Is God With Me?
God is intimately involved in the lives of His people.
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“Is God with me?”
This seemingly simple question is deeply theological. If we’re honest, we’ve all asked it at one time or another. No matter who we are, we’ve gone through seasons of life when God feels distant, unresponsive, even absent. Even when we read our Bibles faithfully and pray earnestly, we can find ourselves wondering, where is God? Is He with me? Is He involved in my life?
When we feel this way, it’s crucial that we allow God’s Word – not our circumstances, experiences, and thoughts – to shape our belief about God.
Consider these two characteristics that give us a Biblical concept of God:
- God is independent from His creation – He did not create the world out of loneliness or insecurity; He didn’t need us to fill a void in Him.
- God is involved in His creation – While God is greater than His creation, He is intimately involved in every aspect of it.
Even when we acknowledge and understand these concepts about God, we can live our lives in such a way that we seem to believe God is disengaged from our lives and this world. This disconnect, between profession and practice, is known as Deism.
A Deist acknowledges God’s independence, but denies His involvement. Deism paints God as something like a “cosmic clockmaker”: He created the world, wound it up and then withdrew, leaving it to function as He designed it.
That kind of belief is lethal to any relationship with God. How can we relate with, rely on, or run to a God who is uninvolved and uninterested in us?
Yet we are all prone to “functional Deism” when we find any of these five things to be true of us:
- We don’t pray to God – We conclude He’s not really going to do anything in response to our prayer
- We don’t rely on God – We decide that for life to go the way we need it to go, we have to depend on our strength and power, not God’s.
- We don’t fear God – We continue in a habitual pattern of sin because we don’t think God is going to discipline us.
- We don’t worship God – We don’t truly believe He is worthy of praise and adoration.
- We don’t believe God – We paint our own picture of God rather than allowing Him to define for us who He is.
But when we bring our doubts to God’s Word, we hear differently. King David, in the midst of opposition and persecution, wrote Psalm 139, reminding us of God’s intimate involvement in the lives of His people.
Here are three proofs of God’s intimate presence in our lives:
1. God knows everything about me
“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.” (v.1-6)
This is staggering! The God of the universe – who created, is sovereign over, and sustains all things – knows me. He knows what I’m doing, He sees where I’m going, and He hears what I’m thinking. God’s importance is what makes the reality of His interest in us so significant.
2. God is always with me
“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.” (v. 7-12)
God’s persistent presence insures that He is always leading us and always holding us. He is a caring leader who will get us where He wants us. We are never alone, never abandoned, never forsaken. When circumstances seem hopeless, He is there to hold us.
3. God saw me and loved me before I was born
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (v. 13-16)
Even before we were born, God was with us in the womb. He formed every individual organ and put each part of us together when we were mere embryos. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did!
If God feels distant, we can choose to stand on the promise of His word, that He is intimately involved in our lives even when we don’t see it. And we can know that there is no clearer answer to the question of God’s passion for and presence with His people than the Incarnation of Christ. Jesus is Immanuel, God WITH us.
Jesus stepped into human history to stand with and for His people. He gave His life and rose again, so that through faith, we can live in eternity with Him.
God knows everything about us, He is always with us, and He saw us and loved us before we were born. This reality should run any doubt of God’s intimate involvement in every part of our lives right out of our hearts!
Questions for further reflection:
How am I defining God differently than He has defined Himself?
Where in my life am I prone to doubt God’s involvement?
If God knows everything about me, how should that impact my relationship with Him?
In what areas do I need to trust God to lead me and hold me?
What difference will God’s intimate involvement make in my life?
(Adapted by Diane Rivers from a sermon entitled, "Is God With Me?")