“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.”
Do you feel insignificant occasionally? Other athletes run faster: Another business person is more successful. Other ministers preach more effectively: Another writer has a more creative grasp of words. No matter how talented and gifted you may be, there is usually someone who is better, faster or more creative.
At times, it may seem that anyone can do anything better than you.
“You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away.”
Modern science doesn’t help much. The universe is ever expanding while our planet in comparison seems just an inconsequential speck. Computers do our work and do it faster and more efficiently.
It’s easy to look around and feel – well, insignificant.
Are you having an identity crisis? You are not alone and God has a cure called Psalm 139.
Would it surprise you to find that the author of Psalm 139 was having his own identity crisis? David, the slayer of giants, gifted poet and powerful king actually doubted himself? It’s true and those doubts make Psalm 139 one of his best. If you divide the Psalm into four equal parts you will discover David asking and answering important questions about his struggle for self-identity.
Does God really know me? I’m confused!
“You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.” (v3)
This is an active sentence for an involved God who cares about every moment of your life. Matthew 10:30 adds, “the very hairs of your head are numbered.”
God really does know you: Intimately!
God seems so far away? I’m lonely!
“I can never escape from your spirit! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.” (v7)
The promise is pretty clear that wherever you go, God is always there. Are you feeling abandoned? God is in the midst of those feelings.
God is close to you: Close enough to really care!
Did God really make me? I’m worthless!
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous –” (v13)
Here is a beautiful image of God carefully working within your mother’s womb to create the miracle that will soon be born: you.
God really made you: God carefully and deliberately shaped you and you are precious in His sight!
Will God really protect me from evil? I am so afraid!
“If only you will slay the wicked, O God!”
At first, David expresses righteous indignation towards those who hate God. After all, evil still exists. But then in horror, David realizes evil is not just in others but is also deeply rooted within.
In a more humble tone, David concludes: “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Instead of looking to God to protect him from others, David begins to look deep within and asks God to thoroughly examine him and remove the offenses.
God protects you from evil: From without and from within!
Are you having an identity crisis?
In Psalm 139 God knows you intimately and promises to remain close.
God carefully made you and will protect you by removing the evil from within.
The proof is in the Psalmist’s own life as God transforms a lowly shepherd boy into a mighty king.
Ray Boltz sings about God’s cure for identity crisis in, “Shepherd Boy.”
But when others see a shepherd boy, God sees a king. Even though your life seems filled with ordinary things — In just a moment, He can touch you and everything will change. When others see a shepherd boy, God sees a king.”
May God’s touch transform you from shepherd boy to king.