Links Daily Devotional

In His Sight

“Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?’” (Isaiah 29:15, NIV)

Some passages of Scripture are downright scary. If today’s verse doesn’t tingle your spine, you may need to read it again.

It’s true that God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). With God on our side, we move from timidity to confidence, aided at all times as we are by the Spirit of God Himself. In God’s leading and strength, we are able to stand against the accusations and influences of others who would demean our faith in the Faithful One.

However, God Himself is another story. God, we know, is to be feared. And those who do indeed fear Him are praised in Scripture time and again. In fact, even those who did not yet know Jesus were noted for their God-fearing ways. So it makes sense, when we set our minds and hearts to the Scriptures that we will find from time to time a passage that makes us shake in our golf cleats.

The prophets frequently delivered messages that can invoke such fear chiefly because, as in Isaiah 29, their oracles exposed the hearts of otherwise respected people. It is commonplace among sinful people like us that we do all we can to whitewash our weaknesses and seal off our sins. There is a reason that so many dark exposures are met by the surprise of those closest to the offender: “I never noticed anything out of the ordinary,” they say. “He seemed like a nice enough guy.” We are skilled at hiding our sins from those who should see right through us. We wear masks and talk in secret. Or so we think. And this is just where Isaiah’s words are most fear-inducing. For there is One who always sees. There is God, whose omniscient insight pierces every closed door and shines light on every dark corner of our hearts.

This is fearful. It is also good. For if we have faith that the same God who sees all is the God who has made a way out of the darkness for us, we can come clean and stop “going to great depths to hide our plans from the Lord.” We can spring from the shadows and live a truly new life.

When we see water surrounding a green and we are playing alone, we may well be seized by a golfer’s fear. But if we are playing best ball and our partner has already tucked his shot next to the hole, we can swing freely.

The challenges of life will never go away. In fact, those that hit hardest come from within, where our sinful thoughts and sinful words and sinful actions look to arise again. But if we fear God rather than sin and we come clean before Him, He removes all our grave concerns and replaces them with the salvation of His Son who rose from the grave. Our sin has already been found out, by the God who knows all. But it has also already been conquered by the Son who loved all and gave His life for us. That’s a grace from which we never want to hide!

Jeff Hopper

December 1, 2011

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