Article

Beneath the Surface

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?” (Proverbs 15:11)

We see the neat rows of glistening white tombstones in the lush green setting; God sees beneath the surface. The thoughts of our heart are not hidden from God. He knows what no one else knows, and keeps a record of it which will one day be “unearthed.” “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16)

Men see actions, God sees motive. He knows the “backstory” to the stories we tell. We may have told a tale so many times that we have come to believe it is fact rather than fiction. We not only entertain false imaginations about others, but we deceive ourselves about ourselves. While we tend to be the hero in the narrative we concoct, is it possible we are more the villain in the eyes of God? “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” (Prov. 16:2)

We should always be open to the searchlight of God’s Spirit.

Let us not be so sure of ourselves. This doesn’t mean we have to find sin where there is none. Job wouldn’t play that game. But it does mean we should always be open to the searchlight of God’s Spirit. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23,24)

God knows us far better than we know ourselves. We are incapable of being our own judge. Paul said: “… yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” (1 Cor. 4:3,4) The great apostle confesses that even his clear conscience does not mean he is justified. We are often blind to our present faults, and unmindful of our past transgressions. No real reckoning has taken place until God absolves us, and “God requireth that which is past.” (Eccl. 3:15)

It would be far better for us have things resolved prior to the day of judgment. “… For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Rom. 14:10-12) There is a blessedness in the forgiveness of sins. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” (Rom. 4:7)

Unconfessed sin will not stay hidden; one day it will float to the surface – that which God has been seeing all along, will be made known to us and all men.

When God casts our sins into the depths of the sea they stay buried, never to be seen or made mention of again. (Micah 7:19; Ezek. 18:22) But unconfessed sin will not stay hidden; one day it will float to the surface – that which God has been seeing all along, will be made known to us and all men. “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” (Matt. 10:26)

“Lord, help me to see myself as You see me. Let me know myself as You know me. Deliver me from self-deception and self-justification. Show me whatever I need to be aware of now, that I may confess my fault to you and to any I have wronged, before the day when You will bring every hidden thing to light in the day of judgment.”

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.