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One of the most damaging things you can do to your faith is to limit God. God does not respect the boundaries that our stubborn atheism places on him. God does whatever he pleases, goes wherever he pleases, and knows whatever he pleases. King David celebrates this in Psalm 139.
Here are 19 things from Psalm 139 that God does not “respect.”
1. God doesn’t respect your private life.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!”
2. God doesn’t respect your schedule.
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up.”
3. God doesn’t respect your mind.
“You discern my thoughts from afar.”
4. God doesn’t respect your boundaries.
“You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”
5. God doesn’t respect your freedom of speech.
“Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all together.”
6. God doesn’t respect your space bubble.
“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”
7. God doesn’t respect your limitations.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”
8. God doesn’t respect your “me” time.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
9. God doesn’t respect the conditions you’re in.
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
10. God doesn’t respect your mother.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
11. God doesn’t respect your low self-esteem.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
12. God doesn’t respect your evolution.
“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”
13. God doesn’t respect your materialism.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance.”
14. God doesn’t respect your fortune cookies.
“In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
15. God doesn’t respect your math skills.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.”
16. God doesn’t respect your death.
“I awake, and I am still with you.”
17. God doesn’t respect your penal system.
“Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
18. God doesn’t respect your desire not to be judged.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me”
19. God doesn’t respect your lifespan.
“And lead me in the way everlasting!”
I am so thankful that God disrespects me enough not to leave me alone! He knows me, is with me, and will lead me, even when I want to push him away. He sustains me and gives me purpose, even when I doubt. He thinks of me, even when I can’t stand the thought of myself. He doesn’t respect the limitations that I place on him, nor the conditions I find myself in. He can turn any trial into a triumph, any wall into a door.
If he wants to raise the dead or give me a second chance, then who’s to stop him?
He lets me know that there is so much more to me than meets the eye. I have a precious soul, which is the product of his creative genius. He does what I fail to do. He replaces dumb luck with loving providence, and trumps my lifespan with his eternity. He doesn’t respect my boundaries, but continually eclipses them with his love.
You would think that since God knows so much about me, that he would give me what my corruption deserves. But he doesn’t. Instead, he gives me salvation. “And lead me in the way everlasting!” Jesus suffered and died for my sins to bring me back to God (1 Peter 3:18). Only when I receive his grace can I have the kind of respect that I have been searching for.
Read this list over and over again, and rejoice in how God does not “respect” you.
You can find more in Soul Tattoo: A Life and Spirit Bearing the Marks of God, available for preorder now.
Sam is a husband, father, and pastor