Feb 22, 2018

He Sees You When You're Sleeping…

And he knows when you're awake

He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake 

As children we were told and we believed that Santa Claus COULD see us and that he DID know what we were doing ALL day and ALL night. 

Because he could see us we knew that he was making a list, and checking it twice, and that he was gonna find out who was naughty or nice.

So, we were told that we had better watch out, and we had better not cry, and we had better not pout (I'm telling you why) because Santa Claus was coming to town.

Now this might have been a great plan by parents to get their children to behave by putting the fear of Santa Claus in them!

And it actually affected how children acted and thought; or at least for the short time around Christmas!

But it took years to realize how much damage this ‘theology’ did to us; even as adults.

We grew up with a ‘faith’ that there was someone out there who knew everything about us and watched us to make sure that we followed his laws. That this someone kept lists and double checked the lists in order to decide whether or not we made the cut.

This was the place as children where many of us who still struggle as adults with a perfectionist or performance mentality got off track.

This is the place where many of us who struggle with trust got off track. Because it is hard for us to believe that there was someone who would actually care for us if we simply believed…not performed.

This is the place where many of us who have struggled with being vulnerable got off track as we learned to constantly have our emotions in check, and not cry, or be disappointed, as we put our walls up knowing that someone had a notebook and was writing everything down.

And so, fast forward to adulthood and perhaps we can better understand why we have issues pertaining to faith in a God we can’t see when it collides with our perception of reality based upon our understanding of Santa Claus and his monitoring system.

Perhaps that is why we struggle to grasp the notion that there is a Creator; a God who made us and loves us deeply and wants to take care of us.

Perhaps we never separated that the LORD (as described in the Bible) is NOT the same as Santa Claus; no matter how good Santa Claus was to us…assuming we had been on the “good” list.

Or perhaps we have read ONLY the sections in the Bible where God is shown as angry, and so we assume that He is just like Santa dealing with people on the “bad” list.

And the idea that there is Someone who knows all about you and I and is able to see us when we cry or are disappointed; both when we are good and when we are bad, comes across as not good news.

And the only Santa Claus we ever personally encountered (at the mall) smelled like cheap cigarettes and booze or else he rang a bell as he asked for money that we didn’t have and made us feel guilty if we didn’t drop something in his bucket…

And if he ever did come to your house, he sounded a lot like uncle Mike.

So, maybe this is why it is hard for us to believe that God really cares and really knows and really sees us.

No thank you! We already lived out our childhood performing and we’ve had enough.

My friend, if this is your view point I implore you to reboot your mindset. In spite of what they told you, Santa Claus isn’t real, but there IS a God who IS real and He cares for you.

And, yes, He is watching you and He knows if you are crying, pouting, awake or asleep; good or bad. Yes, He sees all; but I am telling you not to be afraid. Or as the angels in the Bible frequently communicated; “FEAR NOT”. 

He is watching you (when you are asleep and awake) because He cares about you and your needs; He wants to help you!

And He isn’t keeping a list to decide about whether or not you will be cared for. He points out our sin because He wants to inform us so that we stop doing what we are doing, and change, and go a different direction…

Because He really does know what is best for us.

For those who question whether He can really see us in our struggles I implore you to check out the Bible; the WHOLE Bible, so that you can encounter how He cared for people like these:

HANNAH who longed for a son and thought that God couldn’t see her. But He did and provided a son for her named Samuel whose name means ‘the LORD heard me’ (read 1 Samuel chapter 1)

HAGAR who was rejected by Abraham, who got her pregnant and then tossed her aside on her own, because Abraham’s wife Sarah (who agreed to the encounter) was jealous that Hagar was carrying Abraham’s baby. She was sent away with Abraham’s son into the wilderness and felt all alone until the LORD revealed to her that He heard her and that He saw her and that He would provide for her (read Genesis chapters 6 and 21).

JACOB who had been at odds with his brother and his father since birth; fighting for favor and blessing and provision, found himself all alone and on the run. He ended up working for a man named Laban who mistreated and lied to him. Jacob wondered whether God really saw him and knew about him. And the LORD revealed that he KNEW and SAW everything that was going on in Jacob’s life and met his needs for deliverance and provision. (read Genesis chapter 31)

I love how the LORD years later tells his prophet Isaiah to talk to Jacob’s descendants as they too wonder why the LORD doesn’t seem to care:

“O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?

 O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
 Have you never heard? Have you never understood?
 The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
 He never grows weak or weary.
 No one can measure the depths of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:27-28)

KING DAVID who had been on the run from kings, family, and enemies for a portion of his reign had a revelation of just how much the LORD REALLY does know who EACH of us are.

As one who was a shepherd, David knew the importance of having One who ‘knows when we are sleeping and when we are awake’. David wrote

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights…” (Psalm 56:8a MSG Version)

David KNEW that the LORD cared about his tears and he KNEW that the LORD kept track of them all (made a list) to settle the score with those who caused us pain and made us cry. David wrote:

“…Each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book”. (Psalm 56:8b MSG Version)

One of David’s best Psalms describing the LORD’s knowledge of us is Psalm 139, which sums up what I have been trying to say about how deeply the LORD knows us. This is not something we should be afraid of, but rather something that should bring us great comfort in this world.

Psalm 139

Lord, You have examined my heart

    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place Your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from Your Spirit!

    I can never get away from Your presence!
If I go up to heaven, You are there;
    if I go down to the grave, You are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there Your hand will guide me,
    and Your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from You.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to You.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.

    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    You are still with me!

19 O God, if only You would destroy the wicked!

    Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
21 Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate You?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose You?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for Your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends You,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Santa really is the wrong representative of Christmas; after all he isn’t God.

Jesus (who was the BEST representative for God because He is God) came that we might have real life and real relationship. We need Him as our Savior and as our Lord. He was crucified, died, buried and rose on the third day.

And the Good News is that He wants to take burdens off our shoulders, give us rest when we are weary, hope when we are hopeless, healing when we are brokenhearted, liberty when we are held captive and oppressed, and recovery of sight to areas where we have blindness. 

Jesus wants to help you today. Simply call out His Name right now.

Call 1-888-NEED-HIM for more assistance

All Scripture taken from NLT New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All Scripture taken from The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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