Read Psalm 139: 7-10
We often read this Psalm as an assurance of God’s presence in our own lives, but what does it mean for those already “on the far side of the sea”?
We know that no matter where we go or what decisions we make, we cannot escape the presence and guidance of God’s Spirit.
However, as you prepare to go on mission, consider not only that you will meet God where you are going, but also that God is already at work in that place. God’s Spirit will not only guide and protect you as you travel, serve, and make relationships, but that same Spirit is already guiding and protecting our partners around the world as they seek to love and serve their own churches, neighbors, and communities. We do not bring God’s presence when we go; when we arrive, we are joining in His ongoing work and enjoying that presence with our partners.
As you make preparations and pack your bags, consider this: will your upcoming journey be more like a supply mission or a scavenger hunt? Do you presume to fill a backpack with carefully prepared messages, answers, and solutions to hand out and share, or do you instead pack eyeglasses, binoculars, and magnifying glasses to look carefully for evidence of God already at work?
If God is already present in the heavens and the depths, on the wings of the dawn, and on the far side of the sea, then God is already present anywhere you may go. This knowledge is a great reminder to pay attention when we are on mission. In what ways do you feel God’s presence as you prepare to go? Where do you see evidence of God’s Spirit at work as you are on mission?
How is God’s hand guiding you, as you prepare to return home?
Consider the miracle of God’s presence, that God could be at work in your own life as well as in the lives of the partners and people you are about to meet “on the far side of the sea.”
- Have you ever tried to flee from God’s presence? What happened?
- In what times or places have you been surprised to find that God is already present?
- How do you look for evidence of God’s presence in your everyday life?
- How might God’s Spirit be working in the place where you are going?
“God, thank you for sending your Spirit that is capable of finding me anywhere and guiding me always. Please help me to see the ways in which that same Spirit is at work in the place I am going on mission. Please hold me fast as I seek to recognize your presence and join in your work where I go.”