Read Psalm 139. Right now. Stop reading this, go get your Bible, and read Psalm 139.
God knows me, the Psalmist celebrates — yes, celebrates!
If you think that God’s knowing you means that there is trouble brewing (for example, if you think that God is about to reject you because of what He knows of you) then you have developed a view of God that is more akin to what you were told about Santa Claus (“…he’s making list, he’s checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice”).
If you think that God knows you in order to judge (that is, condemn) you, you have a very skewed view of what God is doing in the world.
If you think that God knowing you means that He is planning to manipulate you and treat you like a puppet, then you may not have a clear view of how God is working in the world.
If you think that God knowing you places you in some kind of risky place because, after all, you know you, and what you know about you would suggest that (as Groucho Marx once said) you wouldn’t join a club that would have you as a member.
The truth is that God does know you — and that’s a good thing!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from far away.
God knows you — which means God knows your hurts, your worries, your feelings, your concerns, your joys, your successes, your victories, your sins, your failures, your lusts, your vices, your securities and insecurities — and loves you through them all.
God knows you — He knows where you’ve been, He knows what you’ve been through; He knows where you are; He knows what you are experiencing now; He knows where you are going; and He knows what will happen to you along the way to that place and what will happen once you get to that place on your pilgrimage.
That should be a word of comfort to us…but often it is not. The problem is that we don’t know ourselves as God knows us. God knows our hearts, knows what we have hidden in the inner self, knows what we have successfully buried away even from our own prying eyes. He knows the strengths, the beauty, the gifts.
The real problem is that we do not know God with the same kind of intimacy. We do not take the time to bask in His presence, to understand what He has said to us through His Word and what He speaks into our hearts. We don’t keep our ears tuned to His voice. We fail to see how His hand touches our lives daily.
Knowing God is much more than knowing about God. It is much, much more than simply acknowledging that there is a God. Knowing God means drawing close to the light of His presence, taking time to pray and to sit in silence to listen for His voice. Knowing God means positioning yourself spiritually so that you might encounter God, and that He might fill you with His love.
God knows you — and He delights in you. He wants you to know Him and find delight in being with Him. You have many opportunities to grow in that knowledge of the Lord: Bible studies, care groups, worship. Be a part of the joy that comes when God’s people find delight in being with Him, getting to know Him, and being formed into the image of His Son, Jesus.
About the Author:
Christian Just is Pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Northfield, Ohio. He earned a Doctor of Ministry in Formational Counseling from Ashland Seminary and serves as an Adviser to D.Min students in that program. He lives in Macedonia, Ohio with his wife, Kristine, and son, Levi. His daughters and three grandchildren live nearby.