Do you ever feel like some is watching you? George Orwell did. In 1949 he published his novel 1984 that is still considered a classic today. In this work of fiction, he popularized terms such as Big Brother, newspeak and doublethink through his plot of a post-war society plagued by a totalitarian government.
Modern day writers have continued that theme with books and movies such as The Giver, The Hunger Games and The Divergent series. The common thread in all these works, beside the setting of a post apocalyptic society, is an underlying fear of a government that sees everything we do and controls our activity, or at least our options, from some remote space.
I will say from the beginning that I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do believe that there are eyes on me all the time, that see everything I do. But it is not the government. They may be watching me, I don’t know.
This is what I do know. Throughout the pages of Scripture, we are told that our Creator watches us. He sees what we do and where we go. It is to him that we are accountable and it is from him that we find strength to live courageously. Psalm 139:1-4 says:
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it Lord.
This may not be a comfort to you, especially if you live in fear of someone watching you. But to me it is. I find comfort knowing that the One who loves me most sees me all the time and completely understands me and my strange ways. In Psalm 33, the psalmist affirms again that the Lord is looking down from heaven and sees everyone. Because he made our hearts, he understands everything we do. Isaiah 40:28 says the depths of his understanding cannot be measured.
Have you ever felt so misunderstood? You feel a little bit lost, thinking no one really gets how you are put together? Well, no worries! You have a Creator who completely understands every part of you, and he loves what he has designed.
The theme continues in 2 Chronicles 16:9 when the prophet tells King Asa: “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Not only does he see you, but he has in mind to give you everything you need for day to day existence.
In Genesis 16, Hagar finds herself pregnant with Abraham’s baby. Hagar is the maidservant of Abraham’s wife, Sarai. Abraham and Sarai have been unable to conceive, so Sarai suggested having a child by her servant, Hagar. This kind of family propagation was common in the Ancient Near East.
After Hagar reveals she is carrying Abraham’s child, Sarai gets grouchy. She mistreats Hagar so horribly that Hagar runs into the desert to escape. The angel of the Lord meets her and questions why she is there. Hagar explains that she is escaping her master. The angel tells her she is carrying a son and to name him Ishmael which means “God hears” because the Lord heard her cry of distress. She is strengthened by the promise of the angel and said, “You are the God who sees me!”
Do you feel weak? Not just physically weak, but emotionally you are drained? (Not uncommon after a holiday when you might have invested a lot of energy to entertain or to visit family.) Does the day look like Mt. Everest before you? Take a moment to imagine God’s eyes seeing you and then receive the strength he wants to send.
God sees us to strengthen our hearts. His ears are always attentive to our cries. Psalm 116:1 says “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.” We are important to him.
The New Testament confirms that we are seen by our Father in heaven. Jesus said not even a bird falls to the ground without the Father knowing and we are much more important than birds. (Matthew 10:31, Luke 12:6)
He sees me and understands me. He continually watches for ways that he can strengthen my heart when I am seeking after Him. But there is a final benefit of His seeing me. In a world where competition and success are paramount, even to the disregard of respect and kindness to others, I am comforted that he sees all and it is to him that I will give account.
Job 34:21 says that God watches how people live and he sees everything they do. Proverbs 15:3 says he watches everything, keeping his eye on both evil and good. And it is to him that we must give account, as Hebrews 4:13 reminds me. Sometimes I feel like the psalmist who wrote Psalm 73. He begins by affirming his trust in God, but then goes on to say how frustrating it is to him that the wicked, those who cheat and gnaw their way to the top, prosper as if they were living good lives.
I have had that same question. Why is it that those who disregard what is good and noble still prosper? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why don’t troubles seem to visit those who delight in wickedness? And then the psalmist comes to this conclusion – God sees all things; he sees the wicked and the righteous. And the end of both is in the hand of God. He is the one to whom we will one day give an account.
Are you feeling kicked around and under the stress of daily competition and striving to be noticed? Pause a moment and remind yourself of what is truly important and what will last forever. And it isn’t the whats in our lives, it’s the “who’s.” Realign yourself with the eyes of the Father.
So it is to him that I look. It is for him that I live. I know that he understands me and is strengthening me every day. Troubles will come, misunderstandings will develop, but my heart is secure knowing that it is to my Father in heaven that I give account.
Maybe the eyes of the government watch me too, but I know that it is not to them that I am accountable. Jesus said that I shouldn’t fear (stand in terror of) those who have only the power to kill my body and after that, do nothing. I need to fear (respect, honor, stand in awe of) the one who truly holds my future in his hands.