Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pastoral Pings ~ Delighting in the God who Searches and Knows

Delighting in the God who Searches and Knows

Here is a phrase that has touched my heart deeply this morning, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me!” (Psalm 139:1). Many people can relate to the heartache of people they love not taking the time to get to know them, or thinking they know them well enough to reject them. On the other hand, God Most High searches his children to know them.

When David tries to take this expression of glorious light and break it down into the beautiful colors of its spectrum, he describes this wonderful gift of God with these words:

·         “you know…”
·         “you discern…”
·         “you search…”
·         “you are acquainted with…”
·         “you know it altogether…”
·         “you hem me in…”
·         “you lay your hand upon me.”

The picture is of God the Father actively knowing his children in every way we can imagine being known. We have someone who wants to be our Father in intimate, loving relationship, even though he knows us, discerns what we are like, searches into the deepest parts of our being, is acquainted with everything about us, knows what we are doing altogether completely, hems us in so that we cannot escape that we are the center of his attention, and lays his hand upon us as the children he wants to have for himself, the sheep he wants to be in his flock, the little lambs he wants to gather in his arms and carry close to his heart (Isaiah 40:11).

It is no wonder that David’s response to the way God knows his children is described like this, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”[1]When this is placed in contrast to all our life experiences where people walk away from us with such little knowledge of who we are, and such little effort to get to know us, and yet the God of heaven searches us out so he can know us intimately and personally, we are left with these feelings David tries to describe.

The fact is, to be known as God knows his children is the most remarkable thought we could ever feel. Who but our Father in heaven could give us a feeling of wonderful that is “too” wonderful for us to contain. Only God could surround us with such thoughts of how wonderfully he loves us that they rise up so high that we cannot reach the top of the pile.

Now, while our earthly life gives us this exceptional joy of constantly knowing the Father whose knowing of us is beyond words or explanations, this is the hope that is set before us, just waiting for its appointed day: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (I Corinthians 13:12).

God has brought his children to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we could have the eternal life that is knowing God (John 3:16; 17:3). He leads us into this growing awareness of how much he knows us, and how amazingly wonderful it is to think about how much he lovingly knows us. And he sets before us this reality that is waiting for us in heaven, that one day we will know what it feels like to “know fully.” And, this knowing fully is by a very distinctive measure, the measure of, “even as I have been fully known.”

This means that, in the way that we marvel at how much God knows us, and constantly searches our hearts as a Father who wants to personally know his children, he is leading us to know him now in the growing conformity to Christ that is “from one degree of glory to another” (II Corinthians 3:18), with that final experience of eternity where we will know fully, even as we have been fully known.

So, we get to enjoy the wonder of the way God knows us now, while looking forward to something far better waiting for us in heaven. No wonder such thoughts are too wonderful for us. But close enough to enjoy the little bits of wonder we can experience of God knowing us and loving us right in the here and now.

© 2015 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Psalm 139:6

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