He’s always watching
FRANKLIN LIVING JULY/AUGUST 2023
In today’s world of video cameras being seemingly everywhere, it is normal to feel like someone’s always watching. And while video cameras can increase our sense of security, we don’t always like that so much of our lives is captured on video, since we never know who might be on the other side of the camera.
In a much more substantial way, God our Creator is always watching. One of the amazing and difficult-to-understand things about God is that he’s always present everywhere. The “churchy” word we use for this quality is God’s omnipresence.
With God, not only is he always present everywhere right now, he is bound by neither space nor time. Not only does his presence fill his creation, he transcends it. As the eternal God who has always been, he exists outside the timeline he created for us to live within (Psalm 90:2; 93:2; 102:27). He is as present in the past and in the future as he is in this moment.
His omnipresence combined with his omniscience – the fact that he is all-knowing – are the reasons he can know where you will spend eternity even though he loves you so much that he’s given you freewill to choose to either obey Him or reject him. He knows the ending because he’s already there – even though he’s also right here, right now.
In Psalm 139, David praises God for both his omniscience and his omnipresence. With the poetic language of the psalms, David acknowledges there is nowhere he can go where our all-knowing God isn’t present.
We should highly value both God’s knowledge and presence every single day, but because we are human, there are times when we might be tempted to try to flee from God or pretend he isn’t present. Most preachers pretty much hate it when folks clean up their speech or their actions simply because the preacher happens to be present. Each time it happens, the preacher is thinking, “God always knows! God is always present! Please be self-aware and God-aware enough to show respect for our great and powerful God – not for me because I happen to be a preacher!”
We should see God’s knowledge and his presence for the blessing that it truly is – but do we? Psalm 139 concludes with an inspired plea from David: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
The reality of God’s knowledge and presence can either be alarming or a source of strength and confidence. Which is it for you? Like David, can you confidently make a plea to God for his open examination of your life?
Philip Goad has been serving as the minister at North Highlands Church of Christ in Russellville since March 2020.