Is God Like the NSA?
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students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Is God Like the NSA?

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(Who’s watching me)
I don’t know anymore
Are the neighbors watching me?
Well, is the mail man watching me?
(Tell me who’s watching)
And I don’t feel safe anymore
Oh, what a mess
I wonder who’s watching me now?
(Who)
The IRS?

I always feel like
Somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy
I always feel like
Somebody’s watching me
Tell me is it just a dream?
Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell, featuring Michael Jackson

30 years ago when Rockwell and MJ put this chart topper together, the paranoid vision of Big Brother persistently monitoring us was probably a bit farfetched.

But it isn’t “just a dream” anymore…

Now in 2013, Rockwell is remembered (?) as a one hit wonder, and may Michael rest in peace.  But the National Security Agency (NSA) is alive and well, hitting every type of phone record, e-mail, text, heck, maybe even that note you sent to your third grade crush across the classroom, just in case it has, you know, top secret third grade terrorist type stuff in it-right?  Hmmmmm…

In a word, we are under surveillance.  Could it be that our Fourth Amendment rights are being ignored like a flight attendant giving crash landing instructions? That’s the debate raging.

This current state of affairs brings to mind a comparison that perhaps has surfaced in your mind, as well (hence, the sneaky sneak sneaker government probably already knows about it)—

Is God like the NSA?

One could point out that since God is omniscient (a fancy term for all-knowing), then He’s got more scoop on us than all the data miners in the world put together.  In fact, the Bible gives evidence of this:

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
 You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
 You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
 You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave,you are there (Psalm 139:1-8).

Whoa!  Sounds like God has access not only to our social media and communications, but as well, He is intimately familiar with even the deepest, darkest secrets that we keep locked in the basement of our souls.

And yet He loves us more than we could possibly imagine.

Why?  Because my friends – and please don’t miss this! There is an eternity of difference between the government’s scrutinizing surveillance and God’s loving omniscience.  The men in black may have their virtual eyes and ears locked on our lives because they are waiting to catch terrorists—

But our Father in Heaven has His loving gaze fixed upon our existence because He is waiting to bless us as His blood-bought children!

And even beyond this wonderful truth, I find courage in the fact that while the NSA might be looking for terrorist tendencies in our comings and goings, God’s all-knowing presence is there to protect me from the ultimate enemies of my soul – Satan and his demons.  They seek to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10), but God’s knowledge of me as His child allows Him to lead me into a life that is better and more fulfilling than anything I could have planned for myself.

And that’s no dream.

So while the NSA is leaking and Snowden is sneaking, let’s all find comfort and confidence in the fact that our all-knowing, ever-present Father deeply cares for those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.  We are never unaccompanied or unloved.  Our loving Father walks hand in hand with us for this life and the life to come!

And if your friends are feeling disconcerted by all the high stakes hullabaloo going down in DC, remind them that the fear of scrutinizing surveillance is no match for the faith we can have in the loving omniscience of God.  Take this opportunity to further the gospel and THE Cause of making disciples who authentically live out our motto:

In GOD (not the government) we trust!

Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

The whole NSA scandal opens a door for Christians to share about the confidence we can have in the forgiveness and acceptance of an all-knowing God.  Take this great opening we have to introduce people to the Father who sent Jesus to die for us despite all that we have said or done.

 

Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Father, thank You that You have us under Your loving omniscience rather than scrutinizing surveillance. We praise You for forgiving our past, present and future, and we ask that You would empower us to live out THE Cause in these challenging times.

Read: Romans 8:38. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

Get:  Now Grow!  Learn more about God’s omniscience in this downloadable Bible Study resource. Now Grow addresses core Christians every believer needs answer to. Questions like: What is God like? Does God really love me and forgive me? What does Jesus really want from me? And more…

Discussion Questions for Leaders:

Big Idea: There is an enormous difference between government surveillance and God’s omniscience, and we should take this occasion to further the gospel of God’s grace and loving acceptance.

Key Scripture: Psalm 139:1-8

ALT-ernative Questions:

  • Does the NSA leak situation freak you out? Why or why not?
  • How would you describe the difference between surveillance and omniscience?
  • How does this issue open the door for us to share the gospel?
  • In what ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?

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