PSALM 139:1-12 – 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. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
If a young Christian came to you with this question, “What is the most important thing I may learn if I am to live a Christian life pleasing to the Lord and representing Him well everywhere I go before everyone I meet?”, how would you answer? I am sure our minds are filled with a lot of good answers, but what we learn from David in today’s scripture might be the best.
What is David overwhelmed with throughout this Psalm? The presence of God. More precisely, he is amazed there is no place to hide from Him. Whether heaven, the grave, or the deepest parts of the sea, God is there. And it doesn’t matter day or night, the all-seeing, always present God is there.
Learning to live by faith, not feelings, in the consciousness of God’s presence is the key in the Christian life to avoid sin and promote holiness. When it comes to avoiding sin, what kept Joseph from a secret moment with Potiphar’s wife? We read . . .Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”(Genesis 39:6-9). Before the eyes of man, Joseph would have gotten away with this act of adultery. I mean, no servant in the house of the Egyptian leader would have said a word out of fear of death. Yes, the fleeting pleasure of the sexual sin could have been Joseph’s choice action but his awareness of his God, both His law and Presence, kept him from sin. It will be the same for us. When tempted, whatever it might be, always remember the God who is both in you and with you. It will prove to be the strongest of deterrent against sin.
Next, living in the awareness of God also promotes holiness. How? By thinking on Him being always with us means the source of strength to live a life of holiness is always with us. Remember the words of the Psalmist–God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an always present help) in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). The Lord is not only our help in trouble but help toward holiness. As we learn to walk in the consciousness of His Presence, we learn to pray always and maintain a close communion with Him that transforms us into His holy image (2 Corinthians 3:18).
So, the most important thing to learn to live a fruitful and influential Christian life? It might be Psalm 139 – learning to live life before an audience of One who is always present.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to live with a faith-based awareness of Your Conscious Presence in my life.’”
QUOTE: “Learning to live with the conscious awareness of God’s Presence is a strong motivator to holy living.”
Because of Him,