Monday, February 09, 2009

Daily Digest #222

We have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed. —2 Peter 1:19

I would like to share to you 3 articles from the Purpose Driven Life (I've merged them already; they're all under the same title, just divided into 3 parts). Let us hope and pray that our faith is strengthened. May we overcome our doubts and fears, and learn to come to God and submit to His will. May we truly believe that He knows everything. May we keep an alert mind and be cautious of the things that keep us away from God. Pray always.


What Does God Know about You?
January 28-30, 2009

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)

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One night I was standing in front of the refrigerator. I'd gotten out of bed to make a midnight refrigerator raid even though I was on a diet. And I stood there with the refrigerator door open, thinking, "Just one bite …."

You know how it goes. You get into a debate with yourself: "Go ahead; it won't hurt this one time." "No, I'm on this diet."

It's in moments like these that Satan feeds us a devilish excuse, "No one will ever know."

You may not be standing in front of the refrigerator. You may be at work, or filling out your income tax form, or some place your parents wouldn't want you to be. But you go ahead and do something questionable because we all can get caught in the false belief that "no one will ever know."

But God already knows!

The Bible says nothing in creation is hidden from God (Psalm 147:5) and that God knows everything about you (Psalm 139). This means there's no question God cannot answer, no problem that confuses him. He's never surprised. He's never shocked. He never says, "Oh, really?!" God knows everything; it's something theologians call the omniscience of God.

The fact that God knows everything about you is good news, not bad, and today we will look at two of five specific areas where knowing this will make a difference in your life.

1. God know your faults and failures.
I find it uncomfortable to realize I don't have any secrets from God, because there are things about me I'd rather God not know. But the Bible says, "My sins, O God, are not hidden from you; you know how foolish I have been" (Psalm 69:5 GNT). So we're foolish when we do something wrong and then try to sneak it past God, to stuff it in a closet and lock the door. God knows what's behind the locked door (Proverbs 5:21). Everything you think, everything you see, everything you do, everything you feel, God knows all about it. He already knows all you've done wrong and he still loves you! You're not fooling God when you keep your sins hidden (1 John 1:8). He's not shocked by your sin; and when you admit it to him, it doesn't ever, will never, change the way he feels about you. He loves you unconditionally, and that means you don't have to fake it, you don't have to pretend.

2. God knows your feelings and frustrations.
Some of you think, "Nobody knows what I'm going through, nobody feels the pain I'm experiencing. " God knows. He knows your feelings and frustrations. He's seen the crisis in your soul. There's no hurt that goes unnoticed by God. Psalm 56:8 says, "You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears" (GNT). Often when we're hurting, we feel very isolated and lonely. Maybe there's been a death in the family, a divorce, maybe we've gotten fired, and we start to think, "Nobody understands the way I feel; nobody feels the pain." But God knows, and "The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him" (Psalm 103:13 NLT). God not only sees, he cares. He knows the causes, the reasons, the things that brought you to this point. He understands because he made you, and he sees the hurt in your heart like nobody else can. Because God knows our frustrations and despair, we can give those feelings to him: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you" (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). Cast them all permanently on God, once and for all. Don't take them back. God knows everything about your faults and failures, and your feelings and frustrations, and he also knows what your tomorrow holds.

3. God knows your future.
We're all interested in the future. It's interesting to me the things people will use to try to figure out what's going to happen next: astrology, horoscopes, reading tea leaves, consulting with people, bio-rhythms. But they're going to the wrong source because the only one who knows what's going to happen next is God. The Bible says, even before you were born, God knew all of your future (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 29:11). This means God sees your tomorrow, today. He already sees the things you'll face. The fact is, God is not limited by time. He's able to be in the past, the present, and the future all at the same time. Think of it like this: if you were in the Goodyear Blimp looking down on the Rose Parade, you could see the beginning of the parade and the end of the parade all at the same time. God, from his perspective, can see past, present, and future all at once. That should give us great confidence in God. It's comforting to me that he knows everything that is going to happen in my life. He not only knows about the future, he's there in the future. He not only walks with us day-by-day, he can also walk in our future. God is already prepared for everything you're going to face – tomorrow, next week, or next month. What the future holds may surprise us, but it doesn't surprise God. Nothing ever catches him by surprise, or makes him say, "Oh, really?!" Next month or next year you may be faced with a crisis, and you may ask, "What's happening? Where is God?" God's been there all along, preparing. He's already in your future and he's prepared for everything. If I know that God knows all my tomorrows, today, then I should ask him for advice. He knows what's going to happen: "Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own" (Jeremiah 33:3 MSG). The things you don't know, God can tell you about. He's not going to lay out your whole life all at once, telling you everything that will happen in your life. If he did, you'd likely get very discouraged or prideful or both. Instead, he gives it to you a little bit at a time. It's like this, when you're driving up a mountain on a curving road and you're caught behind a slow car, you may think, "If I could just see around the curve, I'd go ahead and pass this guy." If there were a helicopter above, the pilot could let you know if there was another car around the curve. From his perspective, he could help you out. The same is true with God: from his perspective, he knows everything that's going to happen, so you can ask him for advice. Here's what I'd suggest, when you get up in the morning, go over your schedule with the Lord. Pray, "Father, you've already seen this day that I'm about to experience. You know ahead of time every interruption I'm going to face, every cranky person in the office, every flat tire, every traffic jam, every missed plane, when I'm going to spill the coffee on my suit. You've already seen it all. Would you, right now, give me the strength to cope through this day, the strength that I need for today." We have looked at God's omniscience – that he knows everything, specifically everything about you and your life. We have been examining God's presence in your life by breaking it down into five areas. Now, we'll look at the final two.

4. God knows your fears.
God knows everything that gets you stressed out. For instance, many of us today are concerned about the economy, and so we have financial fears. And then we act as if God is unaware of our bills. "Don't you see, God? I'm going under! I'm not going to make it!" We're trying to stretch and make ends meet. We get uptight, upset, and we worry. But worry is the result of not realizing the omniscience of God. When we think that God doesn't know what's going on in our lives, then we think we have to take matters into our own hands. In effect, we're saying, "I'll be God." Worrying is taking responsibility for things God never intended you to have. The truth is God is aware of all your needs. Prayer is never giving information to God. The Bible says, "… Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8 NIV). He's aware of every single need you have: financial needs, spiritual needs, sexual needs, social needs, emotional needs.
5. God knows your faithfulness.
Here's another benefit from the truth that God knows everything: He sees everything you do that is good and right. Every time you choose not to sin, every time you resist temptation, every time you take a stand because of God's Truth, he sees your faithfulness to him. The Bible says every good deed will be rewarded, no matter how insignificant and regardless of whether anybody else on earth sees it. Every encouragement you give to other people, every kind word you give to your children, every time you do a thoughtful act for your husband, every time you pick up around the office when it's not your job, every time you set up chairs in church or stuff bulletins, every act of courtesy, every time you refuse to gossip, every time you're positive instead of negative – God sees it all, no matter how small (Matthew 10:40-42). Imagine yourself on a giant stage and you're the only person on that stage. You're acting out your life. In the audience there is only one person and it's God. He's out there clapping and saying, "I see that good thing you just did. Keep on going! Nobody else saw it, but I did. I know that thought you just had and I know it was a positive good thought. I saw it." So what should be my response? If God sees all the good things that I do and he's out there cheering me on, then my response should be, "Don't Be Discouraged! " Some of you may be saying, "I've been trying to do the right thing in my marriage. I don't see any results. I've been trying to be the right kind of person and respond correctly with my kids or to my parents. I've been trying to do the right thing at work or at school. And I don't know if it's paying off. I don't see it making any difference in anybody's life." God says, "I see it and it doesn't matter who else sees it." Nothing good we ever do is ever done in vain: "So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up" (Galatians 6:9 HCSB). Knowing the truth – that God knows everything in your life, can either be very disturbing or very comforting. It depends on your relationship to him, whether you're trying to fool him or not.

Have you been acting as if God is totally unaware of your life in any of these five areas? · God know your faults and failures, but he still loves you unconditionally. · God knows your feelings and frustrations, and he sees your hurt more than anyone else can. · God knows your future, so he can tell what you need to know. · God knows your fears, and he wants you to hand your worries over to him. · God knows your faithfulness because he sees every good thing you do. The fact that God knows everything is a tremendous motivator for me to live a godly life. I realize that nothing in my life is in secret; nothing I face will hinder his ability to help me; nothing that is to come will catch him by surprise; nothing I fear will be too big for God's strength; and nothing I do in his name is ever done in vain. God says, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for" (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG).

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