Far Side of the Sea

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10

David continued to expand upon the limitless nature of Almighty God.

This is a great comfort for those who have served God on the foreign mission field. When you’re away from home, it’s always comforting to have stability. The country that missionaries arrive in is always different from the descriptions people and books give them before they go. Cultures and people are so vastly different that books and experiences cannot begin to capture what it’s like. They get a glimpse that it will be very different than what they know now.

As you read these words, a missionary family or two come to mind.

  • Pray for them as they are always up against challenges and obstacles. Some even have thoughts of packing it up and going back home.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to them in fantastic ways.
  • Pray that His right hand will hold them fast.
Please follow and like us:

What Are You Doing Here??

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:8

As Dr. Ron Sauer of Moody Bible Institute taught this verse many years ago, here is how it would be better translated from the Hebrew. “in the depths” refers to what we call hell.

“Ah, you’re in hell! What are you doing here?”

We of course knew he would be in heaven, but hell? How could it possibly be? That’s how far he would go to rescue you and me.

Think about the implications of this verse. Many people have said they are far too sinful to enter the kingdom. They think the church would fall in on them if they were to go through its doors.

That’s just not true.

Even in the darkest of situations – for Believers and non-Believers alike – God is much closer than we think.

Please follow and like us:

Where Can I Go?

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7

Of course we know this is a rhetorical question. We can’t run from the presence of God. There’s nowhere we can go! Many have tried, and none have succeeded.

People can run away from God but never from His presence. A question I ask, though, is “why do people run from God?” Is it because of hurts in your life that they think God should have healed? Is it a loved one who passed away at a young age or one who died of a horrendous disease that someone would want to run away from?

We can answer the question ourselves. Why do WE run from God? Our run may not be years and years away from Him but days or weeks.

Why do we do it?

Hurts?

Sin?

Grievances?

Unfulfilled dreams?

Unmet expectations?

Lay them all down at His feet. Running does no good.

Please follow and like us:

Steady As She Goes

5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:5-6

Steady as she goes is an American naval idiom that is “an instruction from the captain to the helmsman of a ship, to keep the ship heading steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents.

We need that kind of direction, don’t we? There are forces all around us that would seek to knock or blow us off course. Sometimes those forces succeed. There are two very different choices we can make at that point: get back on course or continue to veer off course.

If you know you’re lost, it’s much easier to get back to the road if you turn around immediately after you realize you’re lost. The deeper into lost territory you get, the more difficult it will be to make it right again.

We desperately need the Lord to steady us as we go. We get lost and often it’s hard to admit it, so we “get loster.” The sooner we get back in line, the better it will be for us.

Pray for those loving corrections.

Please follow and like us:

The Tongue

4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:4

Many before me have surmised that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason: we should listen more often than talk. That’s understating the issue. The problem is we often don’t think before we say something, especially in the course of a heated discussion. Some people – those who speak for a living – are prone to say things undesirable things more often.

So how do we combat against those urges?

Unfortunately, it’s not an easy fix. We have to discipline ourselves over time. Pray that God will give you the correct words throughout the day. Sometimes those words will be to encourage and motivate others. That is just as important as not saying anything at all.

But ultimately God knows what you’ll be saying each day. Ask Him for that wisdom.

Please follow and like us:

About Motives

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:3

Not only does God know what we’ll do, but He knows why we’ll do it. Sometimes we don’t know why we do things. That really shouldn’t be a surprise to us since He knows everything anyhow, but we in the West love our privacy. There’s not privacy with God.

It’s very easy to get upset at this notion but that’s a distorted way of looking at this. How so? Flip it over and what do you get? God is intimately involved in your everyday activities. He knows your motives and all your foibles.

It’s a chance, therefore, for us to come close to Him, to commune with the God who created all that see and know.

We can get close to him, that is, if we so choose.

Please follow and like us:

He Knows Our Thoughts

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2

Even as I type this, I realize that God knows what I’ll type before it gets to the keyboard. As I was thinking about what to write, He knows those thoughts.

He knows when we go for the middle of the night ice cream, and he knows what you’re thinking when that out of state driver cuts you off.

He doesn’t have to be physically present to know my thoughts. He’s God, and therefore completely outside my physical realm.

We can’t fully wrap our minds around an omniscient, omnipresent God. We barely know if we’ll be home for supper tonight! But even God is there, and He knows full well when you’ll be home, what kind of mood you’ll be in, and what you’ll say to your spouse.

I write all of that to say this: even our thoughts are not private. Depending on your perspective, that’s either a comfort or a worry. The question then becomes, are we thinking rightly about things or has the world skewered our thinking?

This is the second verse to commit to memory. I implore you to let these words soak into your heart. The Spirit of God will use them…for His glory.

Please follow and like us:

Search Me!

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me. Psalm 139:1

We think we know ourselves, and to an extent, we do. But God knows us inside and out.

He knows what we’re capable of.
He knows what we think and what we do.
He knows our motives and passions, even if we don’t quite know them ourselves.

On occasion I’ll get a glimpse into why I do some of the peculiar things I do, and usually it’s related to something I learned in my childhood. But God knows all of those odd things about us.

And He still loves us.

There are only nine words to memorize today. Repeat them often and let the Spirit of God use them in your life.

Please follow and like us:

Psalm 139

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is perhaps my favorite Psalm. There is just so much power and impact to these words. I would encourage you to begin memorizing this chapter as soon as you can. Yes, there are 24 verses but we can learn a lot from each one. It may take you some time to do it, but do it.

For the devotional today, simply read the entire chapter twice. What stands out to you? By the way, what stands out today may be different than what stands out in a week or a month from now. In fact, I’m certain I already wrote out devotionals for this Psalm, and I suspect what I wrote then will be different than the words I write now.

Let the words just soak into your spirit. As the days progress, we’ll unpack each verse, but for today, just let the Scripture do its work. Plan on memorizing this chapter this month. It is well worth your time and effort.

One verse a day, only one.

Then add another.

By the time the month is over, these words will have meaningful impact into your life.

Please follow and like us: