I am spending most of my days lately watching a toddler try very hard to discover new capabilities and doing some very scary and perhaps dangerous things in his quest. I am thankful that God watches over me as I try to discover new things and likely venture into dangerous areas, too. I am very thankful for the Holy Spirit who guards me from harm and leads me away from danger and towards the right way. God is there to protect you, if you invite Him to be there in your life.

Even in my sleep, God watches over me and gives me gentle rest. As I watch little Nathan sleep in total peace, it is a perfect picture of the rest that God gives each of us. We are so busy, so very active, moving from one thing to another, just like an inquisitive toddler. Then, when it is rest time, we fully relax into the arms of the One who loves us and watches over us while we sleep. I used to say the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer, and I must admit that I sometimes still do as I drift off to slumberland. The prayer comforts me, knowing that I can completely rest because God is still actively watching over me.

May you be blessed with the knowledge that God is always watching over you and leading you away from things that could harm you.

Watching and Being Watched

Did you know that someone is always watching you if you are in a public space? No, I’m not talking about stalkers or anyone creepy. I’m just talking about regular people whom you encounter in your daily life. If you say you are a Christian, then you are under a microscope because someone will always be watching for you to fall or to fail. That’s why the Bible exhorts us to be aware of being watched and to present ourselves like we want to be seen.

We have to make an extra effort (pains) to do what is right because the world wants us to make wrong choices so that they can say, “Ha! And you call yourself a Christian?!?” How do I know this? Because I have experienced it from both sides, both watching and being watched.

I’m a people watcher, not necessarily one who enters in easily, so I watch what others do instead. I listen to their words and see their actions and hope that if they are called by the name of Christ that it will all match up. Sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised and other times I’m deeply disappointed. I have learned in my watching that not everyone who says that they are a Christian has any idea what that means. Many people think that they can go around and do the same things that they did before and not be accountable for it as long as they aren’t “caught.” Well, not only am I a people watcher, God is, too and He always sees everything that we do and hears every word that we speak. We may be having a bad day and be too demanding in the restaurant or at the check out counter. God hears, God sees and so do those around us. Bad days don’t mean that we get to take off the robe of righteousness that Jesus paid for and just be ourselves. We have to die to that self and always remember whom we are representing to the world. We destroy our testimony at the time and in the future if we are not always on the alert to how our actions and words can affect others. I am not saying not to be your genuine self, but what I am saying is to make sure that you have “put on Christ” before you go in public so that you are showing a lost world how they should be acting.

One of my pet peeves is seeing a bumper sticker all about being a Christian and then watching the driver speed recklessly around cars, cut others off in traffic or even do a one-finger salute to a fellow driver. I feel like following them and lecturing them about what a poor rep they are giving Christ. But I don’t. It is not my responsibility to police the world and their actions. I can only be responsible for my own actions and hope that what I am doing is a good testimony to the power of Christ in my life.

Being aware of being watched is half the battle. Look around you. See the other people? They are just human like you and many of them need the hope that you have inside you. They want you to be different, to speak differently (more kindly) and to act differently (with love), and when you don’t, you aren’t just letting God down but you are letting them down, too. Why become a Christian if you aren’t any different than the rest of the selfish and egocentric world? The answer lies in your actions and your words. Be a Christian, 24-7. That’s what the world needs and what God expects.

May your day be filled with blessings and opportunities to show others Christ inside of you so that others will want what you have!

God Is Watching

Do you remember as a child trying to get your parents’ attention when you thought you were doing some great noteworthy feat? I’m not sure I recall my own childhood, but I do remember my children crying out impatiently, “Look at me, mommy! Look what I can do!” With my attention divided between three children, I could not always look on command and I’m sure sometimes I disappointed one of them during their daring attempts to defy gravity.

The times have not changed, nor have the children’s need for attention. Nowadays, though, it is the grandchildren clamoring for my time. “Look, Nanna! Look at me!” They do cartwheels, ride bikes, jump off sofas and build towers, all with my attention riveted on them for as long as I can manage before another child’s cry diverts me.

As children of the Living God, we also clamor for attention. Speaking personally, I know that I am constantly crying out to our Father to look at me and notice what I am doing. Or, conversely, I petulantly accuse Him of not paying attention and allowing bad things to come along in my life and disrupt its flow. Like a demanding child, I want all of God’s attention all of the time. Today’s Scripture verse addresses this conundrum.

God is omnipresent, everywhere at once, watching everyone. I am struck with awe that the Creator of the Universe watches the wicked and the good. So, I pondered that thought this morning. Why would God want to watch the wicked? Because, my friends, He created them, too. They may be making wrong choices, but He loves them and desires them to straighten up and go on the right path, to choose Jesus as their Savior and to enter into a relationship with Him. We don’t need to cry out to God to watch what we are doing because He is always watching. He sees me when I lose my temper and yell at my husband for something thoughtless I think he has done. He sees me when I grumble and complain about small things that have no real importance and won’t matter later. He even sees me when I quickly send up a prayer for His help and then choose to do my own thing. Because He is always watching, God is always aware of what is going on in my life. There is no “Hide and Seek” game with our Lord. We can’t hide from Him one minute and then demand that He pay attention to us and answer our prayers the next. It boggles my mind that God can watch the entire Universe, with all of its diverse people making all kinds of choices every second, and still have time to listen to prayers, calm fears and heal. God is always watching, always waiting for when we truly need Him and in reverence call on Him to come to our aid.

I’m so thankful that God is always watching and even more so that He watches over the wicked, too. For I was once a sinner and now I am saved by His grace. I pray that many more over whom He is watching will seek Him and His free gift of salvation before it is too late for them.

Be blessed today and remember that God right there, watching and waiting to bless you!

In the Garden by Reba McIntyre and the Isaacs