It is easy to believe a doctrine in our head, but not really hold tightly to it with our hearts. It’s easy for us to say that Jesus is the supreme treasure above all the world, but ten seconds later feel deep envy and jealously for the job or possessions of another. It’s easy for us to intellectually assent to the trustworthiness of God, but find ourselves doubting His promises or practices when things get hard. It is not difficult at all for us to say “Yes!” to truths in our minds, but say “No!” to those same truths with our actions.
This is especially true of the doctrine of God’s omnipresence (i.e. God’s full presence is always everywhere). Every Christian would affirm that God is fully present in all places and at all times and that He sees all things, but often we fail to live according to that truth. We say it’s true, but we don’t often live like its true.
J.C. Ryle unpacks the idea well:
Everywhere— in every house, in every field, in every room, in every company, alone or in a crowd— the eye of God is always upon you. “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Prov. 15: 3).
How little is (the reality of God really felt! How many things are done continually, which men would never do if they thought they were seen! How many matters are transacted in the rooms of imagination, which would never be allowed to occur in the light of day! Yes, men entertain thoughts in private, and say words in private, and do acts in private, which they would be ashamed and blush to have exposed before the world. The sound of a footstep coming has stopped many a deed of wickedness. A knock at the door has caused many an evil work to be quickly suspended, and hurriedly laid aside. But oh, what miserable folly is all this! There is an all-seeing Witness with us wherever we go. Lock the door, draw down the blind, shut the shutters, turn out the light; it matters not, it makes no difference; God is everywhere. You cannot shut Him out, or prevent His seeing. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight” (Heb. 4: 13). Well did young Joseph understand this when his master’s wife tempted him. There was no one in the house to see them, no human eye to witness against him, but Joseph was one who lived as seeing Him that is invisible: “How could I do such a wicked thing,” said he, “and sin against God?” (Gen. 39: 9)…
Do nothing you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, “Show it to Me.” Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, “What are you doing?”
(Taken from Thoughts for Young Men, pp. 82-83.)
Although for many, God’s omnipresence is Theology 101, stuff of the kindergarten sort, we often fail to live according to it.
So, friend, remember, God sees all you think, desire, and do. Your whole life is coram deo, so live like it. Don’t use any of your gifted hours to bring grief to His heart, but labor to please Him.
For those who are rightly terrified at this idea, be reminded once again that the God who sees all your sins has paid for all your sins by the blood of His Son Jesus (1 Peter 3:18).