By Drew Zuverink
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
God is omnipresent, which is just an easier way of saying that God is present everywhere at the same time all the time. God's omnipresence makes him very unique because he is the only living being who sees everything.
Sometimes the idea that God can see everything makes us very uncomfortable. All of us have done shameful things when no one else is looking - things that we would never do if other people were around. But the truth is, we have no secrets and no privacy from God because he's everywhere and he sees everything. This means that God has watched every sin we have ever committed, not with binoculars from heaven, but from the same room that we committed them in - that's how present he is. So next time you're battling temptation, try to remember that God is less than an arms length away.
That being said, God's omnipresence can bring us great joy as well. It is a wonderful thing to know that God sees all of our good deeds, even the ones that nobody else will ever know about. In Matthew 6 Jesus warns us not to do good things just so that we can look good in front of other people. It isn't good to be motivated by pride, Jesus wants us to be motivated by a genuine love for others, especially those in need. He also wants us to be motivated by the fact that we can please God.
Often times we fight against temptation because of the negative consequences of sin, and that's ok, but we can also fight against temptation because when we win, God is pleased. The same is true for our good deeds. It isn't good to do them for others to see, but it is good to do them for God to see. It would be morally grotesque for me to give a sandwich to a homeless person and then turn to someone and say, "Did you see what I just did?" But if you do good and then say to God, "Did you see that? Does that make you happy?" that's a beautiful moment for you to share together. So next time you are moved to do something good, remember that God is watching, not from far away, but from right beside you.
As Christians we have a very special ability to put a smile on God's face, and that's worth striving for. This might not come naturally so some of us will need to do some work so that we can start to have a mindset that wants to please God more. It's all too easy to be focused on pleasing others or even ourselves, believe me I know. But when we begin to be motivated by a desire to please God, an entirely different world is opened up for us to experience. So may the Holy Spirit work within us so that we are aware of God's omnipresence and our special ability to please him.