In the book Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer writes this about the knowledge of God…
God perfectly knows Himself and, being the source and author of all things, it follows that He knows all that can be known. And this He knows instantly and with a fullness of perfection that includes every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or could have existed anywhere in the universe at any time in the past or that may exist in the centuries or ages yet unborn.
God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.
Because God knows all things perfectly, He knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything. He is never surprised, never amazed. He never wonders about anything nor (except when drawing men out for their own good) does He seek information or ask questions.
So what is it that God doesn’t know? Answer: Nothing. He knows everything. Now, depending on your perspective, and your relationship with Christ, this can be either terrifying or encouraging. It can bring either conviction or confidence.
On the conviction side, this is a reminder that God knows everything. Every thought, every motivation of your heart. You may be one of those people who go through life with people saying things like “he’s basically a good person.” But you know your heart. You know what you did last week. You know what you thought last night. And guess what? He knows, too.
One day we will all stand before Him in judgment. And He will judge you based on His complete knowledge of you. He won’t judge you based on just those outward acts, just those things other people saw, but those thoughts and motivations. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to cover the many, many transgressions against His holy law: lustful thoughts, hateful thoughts, rebellious thoughts. And you will be condemned. Because He knows.
On the confidence side, this is a reminder that God knows everything. Every thought, every motivation of your heart. If you have come to Christ in faith and know His saving work, you are intimately aware of your sin. You know your heart. You know what you did last week. You know what you thought last night. And guess what? He knows, too.
One day we will all stand before Him in judgment. And He will judge you based on His complete knowledge of you. He won’t judge you based on just those outward acts, just those things other people saw, but those thoughts and motivations. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to cover the many, many transgressions against His holy law: lustful thoughts, hateful thoughts, rebellious thoughts. And you will be...saved. Because He knows.
Wait a minute! Those paragraphs are the same. Why is it that one ends with condemnation and the other with salvation?? Because only the grace of God can overcome our sin. God knows every single thing, past, present and future. Nothing is hidden from Him. For the lost, this means every sin is held against you. For those who experience grace in Christ, this means every sin has been paid for.
Think about it. God knows every word before you speak it, every sin before you commit it, and yet still Jesus died for you. He knows things you don’t even know you’re going to do yet, and yet still Jesus died for you. What an amazing reality. Because not only does He know, but HE KNOWS YOU.
That great truth in Romans says “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30, ESV)
He foreknew you. He knew you, everything about you, all your thoughts and all your motivations. And yet He still chose to set His affection on you. Nothing you can do will surprise God. Nothing you can do will alter His view of you. And no circumstance of your life is a surprise to Him either. You may be confused, but He knows. He knows what’s happening and He knows why and He will see you through to the desired end which will be for your good and His glory. Oh, how amazing God’s grace is.
And how desperately you need it. God knows. He knows you. You can’t hide from Him. You can’t fool Him. You need to repent today, throw yourself on His mercy, trust in His sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, because it is the only thing that will change that last day condemnation to salvation.
He knows. Does that terrify you or encourage you? I pray you will find His grace which changes the one into the other.