"Where are you when you're not with me?"

By Joy West


A few weeks ago at the gym as I was in the locker room changing into my street clothes after my workout, God spoke to me through a song on their speaker system. Normally, I try very hard to tune out the music in the gym with its strong, pulsing beat and not-so-nice, suggestive lyrics. However, with the repetition of one phrase, I heard God speak the same words to me: “Where are you when you’re not with Me?”


God, who is all-knowing, doesn’t ask us questions because He doesn’t know the answer, but rather, to get our attention, and cause us to refocus and reconsider our ways.


In Genesis 3:9, God calls out to Adam, “Where are you?”. In Adam’s case, he was hiding from God because of a guilty conscience. He had sinned and felt too shameful to be in God’s presence.


God’s question is not motivated by shame, but by love and mercy. His desire is that we delight in His presence.


While meditating on that question, I realize that when I step away from God’s presence by letting my mind dwell on my circumstances, my peace and joy begin to fade. It’s like saying, “I’ve got this, God. I can figure this out on my own.” And that’s when I needlessly shoulder a crushing burden void of peace and joy.


May God remind me to refocus my attention on Him every time I take my own detour.


Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on Him!


“Where are you when you’re not with Me?”


“What do you need to do to be with Me again?”


Take a few moments to meditate on these questions and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.



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