Church Camp 2018 – Don’t Lose Your ID 2. Created and Cherished
We’ve been learning the importance of our identity in Christ. This morning we celebrated our forgiveness and freedom. Now we’re celebrating that God cherishes what He created.
As good as it is to celebrate our identity, I do want to share a caution. In our search to discover who we are we can inadvertently focus too much on our self-image, self-esteem and self-identity. The key is not so much who I am but who God is.
“We have misdiagnosed our primary problem. As long as we keep the emphasis on us instead of on a higher vision, we will take small comfort from discussions of identity — and we will see little lasting change. Our primary problem as Christians is not that we lack self-worth, not that we lack a sense of significance or purpose. It’s that we lack awe…Awe helps us worry less about self-worth by turning our eyes first toward God, then toward others. It also helps establish our self-worth in the best possible way: we understand both our insignificance within creation and our significance to our Creator.”
“Without question, the subject of Psalm 139 is not us. Rather than a reflection on me, fearfully and wonderfully made, it is an extended and exquisite celebration of God, fearful and wonderful…Don’t tell me who I am until you have caused me to gaze in awe at ‘I Am.’ There can be no true self-awareness apart from right, reverent awe of God.”
Psalm 139 divides into 4 stanzas of 6 verses each. Amazingly, there are 34 references to Lord, God, You and Your in this psalm! We’re going to see David explode with praise and worshipful wonder as He considers who God is and what He has done.
1. Omniscient: God Knows What You Do v. 1 - 6
God knows us intimately. “O Lord, you…” It’s all about God. He has searched us thoroughly so He knows us completely. Have you ever felt like no one really knows you or understands what you’re going through? God knows your heart, your fears, your thoughts, your words, dreams, frustrations, and actions. On top of that, He knows your past, present and future. He notices what’s going on inside you, what’s happening to you and what’s going on around you. He knows every move you make and every motive you have. He knows all the ways you lack and yet He still loves you. David says all of this is “too wonderful” to even understand.
Listen. What God says about you counts the most because He knows you the most. He lays His hand on you with blessing because He loves you. He cherishes what He created.
2. Omnipresent: God Goes Where You Go v. 7 - 12
David’s reaction to God’s penetrating knowledge is to get away from God. When we’re faced with God’s holy gaze, just like Adam and Eve, we want to hide.
As David thinks about hiding in heaven or burying himself among the dead, he knows that God will be wherever he is. No matter how high or how low you go; God is already there. He’s here, He’s there and He’s everywhere…all at the same time.
The speed of light cannot outpace God’s omnipresence. When David realizes God goes where he goes, he rests in the fact that God’s hand both guides and guards him. He then considers having the darkness hide him and remembers that God can see in the dark.
3. Omnipotent: God Made Who You Are v. 13 – 18
These verses are like an ultrasound, as God’s Word gives us a window into the womb. As we take a peek into God’s prenatal care unit, we will see something so mysterious and so amazing it will forever change the way we look at life. God is intimately involved in the entire process because He cherishes what He created.
God formed each of us in our mother’s womb. Since He’s the creator, He has ownership rights over us. The Bible teaches that abortion is not an issue of women’s rights but of the womb’s rights. The Almighty owns the offspring of men and women and therefore we do not have the right to take the life the Lord has created.
One reason abortion is wrong is because there is a little person in the womb! Protecting the preborn is the ultimate human rights issue.
The Scriptures are clear, and science is playing catch-up due to the widespread use of ultrasound technology: Life begins at conception! Have you ever considered that from the time of conception, nothing else is added to the embryo? It simply begins a process of development.
When David considers all this, he busts out into praise.
Human life is distinct from animal life and every human is different than every other human. As David contemplates all this He declares that God’s works are extraordinary. Listen. God makes people on purpose for a purpose.
Nothing is hidden from God. He personally puts our skeleton in place and then creates all the delicate parts of our bodies, weaving them together to form His living masterpiece.
The same God, who keeps His eye on the sparrow, also keeps His eyes on every human being as they grow and develop in the womb.
God didn’t just ordain our DNA; he ordained our days. He has pre-recorded each day of our life – before we began to breathe! God has plans for our children and He’s written them all down in His book. That gives us confidence that God will do His work, as we’re faithful to do ours.
Don’t you love it when someone says they’ve been thinking about you? David is blown away by the fact that God is thinking about him all the time. God not only created us, He cherishes us. He made us and He can’t stop thinking about us. “God doesn’t love some future version of you. He loves you now.” When David contemplates how many times God’s thoughts are toward him, he says the number is uncountable like the number of grains of sand on the seashore.
God cherishes what He created. God knows what you do - God goes where you go - God made who you are –
4. Omniarch: God Demands Your All v. 19 - 24
The word “Omniarch” means “absolutely supreme, the ruler of everything in the universe.” The right response to God’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence is to surrender our lives to the One who gave us life. We must separate ourselves from that which is wicked and see sin as God sees it. We must not associate with outward sins and we must also be open to God pointing out our sins within.
After learning that God cherishes what He created, we are to hate the shedding of innocent blood as much as He does. We’re to see sin as an act of rebellion against a holy God. David hates anything that is an affront to the holiness of God.
v. 23, 24 - This is a courageous and very dangerous prayer to pray. God wants us to invite Him to search our lives. While it is certainly a good idea to do some self-analysis, it is even better to ask God to examine us. Most of us, when examining ourselves, will arrive at the conclusion that we’re OK – or that we’re at least better than our neighbour or co-worker. In asking God to evaluate our lives, we are really inviting Him to do 4 things. I should warn you that this takes a great deal of humility:
• Search me - All of me; even my darkest secrets and deeds.
• Test me - To see if I am pure and true and see if I have any sluggishness or selfishness.
• See me - Let me know what you find.
• Lead me - Show me how to correct my ways – lead me the right way.