Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.  He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1:1-3

Jonah wanted to run from the presence of the Lord. He mistakenly thought putting geographical distance between himself and the place God wanted him to go would remove himself from God. Sometimes I want to do the same thing. Especially if God has told me to go somewhere I do not want to go, say something I do not want to say, or to do something I am weary of doing.

Psalm 139 is full of truth that can bring us back into God’s presence. Psalm 139:1-6 and 13-16 discuss in detail how intimately God knows us. He knows our thoughts, words, and exactly how each of our bodies were formed. Psalm 139:7-12 tells us that God is everywhere. According to Jeremiah 23:23, “‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ Declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ Declares the Lord.” God is sovereign and in control, even if I go in the wrong direction, or when something tragic happens to me or my loved ones. Psalm 139:10 says, “even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

I like to pray using the actual words of scripture. This week pray the verses from Psalm 139 to acknowledge that God knows you, God is with you, God is in control, and he invites you into his presence. Use Psalm 139 to thank God for how he has made you. Verses 23-24 prompt us to test our thoughts, motives, decisions, words, and actions. Be honest with God, confess anything he reveals, and pour out your heart to him. Finally, pray he will, “lead [you] in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24b. Take comfort and rest in this truth: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

By Grace Hunter

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