When I read Psalm 139 the word that comes to my mind most often is the word “intimacy”. This psalms highlights the knowledge God has of our lives starting in verse 1 and going through verse 6 and then picking up again from 13-18. But intimacy is more than knowledge…
Sandwhiched between all the language of God’s presence are verses 7-12 where God is One who is present and available to us. Intimacy requires close proximity and presence. In 139:7 it says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” It literally says, “where can I flee from your face?” That moves the meaning from theoretical speech to relational speech. God is present, available and he knows everything about us. Presence and proximity is just as essential an ingredient for intimacy with God as knowledge.
But there is more to intimacy than knowledge and presence. Your worst enemy might have those two qualities and you still wouldn’t have an intimate relationship with them! What is the missing piece?In the marriage workshops Jerry and Lynn Jones have done over the past two decades they defined intimacy as “the freedom from anxiety in the presence of vulnerability”. That is a powerful definition because it is so accurate. We find that reflected in the final words of this psalm,
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
David trusts God with everything…nothing is hidden and the beauty of it all is that even in moments where anxiety would be the natural response, intimacy prevails because God has proven himself trustworthy…faithful and graceful.
He trusts God because God has been faithful to him in the past. He has no need to fear God seeing what is really going on in his heart because he knows God can deal with it precisely because of the relationship he already has with the Lord.There is something about knowing everything about someone else and loving them through it all anyway that develops a closeness, an openness and a trust. It develops an environment and relationship of trust because you know they know all there is to know and they still have you as their heart’s greatest desire. You are welcome and safe even as the imperfect person that you are…even though you need to improve…even though you don’t have all your ducks in a row. We can have that with God.