When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” (II Kings 5:25)
No matter where you go, God is there. Jonah could not outswim God. Paul ran into God on the dusty Damascus road. Even King David pondered the inescapability from God: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7). You cannot escape Someone who is everywhere and knows everything.
In the story of Naaman, we find that he went to the prophet Elisha for healing of his deadly leprosy. He obeyed Elisha’s instruction to dip or wash himself seven times in the Jordan River. After he was miraculously healed, he wanted to repay Elisha. He offered several tokens of his gratitude, but Elisha refused them as he knew the healing was not something he did in his own strength. He gave God the glory and sent Naaman on his way.
But Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, had a problem with that. He thought Elisha had been too easy on Naaman and devised a plan to personally benefit from the divine healing. He chased after Naaman, told him a flimsy story, and returned home with two bags of silver and two new outfits. But his greed proved to be his downfall.
Gehazi abandoned God’s place and provision to pursue his own desires. He had everything he needed in his employment with Elisha. He was serving and being mentored by one of God’s greatest prophets. Yet, he turned his back on God to chase monetary gain and fashionable clothing.
After hiding his dishonest gain in his home, he went to see Elisha like nothing had happened. He failed to realize the impossibility of trying to run or hide from God. Inevitably, the truth comes out. Be sure your sins will find you out (Numbers 32:23).
Elisha confronted his servant by asking, Where have you been? I am sure Gehazi’s heart skipped several beats when he heard that. When we get caught doing something wrong, it scares us. And then we lie about it to cover ourselves from any potential consequences. Just like a child who lies about taking a cookie while having crumbs around his mouth and chocolate in his teeth, Gehazi denied going anywhere. To which Elisha responded, Did not my heart go with you?
That is the way God is with us. His Spirit is everywhere and He never leaves us. Our sins are not hidden from Him no matter how hard we try to deny, defend, or disguise them. Ananias and Sapphira foolishly tried this and immediately died for their nonsensical attempts (Acts 5:1-11).
Thank God He is merciful to us in our own times of misrepresentation. Just like Gehazi, we sometimes reject where God has us or what He has given us and we chase our selfish desires. Our rejections are as numerous as the distracting opportunities that present themselves. This is why Paul cautions, Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).
God questions you today: Where have you been?
What provision of His have you ignored or rejected?
What “thing” are you pursuing instead of God?
What regrets or disappointments have landed in your world as a result of straying to the pigpen of sin like the Prodigal Son?
God asks, Where were you? to identify control; He asks, Where have you been? to reveal personal choice. This question is not meant to embarrass, but to confront you and prompt your return to your loving Heavenly Father. Though He already knows, He asks to stop you in your tracks and elicit your honest response and genuine return to Him.
No matter where you have been, God’s Spirit has already gone there with you. Your answer will not surprise Him. Just know He awaits your repentant return so forgiveness and reconciliation can restore the warmth to your relationship. No matter where you have been, He knows the safest and best place for you is close to Him.
It is my hope and prayer that you will honestly confess where you have strayed and allow His forgiveness, love, mercy, and grace to reconcile your fellowship with Him. Besides, you have never been out of His sight or mind anyway!
Be sure to check back every week and read more from our 9-part series on questions God Wants To Know.