Boys sometimes forget that God knows everything; men never do.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. ~ Proverbs 15:3
God knows everything about everything. That means he knows everything about everybody, and he knows everything about you and me. The word translated “keeping watch” literally means “to lean forward,” emphasizing that God doesn’t miss a thing.
Now this is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that it means that, in the end, we’re not going to get away with anything. But the good news is that, in the end, no good thing we ever do goes unnoticed or unrewarded by God.
Satan does not know everything, and he cannot read our minds either. But God can. Abraham Lincoln was supposed to have said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” The biblical sequel to this is that we can’t fool God any of the time.
Solomon says, “Sheol and Abaddon (that’s hell) lie open before the Lord; how much more the hearts of the children of man!” (Proverbs 15:11). God is the only one who can see directly into hell, and he is also the only one who can see into our hearts. He knows not just what we do but what we think.
This means that he’s the only one who knows our motives. We think we do, and sometimes we do. But many times, we don’t even know our own hearts well enough to know whether our motives our pure.
In fact, we almost always think we are right, even though sometimes we may be wrong. As Solomon says, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit” (16:2). We can and do justify to ourselves almost everything we do.
But God “weighs the spirit,” and he may see things there that we miss because we are so busy trying to convince ourselves that we are right and everybody else is wrong.
The spirit is the deepest part of our humanity. And God knows everything that goes on there even though we may not.
I distinctly remember one time saying something strongly to an individual in a group setting. When I said it, I felt absolutely justified in what I had said. But after a while, quite a while actually, my conscience began to trouble me about that one thing I had said. I realized that in reality it was harsh, judgmental and prideful, and I knew I needed to make things right.
A full eleven years after it had happened I finally sought out that individual to apologize and make things right. Even though it took time for me to see reality, God knew I was wrong the moment I said it and he spent the next several years getting me to see what he knew all along.
As you grow to manhood, then, it’s critical that you grasp the truth that you are not the final judge of whether your motives and behavior are pure. God is.
As Solomon says, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts” (17:3). The way precious metals such as gold and silver were purified back in the day was by applying heat. As the heat rose in the “crucible” or the “furnace,” any impurities would rise to the surface where they could be skimmed off.
In the same way, God will often use heat – adversity, disappointment, painful life experiences – to cause the impurities we often don’t see to rise to the surface of our souls so that we can see them and he can remove them. We may wind up seeing things about ourselves we don’t like, but that’s how we become God’s men.
When silver was refined the old-fashioned way, the refiner would know the job was done when he could see his own reflection in the crucible. And so God will continue to search your heart and do his work of refining and purifying you because he wants his image reflected back to him when he looks at you.
Remember: a boy forgets that God knows everything about everything. A man never does.
Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that you and you alone know everything about us. I pray you will continue to search my son’s heart, and my heart as well, and bring to the surface any impurities that need to be removed so that we may be your men in every way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)