According to Christian researcher George Barna (www.barna.org) 70% of Americans and 93% of Christians believe that God is the all powerful creator and is still in control of the universe today. This number is shocking considering how many people also believe that the universe was created in a Big Bang and that human life is the product of evolution. Many want to say that God created by use of these but in doing so God isn’t much of a creator at all.
From cover to cover the Bible depicts God as all powerful. In Genesis He is the creator of the universe. In Revelation He is the victor over evil and the everlasting God whom we have hope of being with forever. This is one of the most basic Christian beliefs and this explains why so many people, Christians and non-Christians alike believe in some kind of all powerful God.
But if people believe that God is all powerful, why do they live their lives like there is no God? The answer is that we want it all. We want the security of a God who is there in times of trouble and we want Him to leave us alone when things are going alright. What we really want is a genie in a bottle. That way we can have a wishes granted when things get tough – sicknesses, financial difficulties, relationship troubles – and then we can put a cork on him when we don’t want to hear about how we should live our lives to avoid some of these problems.
After 9/11 we saw the hypocrisy of our legislators standing on the steps of the Capital singing God bless America when some of those same people are fighting to have the name of God removed from our currency, our courtrooms, and our pledge of allegiance. We want God’s blessing so long as it comes with no strings attached. We want an all powerful creator God who has absolutely no expectations of us, will let us live our lives as we please, and will come running to rescue us when we need help. And then of course we expect Him to go away again and not bother us once we’re past our time of need.
Three of the characteristics that make God who He is are that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. That means God is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere. We have to understand that even within those terms, there are boundaries, such as God cannot sin. God is limited but only by His very nature, not by any inability or weakness. It is a matter of the philosophical question of whether God can make a rock so big that He cannot move it. Although all three qualities are very important, God’s omniscience answers the question at hand.
Psalm 139 paints the best picture of who God is in relation to how He sees us. All 24 verses paint a vast picture of God’s power and knowledge. The first four verses give us a taste of the entire chapter.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
God knows us because He is our maker. My wife and I have only been married a year but usually I know when she is upset about something or mad at me by the way she acts. Sometimes I can guess what she is thinking but not always. If you’ve been married a long time, you probably know what to expect from your spouse in most situations. But God made us. He knows exactly what to expect from us because He is our maker and He knows us better than we know ourselves.
But God also sees us and what we do. In the story of Adam and Eve, after they sinned, they tried to hide from God. But of course that didn’t work. Many people think that they can sin and get away with it because no one will ever find out about it. This is why people cheat on their taxes and on their spouses. Often times we discern that we aren’t hurting anyone and no one will find out so it’s ok. But of course it is not. God sees and even if there are no repercussions in this lifetime, there will be a time where people will be held accountable.
The flip side of this is good however. God also sees us when we are in trouble and is always just a cry away when we need help. We’re told to call upon the Lord in all circumstances. Romans 8 even tells us that the Spirit interprets for us when we don’t know what to say. God is not some cosmic spy who is watching and waiting for us to slip up so that He can crush us. Instead He is a friend who is always near us whom we can call upon when we need help.