Does God Know Our Thoughts?

Knowing that God knows our thoughts confronts us with the fact that His knowledge is beyond our understanding, and, despite our thoughts, He loves us so much that He gave us His only son to give us the gift of eternal life. Contributing Writer
Published Dec 15, 2020
Does God Know Our Thoughts?

Our thoughts are private, and no other man can read our thoughts unless we speak them out. Our thoughts are composed of good, bad, ugly, bizarre, and even sinful thoughts — and for this reason, we filter them out for the physical world to see or not see.

However, despite how we hide our thoughts from the world, there is only one who knows our every thought, and that is Our Lord.

God knows our thoughts, the good, the bad, the positive, the negative, the ugly, and even the sinful because there is nothing that God does not know.

He is omniscient and aware of every little detail including our thoughts. Let us discuss this in detail. In Psalm 139:1-2, David tells us: “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.”

The message of David tells us that our thoughts, whatever the dynamics of it may be, is important to God, and because it is so important to Him, He discerns fully, and He continually reminds us that these thoughts matter.

However, we should also be careful as to what we are thinking about and this is particularly mentioned in Isaiah 55:8 as stated, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” 

Our Thoughts Matter to God

God is perfect God as written in Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”

And because He is perfect and flawless, we, as imperfect beings, full of flaws, can take refuge in Him especially in thoughts, that is through prayer. He knows everything and every detail of our thoughts and He listens to them.

Our thoughts matter and it is important that we communicate our longing for Him and His enlightenment, especially during troubled times because it matters to God.

In 1 John 3:20, we are reminded by this, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

And in John 13:13, we are reminded by this as well that God is our great teacher, Our Lord whom we can always come to and ask for advice. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.”

God Helps Us Transform Our Thoughts

Because we are humans who have flaws and are imperfect, so are our thoughts. That is why God is with us to transform our thoughts into something that is good.

Most of us may be frightened by the fact that God knows everything including our thoughts, but this should not be the case.

We should, rather, be thankful that God is able to know our thoughts because through this, He is able to guide us to the correct path because He is a merciful God. His grace has no bounds. We are reminded by this in Romans 12:2,

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

And also, in Ephesians 2:8-9,

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

God forgives us when we have sinful thoughts if we ask for His forgiveness. He is ever merciful and compassionate to us, and He loves us so much. He even went as far as giving His only begotten Son to save us from the sins of this world.

For this reason, we should not approach God with full confidence, but with humility because we are not worthy of all His grace, as is written in Hebrews 4:16,

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We must confess our sins to Him — both physical sins and the sins we commit in our thoughts, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

God Reminds about Sinful Thoughts

The Bible tells us that there are certain thoughts that God does not wish us to have. This is clearly stated in the Old Testament specifically in the Ten Commandments”

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

When we worship, we use our thoughts to do so and, in this Scripture, God commands us to not worship other gods before Him because He is the only God, and that we shall not covet what belongs of our neighbors may it be in deeds and in thoughts.

These are explicitly commanded to us as seen in the Old Testament because God knows that we can sin from our thoughts and committing such thoughts will lead us far from Him.

In the New Testament, Jesus says that those who lust after someone has committed adultery in their hearts,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

This word from Jesus is closely related to adultery, which is also commanded in the Ten Commandments found in Exodus.

However, Jesus explicitly mentioned an example and that is about looking at a woman with lustful eyes, which is a common sinful thought that we encounter in this world today.

Jesus’ ways of reminding us about sin in our thoughts are very practical. He uses examples that get straight to the point — scenarios that humans like us can understand right away.

God Is Greater Than Our Thoughts

Knowing that God knows our thoughts confronts us with the fact that His knowledge is beyond our understanding and knowing that despite our thoughts, He loves us so much that He gave us His Son as well as the Word to keep reminding us of His commandments.

God knows our frailty as humans. We should accept that. It takes courage to face the fact that we are not perfect and even if we may look righteous on the outside, our thoughts can be sinful at times.

This is why we always need God in our lives and Jesus to guide us every step of the way. In Psalm 139:23–24, we can read a humble cry for God’s presence in our lives,

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

For further reading:

What Does it Mean That God Is Omniscient?

Does God Expect Us to be Perfect?

Why Do Some Christians Believe Jesus Was Just a Good Teacher and Not God?

What Is the Significance of ‘For God So Loved the World’?

Why Is God a Jealous God?

What Is Adultery?

Why Does Christ’s Righteousness Need to be Attributed to Us?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/MangoStar_Studio

Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.

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