God's Presence in Our Lives
Featuring John Telman Posted on June 19, 2008
Practical atheism ignores the presence of God. Christians believe God exists and that he can be known. Yet even Christians can act like atheists by ignoring the presence of God.
In Psalm 139, David acknowledges not only the existence of God but also that God is intimately acquainted with us. When David says that God “searches”, that does not mean that God is ignorant of anything and has to search us to know all about us. Rather, it means that God's knowledge of us is so complete that it seems like he has thoroughly searched us.
The other message in this Psalm is that there is no place where God does not exist. In other words, God is with us even if we do not acknowledge that he is.
The early church leader, Augustine, was once confronted by a man who showed him his idol and said, “Here is my god; where is yours?” Augustine replied, “ I cannot show you my God, not because there is no God to show, but because you have no eyes to see him”.
Psalm 139 teaches us three things about who God is.
1. God knows everything about us.
There are things that no other human being knows about you. God knows more than just our thoughts. He also knows why we respond to situations like we do. No one knows you like God does. David said, “you are intimately acquainted with all my ways” (v 3).
2. God is with us constantly.
Our awareness of the awesomeness of God is the greatest way of worshiping him.
David worshiped God by describing how unique God is. Only God can be everywhere at the same time. In 24 verses, David writes, “you/your” 25 times. His focus was on God. If God is with us constantly, then he is to be worshiped constantly because there is no one like him.
3. God loves and cares for us even though he knows all about us.
If you knew everything about me, I am sure you might have a hard time loving me but God is different from us. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”! David says, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.” (v17). No matter how wretched we can get, God is always the same! He loves and cares about us!
Idols made by the hands of man have no abilities. They cannot know our secret thoughts. Even more than that, they possess no power to care for the needs of their subjects. Not only is the worship of idols “sin”, it is a waste of time and energy because there is only one who can and will care for all of us. God wants that job! Our response to who he is will be to focus on him and to, as Jude 21 says, “Keep in the love of God”. Instead of worry, doubt, fear, and desperation, we can choose to dwell on thoughts of this great God who is always with us, knows all about us, and cares for us! Like David, when we do, worship will pour out of lives!
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