We Don’t Fool God

I remember my shock when, as an adult, my mom asked me about something that happened when I was a kid. The reason I was shocked wasn’t because she remembered. It was because I thought she never knew. It wasn’t something really worth punishing for, because the circumstances doled out the punishment just fine. However, I never thought it got back to my mom. It had and I was able to quickly figure out the trail, but that didn’t lessen the shock any. I was completely caught off guard that she knew. And if my mom knew that incident, what else did she know? That’s a good question. I’ll probably never know the full extent of things that I thought I got away with which I really didn’t.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”  – Genesis 18:9-15, ESV

What God was telling Abraham was incredible and, based on normal human experience, impossible. So it’s no surprise that Sarah laughed when it was said she would give birth in a year, especially at her advanced age. Likely we would have done something similar in her situation. However, when confronted on the issue, she tried to deny it. She tried to claim she didn’t laugh and ask whether God would do it. As a result, she was called on it. Her mistake was in assuming God didn’t see and know all. Or perhaps because she physically saw the men, she assumed that they couldn’t hear her. We operate under the opposite conditions.

Too often, because God isn’t physical present where we can touch Him, we trick ourselves into ignoring the fact that He sees and knows all. We never fool God, though we do a mighty fine job of fooling ourselves about God’s capabilities. One of the sayings at my alma mater is “discipline is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” However, we know that God is always looking. He never takes a second off. He never shuts His eyes for a blink. He never tears up when trying to stifle a sneeze. Think about this question, “Would you want Him to?” What if He did exactly that when you needed Him most? Perish the thought!

We’re all guilty of ignoring the fact that God is always present. We are all guilty of thinking that we’ve gotten away with something because no one we can physically reach out and touch was around. The truth is that the One to whom we will ultimately answer to knows all about it. We don’t get away with anything. But then again, neither does anyone else. Consider the implications of that for a moment if you’re smarting from a recent hurt or wound.

We don’t fool God but neither does anyone else. That means when we’ve been treated unfairly, when we’ve been dealt a situation that isn’t our fault, when we’re struggling with hard times and others are doing okay, God sees it and He knows. If He doesn’t take action right now, it’s because the timing is better later. We can’t see that, but that’s the case. I know that’s something we all know in our heads, but it is difficult to deal with in our hearts, especially when something hits us really close to home, like when a child dies or someone manipulates his way for a position and succeeds in landing the position and we don’t. It’s easy to tell folks dealing with these types of situations to just trust God, to remember Him, to know that He’ll take care of things, but when we are in the midst of those situations, most of us struggle. I know I do. However, we must try to remember, to have faith, to trust. Quite simply, nothing else works. Or I should say, nothing else works permanently. Escaping with drugs, alcohol, adrenaline inducing thrills, or any other substitution may hide the pain and the hurt for a time, but it won’t take care of it permanently. Only working out an issue by faith will.

Is there something you’ve been fooling yourself about, thinking no one is watching and noticing? If so, take the time today to come clean to God. Open up and ask for His forgiveness. He promises to forgive. Remember, you don’t get away with it. I don’t get away with it. We will have to answer for it at some point. Better to deal with it now than later. Or are you dealing with hurt, with a terrible situation, with some unfairness? Remember that He knows what you’re dealing with. He knows who is responsible. He will deal with those folks at the appropriate time. I know it’s hard, but ask Him to give you the faith to accept that He has it under control according to His plan. No one fools God. We only fool ourselves.

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