God Knows Me!

But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3 ESV)known

To know God is the privilege of a lifetime. To be known by God is the reward of eternity. J. I. Packer says it like this:

What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is not a moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. (From Knowing God)

The Deception of Disillusionment

And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. (Luke 24:17-20 ESV)

Jesus approached these two forlorn disciples on a long road back from what they thought was a failed mission. Their fearless leader had succumbed to the Jewish religious hierarchy and the cruel Roman torture called crucifixion. When Jesus found them, they stood still, looking sad. You can hear the biting sarcasm in Cleopas’ statement: “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

He played ignorant. Jesus played ignorant! “What things?” he asked. Their answer to his question revealed the source of their disillusionment. Dictionary.com defines disillusionment as: disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be. They answered, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people…”

They were disillusioned because they expected too little, not too much! They thought of Jesus as a prophet, not the Prophet; as one who prophesied before God not as God. They were deceived by their low, incomplete view of Jesus.

What are your expectations of Jesus? Is it possible that His greatest accomplishment has fallen to the bottom of your list of expectations of him? Are you disappointed because the healing didn’t come you prayed for, someone else got the job you prayed for, the relationship you prayed for ended in an ugly breakup? I am not trying to diminish your suffering. I only encourage you to see Jesus for who He is, not who He isn’t. Paul had this in mind when he wrote:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 ESV)

God is for you…even when He doesn’t make sense.

I Am Never Out of His Mind

Thus says the Lord, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”     Jeremiah 9:23-24

Men like to brag.  There’s no two ways about it.  We are a bragging breed.  Jeremiah knew that and when he wrote these words, the wisdom of men had failed them.  Israel had indulged in great sin and Jeremiah announced that their sin would lead to sure and certain destruction–if they didn’t repent.  To repent is to turn from, to walk away from, to quit something.  It is a change of mind which results in a change of behavior.  Repentance is a process, but it begins with an attitude change–the realization that sin is sin and must be abandoned.

What was their sin?  Pride.  Self-centeredness.  Self sufficiency.

What was the solution to their pride?  Take pride (the right kind) in this:  that we get to know God, the Creator of the universe!  The Redeemer of humankind.  The Author of Salvation.

But we can’t stop there.  Our ability to know God is only trumped by his delight in knowing us!  J.I. Packer said it well in his classic work, “Knowing God,”

What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.

All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is not a moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

Keep bragging.  But brag about this.  That you know God.  And don’t stop there.  Brag about the reality that He knows you–and knowing you for however long He has known you–He still wants to know you.