Tuesday, November 29 (Suggested Scripture Reading: Psalm 139)
In 1982, psychologist Peter Gollwitzer published a book called Symbolic Self-Completion. His work built on social experiments dating back as early as 1933, in which it was discovered that people who speak of their goals and plans to others are less likely to actually achieve them than those who don’t mention them at all. The idea is that by speaking these things to others, they become a “social reality,” giving a premature sense of completeness.
The lesson learned here is that, though we live in a culture where the “reality show” mentality says that every thought we have and action we take warrants narration, in real life there are many things that are best kept between ourselves and God. This is especially true when it comes to our spiritual lives. Though there are many aspects of our spirituality that are meant to be shared, in the deepest parts of my being, there is an intimacy that must exist only between my Savior and me.
The presence of God in our lives is our invitation to partake in this intimacy with Him. According to David, God’s presence surrounds us. This is such a comforting thought. It gives us peace in our loneliness and in life’s storms. It allows us to prepare ourselves spiritually for when we will finally be in His physical presence.
But it can also be a troubling thought. When we harbor sin in our hearts and lives, the presence of God becomes a constant reminder that we are not right with Him. Though we find it all too easy to turn a deaf ear to His gentle prodding to repent, He still remains with us- our ever present, always gracious Father.
This passage reminds me that God knows me intimately, more than I know myself- He is so much more acquainted with all my strengths and weaknesses, my successes and failures than even I am. And the thing is, He also knows so much more than I my capacity for holiness and righteousness.
Make this psalm your prayer today, praying for God to search your heart, praying for the grace to repent where repentance is needed. Give Him permission to invade your path, to go before and behind you. Commit to living in the light of His presence, and go deeper with Him today in those places of your being that are only between the two of you.