“You don’t belong here.” – God

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Psalm 139: 7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?  8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. 

In Psalm 139 the writer is describing God’s omnipresence. He asks, “Where can I go from your spirit?” The implied answer is “nowhere”. Of course what was true of King David (who is believed to have written this psalm) is true of you and me. Through Jesus Christ we have been adopted as children of God. As such our heavenly Father follows us wherever we are, providing both support and accountability along the way.

Years before my call as a pastor, I invited a good friend of mine out for a beer on his birthday so I asked him where he wanted to meet. He said he wanted to go to a gentleman’s club not far from where we worked. Well, okay. On the appointed day and time I showed up to the place but my friend hadn’t yet arrived. I was seated at a table next to one of the stages where women danced. I ordered a beer and waited. And waited.

At some point I got up to give one of the dancers a tip. I held the money in my hand and the dancer approached me at the edge of the stage. She squatted down prepared to take my money – or so I thought. Instead she looked me in the eye and said with a voice of surprising clarity and authority, “You don’t belong here”. Then she straightened up and continued her dance, leaving me with money in my hand. I was absolutely stunned. And yet I knew she was right. I didn’t belong there. I called my friend and told him we needed to meet elsewhere, which we did.

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I believe it was the Lord who spoke through this woman to tell me something I needed to hear. For a whole host of reasons I didn’t belong in that place. Why do I tell you this story? Because the last place I ever expected to hear a word from the Lord was in a gentleman’s club – but it turns out God is Lord there as well. There is truly no place we can go where God is not.

Gracious Lord you are Creator of heaven and earth. Thank you for your faithfulness to accompany your children wherever we go. Amen.

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