Amy has an old TV/VCR combo she’s owned since before we got married. She never uses it anymore, so one day her father took it and hooked up a neat little contraption to it. A small, box with an antennae sat on top of the unit, receiving a wireless signal from a camera he mounted on the wall over Chloe’s bed.
It was great! I could sit in the living room and read a book or watch TV, and at the same time keep an eye on Chloe.
When she woke up from a nap, I knew it and could go in to get her before she started crying. When she was asleep and wiggled out from under the covers, I knew it and could go in to cover her again.
I knew if she was sleeping. I knew if she was awake. I knew if she was being bad or good —
No, wait, that’s someone else.
Yes, the camera gave me a sense of empowerment. I could see everything Chloe was doing (or not doing), and she never even knew I was watching her.
It reminds me of how God sees us. We may not even realize he’s watching, but he sees everything we do.
That might make us a little uncomfortable. It sure made King David feel that way.
In Psalm 139:7, after talking about how God knows him and sees everything he does, David writes, "Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?"
It seems that God’s complete knowledge of David and his actions made David want to go somewhere that God couldn’t find him. He didn’t want to be under God’s scrutiny. Perhaps David was embarrassed that God saw everything he did.
Does it make you uncomfortable that your heavenly father sees everything you do?
Jesus also spoke about God’s ability to see what we do. In relation to three acts of religious service — giving, praying and fasting — Jesus said to do them in secret. Then he said, "Your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18).
In contrast to David’s statements, Jesus mentioned God’s ability to see what we do in positive terms. But I guess the reason for that is that he used positive examples. It seems that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do as God’s children, we shouldn’t be concerned that our heavenly father sees everything we do. But if we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do ...
The fact that our heavenly father is watching us should not fill us with a sense of dread. On the contrary, it ought to fill us with a sense of his love.
God cares enough about us to watch over us. He cares enough to scrutinize our actions. And when we do something that is against his will for our lives, he cares enough to convict us of our sins and prompt us to seek his forgiveness.
And when we seek it, he gives it.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville.