One of my college professors announced that he had concluded that Christians no longer believed in the omniscience of God. Initially, I paused and thought, “What do you mean we don’t believe in the all powerful, all knowing, all present God? Of course we believe it, those terms are in our doctrinal statement.” However, his accusation was profound. In his many years he had observed human nature and especially Christian behaviour. We act differently—sinfully—when we think no one is looking. My professor’s despair was the crisis of personal integrity.
As I have grown to know myself better, I too despair at how I do not live according to the reality of God’s presence. I have secret sins—sins that I struggle with when no one else is watching and sins that I am not going to openly confess on this forum. You have secret sins too.
Whether it be clearing history, hitting the apple home button, or changing the channel, we are quick to wipe the evidence when our brothers or sisters are about to look over our shoulder. But God has been looking the whole time. <gulp> At this point we feel low. Why do we fall so quickly and so often?
If our conscience is not overly seared, then in our <gulp> moment we see our nakedness and vow to never eat the forbidden fruit again… but we do commit the same sins again. Our shame and own strength may keep us from re-offending for a few days, but inevitably we return to the viscous cycle of living without Jesus on our shoulder.
How do we break the cycle, gain victory, and return to believing in God’s omniscience?
1) Break the cycle: Grace overcomes guilt
Guilt is a horrible feeling that God designed as a schoolmaster to bring us to God. As soon as we feel sinful shame, let’s eradicate guilt by claiming Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. The frequency of our sin demands that we confess our sins daily.
2) Gain victory: No condemnation in Christ
Christ does not condemn us. He declares us to have won victory through him (Romans 8:1). If we look at the frequency of our sin, we will be depressed. If we look at the greatness of God’s grace, we will be inspired and uplifted. Continually reveling in God’s grace will help us to not regularly return to those secret sins.
3) Live in the Spirit: Omnipresent God on our shoulder
As we pray, meditate on Scripture, and abide (talk) with Jesus, we will reign with him. The more Spirit-filled we are, the more we will seek God and long for future glory with him. We will become more and more aware of God’s omniscience.
Finally, God is not surprised when we fall. Rather he dwells with us, cheering for us to gain the victory. That is what a truly loving Abba Father does.