Saturday, January 21, 2012
God is watching…does that give you the creeps.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and on the good. Proverbs 15:3
I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and His angels. Rev. 3:5
Has the thought of God watching your every move ever given you the creeps?
I has me. Growing up I lived with the proverbial Sword (in my case lightening bolts) of Damocles hanging over my head. God was portrayed as One who was watching for the purpose of finding fault and inflicting punishment. The concept of a loving God who was looking out for my good was completely foreign to me. God look out for my good! Didn’t he have more important things to do, like punishing sinners?
When I read this verse in Proverbs the other day I did a double take and I wondered why the wicked listed before the good? If God had me author this portion of scripture (and we can all be thankful He did not) I probably would have said something like: “God is always watching out for the good to protect, bless and keep them and the rest of you wicked heathens watch out, He doesn’t miss a thing and you are gonna get yours!!!!”
Then the thought just occurred to me….what if God is like a parent who is outside with his children and watching them play. Dad wants them to have a great time so he tells them to stay in the yard and out of the street. One child is busy chasing bugs, picking flowers and overall having a wonderful time within the safety of the yard. The other, who I will refer to as “Little Mary” is slowly making her way toward the road, the very place she has been explicitly instructed to avoid.
Which child do you think has the father’s focus, the one who is in a safe position or the one who is approaching danger? Does this mean that the father loves one more than the other – no. It does mean, that at this moment in time one child needs the father’s attention in order to prevent a potentially tragic outcome.
Little Mary was instructed to not go near the street. In real life, Little Mary heard something like this: “Mary, stay away from the road”. Next, “Mary, don’t go near the road it’s not a playground”. Finally, MARY!!!!!! You go in that road and I’ll make you wish you had been hit by a car!” You may be chuckling because growing up you may have heard something similar to this, and if you are a parent, you may have said something similar to your little darling. By the way, that third statement is not the way God talks to His kids.
Little Mary has no concept that the laws of physics teach us that a several thousand pound vehicle moving at a given rate of speed cannot stop on a dime. She does not know and really does not care. All she sees is another playground. Her father, being a loving responsible parent, will take swift action and if necessary physically move her away from the road.
Rev. 3:5 states that a person’s name is already in the book of life (God’s Brag Book, so to speak) and will stay there unless at some point (possibly at death) the name is blotted or erased out. That being the case, God has good reason to be watching over all of us. Until, by our own choice, our name is removed, we are recipients of His loving concern. Each one has divine destiny and heavenly potential. Will we see this destiny and fulfill this potential – that is up to us.
I’d like to borrow an analogy that I heard from Graham Cooke about God’s plan of salvation which is the key for us fulfilling our destiny and reaching the potential He planned for our lives. When my credit card is about to expire, I receive a replacement in the mail. As far as the company is concerned, I am pre approved to receive credit through their organization. If I take the card straight from the envelope and try to use it, nothing happens! Why? I am already pre-approved. What is the problem? In order for me to access my privileges as a card holder, I need to activate the card according to the company’s pre-determined procedure.
It’s the same way with God. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we all have the right to a relationship with God reestablished and our names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life. In order to take advantage of the benefits of His salvation, we have to do something. This is not earning salvation, it is activating it. The credit card company has specific criteria that we have to meet in order to get access to their credit. I can cry, beg, whine, pout, even hold my breath until my face turns blue, all to no avail. If I want the credit I have to follow their instructions. It is the same thing with God and His salvation. Just like the card companies, God has specific action anyone must take in order to receive the salvation He already has made available to them. We can try other methods that are more palatable to US, but it is a waste of time. He has an activation policy and either we follow it and receive, or miss out on the best deal of our lives.
Until we accept what He has provided for us, God keeps watching. Unlike the father in the above illustration who has the ability and the responsibility to over ride Little Mary’s free will and restrain her for her own safety, God cannot over ride our decisions. He will attempt to move us away from harm into safety but He will not violate our free will. The choice is always ours.
Just like the shepherds in Luke 2 who were “keeping watch”, God is keeping watch over us all. His heart and desire is to do us good, keep us from harm and most importantly, keep us from choosing to have our name blotted our from His Book of Life.