Wednesday, September 2, 2020

To Know or Be Known

 Its been crickets on my blog over the past few months, and I am sorry for that.  All that has been 2020 just seemed overwhelming, and there have been so many voices, that it seemed to quiet my own.  

I've still been here with encouragements and opinions, but not really feeling like that should be shared in blog form.  But lately I've been having conversations (some with myself) that seemed to be begging to be shared once again from my blog posts.  

We will see how they come out, but I want to return to writing because I love it.  

This morning I was listening to a book (via Audible) that we are doing as a church staff and going over each chapter during our weekly staff meetings.  The book is called, "The Emotionally Healthy Leader," by Peter Scazzero.  Its been wonderful and very contemplative.  

I got done with the chapter we were going over today and continued listening to the next chapter and was struck by a distinction in discussing a Bible verse.  The author was talking about Christian leaders in the church who do great things without having a relationship with God.    I should mention at this point that I have also been reading another book by Michael S. Heiser entitled, "What Does God Want?"  I've loved the simplicity this book adds to the story of God and why he created us, why we face so much heartache in the world and what God wants.  Spoiler alert, but the reason God created humans was because he wanted a human family to join his celestial family.  God is about relationships.  Hes about family and connection, so when I was listening to Peter share the passage below my ears perked up: 

Matthew 7:22-23

Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your nae perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!"  

Before Peter started into his commentary, I knew at the mention of knew it didn't mean literally, "I don't know who you are."  God knows all of us, we are his creation.  He knew us when we were in our mother's wombs, he knows the hairs on our heads (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139, Luke 12:7, Matthew 10:30, Psalm 56:8).  Its not about knowing who we are, its not about recognition, but instead its about being known.  Why is that so important?  For one reason its the purpose of all of this, we are invited by God into a relationship.  A way was made for us to connect with the God of the universe and really God of the universes, through the death of Jesus (God in human form) on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.  We could not do it on our own so when we set out to do works of God that don't involve him, its like we reject his gift.  We pretend we are enough without him to overcome all the wrong in the world.  His grace is enough and sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Life wasn't always easy for me and human connection hasn't always been easy either, but I learned early to run to God.  I didn't always get the answers I wanted and even got mad and ran away from him for awhile, but I did always get acceptance.  I did get embraced for who I was more than I have from any person in my life.  I know there is a God, but that is nothing compared to knowing Him. I forget that sometimes as I get busy at life or in the business of sharing Him with the world, but without it, I run out of steam and really become the worst version of myself. I want to know God intimately and for Him to know me.  

What about you?  Do you just know there is a God or do you know God and are you known by God?  I'm sure there may be an atheist or two who stumble on my post, and I'd love to hear why you believe what you believe.  I've read some compelling evidence for God's existence and I'd happily share some resources for anyone interested.  I hope all of you are doing well, or as well as is possible in the midst of our crazy reality.