Help! I’m Afraid of the Dark, Drowning, and Decisions!

So far in our study of God’s knowledge, we’ve learned that His wisdom is proclaimed in Scripture, proven by prophecy, and pictured in creation. Today I emphasize why His knowledge is precious in experience. The first reason is that it means there is Someone who accepts us unconditionally. Reflect for a moment on Psalm 139. This is the Psalm from which we get the hymn, “Search Me, O God.” In it, David describes the things that God knows about us –

O, Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in—behind and before; You have laid Your hand on me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain…How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”

What an encouraging psalm! As you read it, one thing becomes clear: God knows us! Not only what we say and do, but even the unspoken thoughts and motives of our hearts. For the person with something to hide, that’s unnerving because it means there is no place to escape from His all-seeing eyes. But for those of us who have trusted Christ for forgiveness, the fact that He knows everything is a blessing. Because it means that no tattletale can ever snitch on us. Nor will any forgotten skeletons come tumbling out of the closet to embarrass us. For God already knows it all, and He accepts us anyway, just as we are!

You see, when others accept us, they do so because they don’t know us, at least not completely. I wonder, for example, if you had to ask your wife to marry you all over again in light of everything she’s learned about you in the last 5 or 10 or 50 years, would she say “yes” or “no?” The good news is that when we ask God to make us part of His family through our faith in Christ, He has no delusions about us. The things we’re ashamed of and hope no one else learns, He already knows. And yet, He accepts us anyway, just as we are. As the Bill Gaither song puts it, “He who knows me best, loves me most!” God’s knowledge is precious because it means there is Someone who accepts us perfectly, just as we are.

There is also a second reason it is priceless. It means there is Someone who can protect us perfectly from harm. When I was a little boy, I was afraid to go to bed at night because of where my parents’ bedroom was located. Their bedroom was located on the main floor in the middle of the house whereas mine was at the top of the stairs which began just inside the front door. I worried, “What happens if someone sneaks into the house to kidnap me? Will my parents even know what happened?” That may sound silly until you realize that many believers have the same fear about their Heavenly Father. “Does He know the evil attacking my soul and is He capable of protecting me from it? Or is it possible for something to slip by Him and put my soul in eternal danger?” Then the truth comes back to us: No, it isn’t possible, for God knows everything that can happen to me, and He’s promised that nothing can ever touch me without His divine permission.

This is David’s point in Psalm 139:5, “You hem me in—behind and before; You have laid Your hand on me.” The sober fact is that the enemy of our souls would destroy us if he could. But he doesn’t have that right. Before he can do anything to harm us, he must receive God’s divine permission. And the truth is: God will never let him do anything to us that isn’t for our eternal good. As Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Satan wants to worry us and frighten us and destroy our faith, but Jesus is praying for you this very moment, ensuring us that nothing of eternal harm will ever touch us.

Finally, God’s knowledge is precious because it means there is Someone who can direct us perfectly. You and I are like commuters stuck in rush hour traffic, not sure which road is the best way to get home. So what does the smart driver do? He listens to the latest sky traffic report, because he knows that flying above the congestion, the reporter has a clear view of how to proceed. The same is true of God. When things get confusing down here, what’s the best thing to do? Not to panic or give in to “road rage,” but to look beyond our problems to the One who can “guide us with His eye.” Because He is above it all, He sees everything perfectly and can clearly and safely guide us all the way home.

Are there any areas of life where you’re not sure what to do next? Maybe a moral issue that is bothering you or a practical decision that could affect your health or the welfare of your family for years to come? No matter how confused you feel or mixed your motives are, whisper the last few words of Psalm 139. For if you say them and mean them with all your heart, God will faithfully direct you in the very best way to go, both for your good and His glory. David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I conclude with an interview with a professional lifeguard who was asked, “With all the bathers on the beach and all the hub-bub in the water, how can you tell when somebody genuinely needs help?” His answer? “No matter how great the noise or confusion, there has never been a single time in my experience when I could not distinguish the cry of distress above everything else. I can always tell.” Need I say it? The One who watches over our lives is far more attentive than any lifeguard at the beach. He is aware of everything that has or ever will happen to us. His thoughts about us cannot be numbered. So let’s trust Him. Let’s take that thing that is bothering us and put it up against His knowledge of us, knowing that the One who knows us best, loves us most. His knowledge is perfect, and His love for us will never end. May His name be praised forever!

To read or download a written copy of this message in its entirety, click here. To listen to or download the audible version of this message, click here.

2 responses to “Help! I’m Afraid of the Dark, Drowning, and Decisions!

  1. Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement. They dovetail wonderfully with my prayer at our prayer meeting and His wonderful answers the last two days. We are on the right path and He is in control guiding us through the maze. Thank you God and thank you Gary for your words at a time like this.

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