Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Catching Us Being Good

We all have a basic understanding that God is “all-knowing”, but do we really think about what that means?  Certainly God doesn’t pay attention to every detail, does He?  Surely God overlooks my momentary lapses and my insignificant “no-harm” sins, don’t you think?

I thought that could be true until I read this:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13 NIV)

Ouch!  According to this passage, God is aware of everything!  Well, OK, so God sees what I’m up to, but that’s as far as it goes, right?

Psalm 139:1-4 NIV
 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.

Double ouch!  You’re telling me that God knows my thoughts, my words?  O man, I’m doomed.  Why would God want to pay such close attention to me?  I’m not a troublemaker.  I go to church.  Why is He scrutinizing my life?  Is He trying to stack up enough “charges” to send me to Hell?  Is He trying to get sufficient dirt on me to send me into eternal punishment?

But wait a minute, God is all about love.  Scripture says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…  (John 3:16 NIV)


See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  (1John 3:1 NIV)

If God loves me so much, it doesn’t make sense that He would search my life to condemn me, does it?  What if God’s purpose for paying attention to the details of my life has a different purpose than to punish me?  Instead, what if there is a loving purpose for concentrating on every detail of my life?

Parenting experts teach us to “catch our children being good”.  That is, as a parent it is good for my children if I look in on them now and then with ”praise” in mind.  Instead of looking for something that deserves a punishment, I look for an opportunity to praise their behavior. 
What if this is what God is doing with us?  What if He is paying attention to the details of our lives – even our thoughts – so that He can catch us being good?  If that’s the case, then what does “being good” look like for God?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  (Mark 12:30 NIV)

Then what if God’s purpose in scrutinizing the tiniest details of our life is to catch us loving Him?  What if He pays attention to our thoughts to see if we love Him with our hearts and our minds?  Do you suppose He watches our every movement to see if we love Him with all our strength?  Could it be that God watches every detail of our life to see if we love Him with our whole soul?

…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…   (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

Are you thinking about God?

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