Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
Children pray with an innocence that somehow gets lost on the way to adulthood. The book “Children’s Letters To God” is a compilation of letters children have written to God. One says, “Dear Lord, I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father? David, age 7.” Or I like this one: “Dear God, can you guess what is the biggest river of them all? The Amazon. You ought to be able to because You made it. Ha-ha. Signed: Guess who.”
Why do we as adults have difficulty praying with that kind of honesty and boldness? The older we get, the more sins we pile up. We realize God is holy and we are not. Because of that, we are timid when coming to God. We realize that to bridge the gulf between God and us, we need a mediator. And the good news is we have that bridge builder, that priest. His name is Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews warned his readers not to make the same mistake that the Israelites made in Egypt. The Israelites heard God’s truth, they knew God’s truth, but they did not obey God’s truth. Because of that, they failed to enter the place of blessing God had prepared for them. In Hebrews 4:1 and 4:11, the writer was saying, “Do not make that same mistake. Do not fall short of God’s rest–the place of blessing in this life He wants you to experience.”
How do you keep from missing God’s rest in your life right now? The key is the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. The Word of God is like a sword that cuts away the wrong thinking in our lives that leads to wrong actions. God’s Word is also like a surgeon’s scalpel that opens us up so we might be healed. Admittedly, surgery can be painful, but the pain is necessary to bring about healing. And it is the same way when God’s Word speaks to us.
Instead of allowing God’s Word to heal them, some people climb off the operating table and begin to run away from God. You may be trying to do that right now. But it is impossible. In Psalm 139:7-8, David said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.” You cannot run away from God. Other people try to earn their forgiveness–that is what Adam and Eve did. After their sin, they sewed some fig leaves and thought that would cover their guilt. It didn’t. They needed God to provide a sufficient sacrifice. So if we can’t hide from God, and if we can’t cover our guilt before God, then what is the answer? We need a priest. We need a go-between between God and us. And that bridge builder is Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Hope For Those Who Have Blown It” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall, “Children’s Letters To God” (New York: Workman, 1991).
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.