Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
This fact is well-proved in logic and well-affirmed in Scripture: God sees and knows all.
It is the logical conclusion of the idea of Creator, One Being above all other forms of life and the material universe, who has created all that exists. The complexities and intricacies of created life could not have come about by an inferior intelligence – quite the opposite! As the knowledge of any writer must be greater than the sum of his written words, so the knowledge of the Creator of this infinite universe must be greater still than what we see and know and logically conclude about.
And not only to the universe does this apply, but to the thoughts and intents of the heart of man, for this is just as much a creation of God as the other. He is a present tense God because He sustains all, and as there can be no limit to the scope of His knowledge, neither could there be a limit to its depth. This can be derived from logic, and it is illogical to assume the other, that there is any limit to His knowledge.
But the Scripture also testifies of this fact in numerous places. By the time the Spirit inspired the writing of Hebrews, this fact of the all seeing eye of God had already been established. To Samuel God said about young David, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). David passed these words along to his son Solomon, “For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9). Solomon in turn passed them along when he wrote, “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).
This knowledge is unique to God and not even Satan and his kingdom can claim to know every thought of our hearts. “Forgive, and deal with each man according to what he does, since you know his heart – for you alone know the hearts of men” (2 Chron. 6:30). And God’s knowledge is not mere passing interest, some morbid curiosity on His part regarding our thoughts. He sees in order to test and try us, to convict us and improve us: He “searches” or “tests” the hearts and minds of the righteous (Psalm 7:9). The words translated “search” and “test” is ubochen in Hebrew and is found elsewhere “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart” (Prov. 17:3).
So there is no surprise why the verse above from Hebrews 4 follows the testimony that God’s word is alive and active judging the thoughts and intents of our hearts. In Scripture the two thoughts are combined, that the One who searches our hearts also speaks to our hearts. He tests us not only through events and difficulties, but through how our hearts respond to His word. The voice of God reaches out into the darkness of our souls and calls us to Him. He speaks into our darkness not in terms of mere condemnation – though He calls us to repent – but He speaks in words of invitation, for us to know Him.
This is the basic experience of salvation and eternal life for every believer – God has searched us and spoken into our lives and called us to believe. This is simple, biblical faith, and the sheer simplicity of it is astounding, as Paul wrote:
But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your hearts, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your hearts,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your hearts that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Rom. 10:6-10).
Again, A.W. Tozer’s words speak to this issue, on the simplicity of believing.
Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of us. Several conclusions may fairly be drawn from all this. The simplicity of it, for instance. Since believing is looking, it can be done without special equipment or religious paraphernalia. God has seen to it that the one life-and-death essential can never be subject to the caprice of accident.
Equipment can break down or get lost, water can leak away, records can be destroyed by fire, the minister can be delayed or the church burn down. All these are external to the soul and subject to accident or mechanical failure: but looking is of the heart and can be done successfully by any man standing up or kneeling down or lying in his last agony a thousand miles from any church.
So the issue is always whether we have believed, whether we have met the searching eyes and voice of God calling us to Himself with repentance and faith. And this we are to do everyday – not to be saved all over again, but so that we may continue to walk daily in the way we began our new life in Christ. The all-knowing and all-searching eyes of God become a source of great comfort for the believer, for He knows our ways and our struggles. He knows the doubts and despairs of our hearts. He knows our hypocrisies, yes, certainly He does, and He also searches us for that mustard seed of faith. He is quick to forgive, quick to heal, slow to become angry. His goal for us is one of love, that we might become perfect in Christ. So our devotional time with God should consist of getting our thoughts inline with His thoughts, and forsaking any thought or motive that is of inferior moral or ethical value to the Savior.