There are two possible ways to respond to today’s Scripture passage. Some people find great comfort in knowing that God is always present in their life and nothing escapes His notice. This is usually the response of believers, because we understand that He cares for us. Why would we ever want to get away from the One who saved us and eternally loves us?
But for other people, the same psalm brings discomfort—they feel exposed when they realize it’s impossible to hide from a God who knows everything about them. So even though they can’t escape the Lord’s omniscience and omnipresence, they react like Jonah and attempt to run.
Sometimes they act out of pure selfishness. The flesh has a strong tendency to believe it knows the best course of action, regardless of what God says. Fear of failure or criticism can also result in disregarding His will. But often the problem is that people simply consider obedience too costly. What they fail to recognize is the real risk of fleeing from the Lord: missing out on His abundant life (Matt. 16:24-25).
Instead of seeing Psalm 139 as restrictive, try to recognize it as the all-encompassing protection of God. He’s always watching over us for our good, and there is great peace in trusting and obeying Him.