Know what you know

15 Jul

I’m a bad golfer.

Now, if you are a bad golfer or if you have ever met a bad golfer you know that sometimes we bad golfers like to think the problem is not so much with our golfing abilities as it is with our golf clubs.

We’re constantly on the look out for that new club that will change everything.

Hey I’ll admit, I sometimes walk through a golf store, pick up a golf club, and imagine myself the next Tiger Woods.

(Then I look at the price tag, and run…)

Obviously, sometimes bad golfers could use new clubs. But most of the time the truth is they need to learn how to use the clubs they already have.

I realize you might not be a bad golfer but I wonder if you think like one.

Some Christians think, when they are doing poorly, that what they need is something new. And you know, sometimes they do. Many Christians are struggling because of ignorance. But I’ve found, that sometimes the problem is not so much that they need some new piece of information but instead that theyhaven’t properly understood and applied the old information they already know.

They don’t need to go out and buy a whole new set of clubs. They need to learn to use the ones they already have.

They need to know what they know.

I think that’s particularly true when it comes to the doctrine of God. Many Christians who have sat in church for a long time could tell you all about God’s sovereignty, God’s omnipotence. They could quote a few verses on various subject and spout the old cliches.

But they never apply those truths to their lives. They think about God in the abstract.

Take God’s omniscience.

We can sit around and say “God knows all things. God knows everything in the past, everything in the present, everything in the future.” And yet when life gets difficult, we never see how it applies to us, how it should change the way we react to our situation.

The doctrine of God’s omniscience is not a stuffy old truth for debate in the back of a seminary classroom; instead God’s omniscience is a most practical truth, a truth we must take and apply to ourselves as we struggle to understand the chaos that often is our life.

The fact that God is omniscient means that he knows you personally.

Let me quote Psalm 139. I want you to check out all the personal pronouns…“Oh Lord you have searched me…You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you understand my thought from far.”

David is not simply finding comfort in the fact that God knows all things. He finds comfort in the fact that God knows him, personally.

What’s true for David is also true for us. Hebrews 4:13 tells us there is not a creature hidden from his sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do…Psalm 33:13 says the Lord looks from heaven, He sees all the sons of men. From His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of earth.

God searched David, and He knew David. And God searches you, and He knows you, personally.

We’re not just another number to God. We’re not just another face in the crowd.

The word David uses for search means to investigate or examine. It’s used in Job 28:3 to describe the way miners dig down into the earth; and over in Judges 18:2 of the way explorers spy out a land; and in Proverbs 25:2 of a king inquiring into a difficult, complex intellectual problem.

When David says God has searched him, he is saying God has performed a minute and thorough examination of his heart. The emphasis is on thorough.

David is painting a picture and the picture he is painting is of a God who is intimately involved with the lives of those He has created.

There are some who think of God as far removed from His creation, and there are some people who believe in God but don’t really think he knows them or cares about them at all, but David here shows us the truth is the complete opposite. God is so involved with His creation that He actually searches it out. He’s not up in heaven unaware of what is going on on earth or in our hearts. He knows us absolutely and completely.

That’s a pretty remarkable thought. We serve a God who knows.

God knows you.

Don’t allow your mind to run away from that. Enjoy it.

I like how Charles Spurgeon puts it, he says, Listen, “God sees you—selecting any one out of this congregation—he sees you, he sees you as much as if there were nobody else in the world for him to look at. If I have as many people as there are here to look at, of course my attention must be divided; but the infinite mind of God is able to grasp a million objects at once, and yet to set itself, as much upon one, as if there were nothing else but that one; so that you, this morning, are looked at by God as much as if throughout space there were not another creature but yourself. Can you conceive that? Suppose the stars blotted out in darkness, suppose the angels dead; imagine the glorified spirits above are all gone, and you are left alone, the last man, and there is God looking at you. What an idea it would be for you to think of—that there was only you to be looked at! how steadily he could observe you! how well he would discern you! But mark you, God does really look at you this morning as much, as entirely, as absolutely without division of sight, as if you were the only being his hands had ever made. Can you grasp that? God sees you with all his eyes, with the whole of his sight—you—you—you—you are the particular object of his attention at this very moment. God’s eyes are looking down upon you; remember that!”

David finds comfort in that.

In the midst of all the uncertainty of his life, as he’s confronted by the fact that there’s so much he does not know, he finds comfort in the fact that there is One who does know. God knows him personally.

And he knows you personally too!

One Response to “Know what you know”

  1. SoccerReformer July 16, 2005 at 5:08 am #

    Well put Josh – I’ve often thought that wanton sin on the part of a believer is a practical denial of God’s omniscience. It’s right there with Adam and Eve thinking they could hide.

    As I say – very well put and glad to run across you on the web after many years.

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