Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You .... 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. When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:4-12, 17-18
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We continue with our focus on the "in between" times that come into our lives when God shuts "the door of what has been" but has not yet opened "the door of what will be." We have been doing this by taking a close look at three understandings of God's will. On Monday we looked at God's "prescriptive will," yesterday we looked at God's "sovereign will," and today we will look at God's "intervening will." With all three of these understandings of God's will, we are looking to Psalm 139 for insight. It is hoped that these insights will enable us to handle the "in between" times of our lives in the best possible way.
Here is some of what we said last week about God's intervening will: God is always at work in our world and in our lives. He is always at work as he seeks to draw people toward himself and toward a positive response to what he desires (prescriptive will) for them. Down through the ages, of all those who repent and of all those who do not, there will not be one that God did not seek to draw to himself and the response of believing in him for eternal salvation. This is God's intervening will and it is the kind of thing he is constantly doing as he seeks to help us find him and the open doors he has for us. God is so amazingly interventive in the outworking of his will, that he is able to incorporate every single choice we make into the grand scheme of his sovereign plan. Let's consider now "God's intervening will" as seen in the above verses from Psalm 139.
The Psalmist speaks to the Lord about what the reality of his presence in his life means to him. After saying, "You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me," the Psalmist says, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it." The Psalmist, when postulating where he might go that God might not be present, says, "You are there .... Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me." The Psalmist then talks about darkness overwhelming him and how the light of God's presence expels the darkness.
It is like being in the dark when we are in those "in between" times that come into our lives when God shuts "the door of what has been" but has not yet opened "the door of what will be." We need to remember that God is the God of the "in between" just as much as he is "the God of the door of what has been" and "the door of what will be." Because he has shut a door on us and not opened another, we are prone to feel like he is not present with us. Perhaps the difficulty we have in experiencing God's presence in the darkness of the "in between" times of our lives, lies in our wrong expectations.
We want God's illuminating presence to light up our path and reveal an open door more than we want his illuminating presence to light up our souls and expel the darkness we have allowed in. We have not understood God's intervening will. "God's intervening will" is first and foremost the work he does in our souls through his illuminating presence so that our "in between" time becomes a thing of beauty and joy. This is where we need to put our focus. We need to believe that he is at work on our behalf in regard to putting in place and opening "the door of what will be." When we embrace the "in between" times as precious times for getting to know our intervening God better, we will be able to join the Psalmist more fully and speak our own expressions to the Lord about what the reality of his presence in our lives means to us.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I recognize that if you were not at work intervening on my behalf, your will would not come about in my life. I confess that I am prone to want to be out of the "in between" and into what's next more than I want your presence in the middle of my "in between." I embrace your intervening presence in my life today and leave in your very capable hands the intervening work you are doing to secure my future. Lord, I love you and trust you fully. Amen!
Posted on Wed, May 20, 2020
by Ken Hart