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Being Watched

About a week or so ago Kensi and I were having a very busy week. One evening, Kensi and I were trying to finish up a few tasks so, after picking up Ayden from school, I told him to start writing his spelling words while mom and I were finishing up. Ayden made himself a snack and pulled his folder out of his backpack. He asked where I was going to be working at, to which I told him in the back yard while mom would be in the garage. Ayden saw one of the Arlo security cameras we have in the house, grabbed it and placed it on the dining table faced towards him. I asked Ayden why he did this. Ayden replied, “I think I would do better if I knew I was being watched.

A couple of months ago I used the camera to surveil Ayden and Jaxon while they cleaned up their room. Interestingly, Ayden and Jaxon did much better knowing that they were being watched, even though Jaxon paused occasionally to give a good long glare into the camera lens as he processed the thought of “being watched.” (See photos below)

It is interesting to research how “watchful eyes” will affect the behavior of people: how people will act/behave if it appears that NO ONE IS WATCHING versus the behavior of those who believe SOMEONE IS WATCHING! There have been numerous psychology experiments that show that an individual’s decisions are influenced if someone is watching them or even if a there’s a poster with a pair of eyes that are glaring at them. Researchers in the UK did an experiment with just a sign that had a pair of EYES glaring with a message to those who were stealing bicycles. Due to the sign, the thefts of bicycles decreased 62%! The point of the research was, “even the feeling” of being watched was an effective deterrent.

So, what does this have to do with spiritual things? Read what the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:1-7. Such is a profound thought that is being presented regarding God’s perfect knowledge of man.

Now sometimes we fear the thought that we are being watched. But as studies and research have shown and proven time and time again, it is a good thing, especially as the scriptures present, a God who KNOWS US, who CARES FOR US, who WATCHES US.

How many of us are comfortable with someone who KNOWS US so deeply?! Who sees our inner thoughts and our behavior “behind the scenes.”  God searches us, knows us, what our motives are, what our desires are, He knows us COMPLETELY! God knows our habits, our strengths, our weaknesses. He knows EVERYTHING! (cf. Psalm 139:3)

When we think of an ALL-SEEING EYE, does that cause us to be more aware of what we think, what we say, what we do?!  I believe that this is a great reminder for us. When we are assembled together to worship, it is easy to put on the smile, sing songs of worship, bow our heads in prayer, and such, but the Lord knows where our minds are… the Lord is searching us here and when we are at home, at school, at work, on the road!

I thought how beneficial it would be to have this reminder posted in our cars, in our homes, in our offices, on our phones; a note that simply says “WATCHING YOU”. By simply seeing those words, we will find ourselves BEHAVING AS GOD WOULD HAVE US TO.  The Proverb writer said: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3).

It’s important to realize that God is WATCHING (cf. Psalm 33:13-15). It’s interesting that although we may acknowledge this, we still will attempt to hide from the Lord. Not too long ago, I went to check on the progress of the boys cleaning their room and found Jaxon under the bed with a blanket hanging down to conceal him. I stood at the doorway for a bit and then saw a pair of eyes peering back at me questioning, “I wonder if DAD SEES ME?!” “I WONDER IF HE KNOWS THAT I WASN’T CLEANING?!” (cf. Gen. 3, Gen. 6:5, & Jonah).

David says to God, “You search me, you discern me, you’re familiar with me, you know me. You even know my private thoughts. I can’t escape you. I try up and down, east and west, no matter where I go, you are there” (Psalm 139:7; cf. Eccl. 12:13,14). If you are thinking of things you have done and are trying to hide it from God, you can’t. It can be hidden from me, from your fellow brethren, from your family, friends, but it is NOT hidden from God.

There are two ways that we can consider this passage and topic. We can see it as a fearful thing, or it can be an assuring thing.  Although my children know that I watch them and know when they are misbehaving, they also find comfort in knowing that I am there for them. I hope we as Christians can find comfort in our Father who watches us. When you consider the Psalmists words, he is expressing His assurance of a loving Father who is a very present help and strength (cf. Psalm 23:4). Such should bring us confidence and comfort.

With God watching us, such should motivate us to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. It is interesting to see how diligent people can work when there are those observing them. Those who have spectators on a regular basis are found striving to do their best performance.

As Christians, we should DESIRE to DO GOOD for our master. To be useful to our Lord (cf. 2 Tim. 2:20-22). Knowing that He is constantly watching us, from our attitudes, to our motives, to our words, to our actions, to our deeds, to EVERYTHING! May we desire to be approved unto God, the God who watches us every day (cf. 2 Tim. 2:15).

What do we want to do with this ALL-SEEING, ALL-KNOWING, EVER-WATCHING GOD? I hope that we will all have the same attitude of the Psalmist in 139:23,24: “Search me all the more.”

The Psalmist desires that the Lord digs deeper into his heart. How many of us invite the Lord to continue to search us, to examine us, to help us overcome our shortcomings so we can get closer to Him, because we know that He LOVES US and wants us to be in a relationship with us?

It is good to know that we are being watched by those around us as we live our lives day to day, but especially by God who sees all!

So, the scriptures are quite clear that the Lord knows us! The question is, “do we know the Lord”?  To know Him, is to love Him, and to know and love Him is to do what He commands (cf. 1 Jn 2:3,4).

God’s “watchful eyes” are “watching you” right now! He knows your heart. What does the Lord see in your heart? Is it right with Him?

Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂

About Author

DJ Dickerson

Evangelist | La Porte Church of Christ

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