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When God's Not Looking

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish.  Jonah 1:3 NLT

Photo courtesy of author.When we’re looking, she’s a perfect little angel, but when we’re not…

Our six-month-old Chihuahua mix was kennel trained when we got her, so when we left the house—and at night—we put her in what she was accustomed to. She didn’t yelp, and we didn’t have to worry about her getting into trouble.

But I hate putting a dog in a kennel or on a chain, so after she reached nine months of age—and had shown herself capable of behaving when we were gone—my wife and I began leaving her out while we went on various outings. She did well. Until she turned one year old. Suddenly, her well-behaved nature while we absent from the house changed.

Her favorite misbehavior involved digging through the trash can. We put it up. Then she chewed up my wife’s box of Milk Duds. That almost equaled a federal offense. Finally, she pulled my basketful of pens and highlighters from the table beside my chair. In doing so, she broke the final straw. Back in the kennel when we left the house.

Soft heart that I am, I gave her one final chance after punishing her. We left for a short trip to Mom’s. When we returned, she had pulled trash from our large garbage can. She had exhausted her chances. She had to learn to behave whether we were looking or not.

Jonah must have thought as our dog did. When God told him to preach to people he hated, he ran, thinking God wouldn’t see his act of disobedience once he left the land of Israel. He discovered his error when God sent a large fish to swallow him. 

Our dog waits until we’re not looking to misbehave, but God is always looking. Jonah discovered leaving his homeland didn’t leave God. God is everywhere. Though the Bible doesn’t use the word, it does evidence the concept of omnipresence.

Although God always sees our behavior, He’s not sitting in heaven waiting for us to misbehave so He can squash us. He has principles, commands, and expectations, but His nature is love. He disciplines when we go astray, but that is exactly why He disciplines. His love demands He keep us on the right track so we can enjoy the best life He has to offer.

Remember, God watches over you constantly—because He loves you.

(Photo courtesy of author.)

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Martin Wiles


Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, pastor, and author who has been published in numerous publications. He also serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as a proof editor for Courier Publishing. He is the author of five books, and his next book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World, in under contract with Ambassador International for release in December, 2019. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at [email protected].