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.
(Psalm 139.1-12 ESV)
At first glance, and depending on where my heart is, this can be an intimidating Psalm. No matter what I do, no matter where I go, I cannot escape the watchful eye of God. I may be able to fool you, but God always sees the motives behind my actions. He is not fooled.
And yet, as I meditate on these truths, I find them strangely comforting. Sometimes playing the part of a Christian can be wearying. But with God, I don’t have to be a Christian. I am in Christ. So I’m His son. I’m His friend. I’m His beloved. So I don’t have to do; I can just be.
I love how David writes in verse 7 of this Psalm, “…where shall I flee from your presence?” There have been times, more times than I can count, where I have fled from the presence of my God. And then David points out that even in the very place of my wandering, God’s “hand will lead me, and [His] right hand shall hold me” (v.10).
This interaction with God then directly affects my interaction with you. If I’ve truly come to the place where nothing I do or think or say is hidden from my God, and He still loves me and leads me and holds me and keeps me and nurtures me, then I should not be hiding things from you. I have nothing to lose. My very soul is in safe-keeping with my Redeemer. So my reputation or status or character cannot be marred. In fact, my character before man is going to shine forth when I am as real with you as I am before my God who sees all and still loves.
I have nothing to lose.
So if you sense that I’m playing the part of a Christian and not being real with you, please ask me what I’m hiding. And don’t believe me when I reply, “Nothing.”