My high school coach was like Santa Claus. It was amazing. He knew everything. He knew how many classes you’d skipped, the names of all the girlfriends of our players, how much you owed him for the latest fundraiser. He knew when you didn’t run hard during conditioning in the second floor hallway, even though he was always on the first floor. It was like he had eyes everywhere.

Proverbs 5:21 speaks of one who truly does see it all: “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his paths.”

Speaking to his son in this proverb, a father pleads with him to consider his actions, especially regarding women. Of all the reasons to live wisely and with purity regarding women, the father sets one above the others: God is watching.

If nothing else in high school baseball, I learned that my coach would always find out what I did, good or bad. Most of the time, I feared what would happen if I did something that didn’t please him. He was a fair man, but none of us were really interested in crossing him.

What I found after getting to know my coach better through the years was that he wasn’t watching so much to catch us doing something wrong as he was to help us be encouraged to do what is right. In many cases, I saw him operate with incredible love and grace toward those who couldn’t get out of their own way.

My coach taught me that my choices and actions are not hidden and that I was loved even when I failed.

What a great microcosm of what God is like in our lives.

God, our perfect Father and “Coach,” as the verse in Proverbs says, sees all of our ways and paths. Nothing is hidden from him. How should that make us feel?

Once we realize that God sees and knows everything we do, it can send us one of two directions.

We can run from him in fear. We assume that he wants nothing to do with us but to thump us for our sins. We run so that we won’t have to face his judgment. The next time you fear the presence of the Lord, be reminded of the truth of the gospel of Jesus: he took upon himself all of our shame, guilt, and punishment. By his death, God’s wrath and judgment against sin were taken care of. The result: he’s watching, but not to thump us or destroy us, but to seek us with his love.

We can run to him in confidence. That’s the message of the Bible in its entirety. With Jesus as our representative, we can enter the presence of God confidently, knowing that we are loved and accepted in spite of our sin. We don’t have to try to make up for what we’ve done wrong–we can’t anyway. The Lord sees us, knows us, and loves us still.

Yes, he’s watching. Yes, he sees it all. Yes, he knows what you’ve done. And, yes, his arms are still open. Run in confidence to him through Jesus.

Lord Jesus, no more running. No more fear. No more avoiding you. I’m running to you in confidence. Thank you for loving me in spite of me. Amen.