of Christ, I wish the highways were packed on Sundays because so many people were going to church.
Even those who stay away from church cannot escape the reality of God.
God understands the intimate details of every person’s life. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me,” David writes with amazement in Psalm 139:1.
According to verse 2, God knows when you relax (“You know when I sit”), when your alarm clock goes off in the morning (“and when I rise”), and what you’re thinking moment by moment (“you perceive my thoughts from afar”). According to verse 3, the Lord knows when you leave for work in the morning (“You discern my going out”), and he knows your bedtime (“and my lying down”). He knows all of your habits, both good and bad (“you are familiar with all my ways”). He can predict what you’re going to say before you say it. “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” (v. 4).
Billions of people populate the earth. How does the Lord count the hairs on every human head (Matthew 10:30)? How does he evaluate with perfect judgment the private motives of every human heart (Hebrews 4:13)? David admits, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:6).
If God’s omniscience is impressive, what about his omnipresence? David asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (v. 7). You can fly in an airplane or rocket into outer space, but you can’t escape from God. “If I go up to the heavens, you are there” (v. 8). You can go on a mission trip or a military assignment to the farthest reaches of the globe, but the same God you worship at home will be with you there. “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (vv. 9, 10). If you fall so deeply into sin that you feel unsalvageable, if your heart is crushed by darkness and despair, God still extends his grace. “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (v. 12).
When you were conceived, his hands knit you together in your mother’s womb (v. 13). By his hands you were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v. 14).
He’s inescapable. He’s the Lord of the classroom, the locker room, the boardroom, and the bedroom. He’s our companion during routine commutes to work and during once-in-a-lifetime crises and celebrations. He’s present in the church building at 10:30 on Sunday morning and at the office at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon.
We can’t get away from him—and why would we want to? If we’re going to spend so much time with him anyway, why not simply choose to be his friend?
1. When you think about the Lord’s constant presence, does it comfort you or threaten you? Why?
2. When are you most keenly aware of the Lord’s presence in your life? How can you cultivate a more constant awareness of his presence throughout the week?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
THELOOKOUT’s Bible Reading Plan for July 15, 2012
1 Thessalonians 3:1–6
2 Chronicles 1, 2
1 Thessalonians 3:7–13
2 Chronicles 3—5
1 Thessalonians 4:1–10
2 Chronicles 6, 7
1 Thessalonians 4:11–18
2 Chronicles 8, 9
1 Thessalonians 5:1–11
2 Chronicles 10—12
1 Thessalonians 5:12–28
2 Chronicles 13—16