We Must Begin With God

“We readily acknowledge that life is a profound problem, and that we are surrounded by mystery on every side; but we are not like the beasts of the field—ignorant of their origin, and unconscious of what is before them. No! ‘We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy’, of which it is said you do well that you “take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the day star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). And it is to this Word of Prophecy, we indeed do well to ‘take heed,’ to that Word which had not its origin in the mind of man—but in the Mind of God, for, ‘no prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke moved by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:21). We say again, it is to this ‘Word’ we do well to take heed. As we turn to this Word and are instructed there, we discover a fundamental principle which must be applied to every problem: Instead of beginning with man and his world—and working back to God; we must begin with God—and work down to man. “In the beginning God’ (Genesis 1:1)! Apply this principle to the present situation. Begin with the world as it is today, and try and work back to God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world at all. But begin with God and work down to the world—and light, much light, is cast on the problem. Because God is holy—His anger burns against sin. Because God is righteous—His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him. Because God is faithful—the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled. Because God is omnipotent—none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel. Because God is omniscient—no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who He is, and what He is—that we are now beholding on earth, the beginning of His out-poured judgments! In view of His inflexible justice and immaculate holiness—we could not expect anything other than what is now spread before our eyes.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.9-10

God Knows Our Thoughts

I know your thoughts!Job 21:27

Do we pay sufficient attention to our thoughts? Every thought has a character–it is either good or bad. Every thought produces an effect–it either sanctifies or depraves.

Sin begins in thought; holiness begins in thought; misery begins in thought; happiness begins in thought. Thought decides the state of man–hence the Bible says, “As he thinks in his heart–so is he” [Proverbs 23:7].

We cannot tell what a man is by his words, nor always by his acts–but if we could get at his thoughts, we could. God attends to our thoughts, and he wishes us to do so. He asks, “How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?” He testifies, “I know the thoughts that come into your mind–every one of them!” Not only so–but Jesus has declared, “I am He who searches the thoughts and the heart!” [Revelation 2:23]

Reader, God knows the thoughts that come into your mind!

– James Smith

His Knowledge Enhances the Beauty of My Praise

“There is something erroneous in the question, ‘If God knows everything, why pray?’ The questions assumes that prayer is one-dimensional and is defined simply as supplication or intercession. On the contrary, prayer is multi-dimensional. God’s sovereignty casts no shadow over the prayer of adoration. God’s foreknowledge or determinate counsel does not negate the prayer of praise. The only thing it should do is give us greater reason for expressing our adoration for God who is. If God knows what I’m going to say before I say it, His knowledge, rather than limiting my prayer, enhances the beauty of my praise.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.11

There Are No Limits To His Knowledge of Me

“And just as there are no bounds to His presence with me, so there are no limits to His knowledge of me. Just as I am never left alone, so I never go unnoticed. ‘O LORD, thou hast search me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising (all my actions and movements), thou understandest my thought (all that goes on in my mind) afar off…and art acquainted with all my ways (all my habits, plans, aims, desires, as well as my life to date). For there is not a word in my tongue (spoken, or meditated), but lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether’ (verse 1 ff.) [Psalm 139:1-4]. I can hide my heart, and my past, and my future plans, from men, but I cannot hide anything from God. I can talk in a way that deceives my fellow-creatures as to what I really am, but nothing I say or do can deceive God. He sees through all my reserve and pretence; He knows me as I really am, better indeed than I know myself. A God whose presence and scrutiny I could evade would be a small and trivial deity. But the true God is great and terrible, just because He is always with me and His eye is always upon me. Living becomes an awesome business when you realise that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent Creator.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.76