Have you ever thought that “if they really knew me, they wouldn’t like me”? Our Lord God DOES know you — everything about you — and He loves you! One of the most difficult inner conflicts we have is our desire to be known versus our fear of being known. As beings created in the image of God we are made to be known—known by God and also by others. God knows us and loves us. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Psalm 139:1-6)
Yet due to our fallen nature, all of us have sins and weaknesses that we don’t want others to know about. We use the phrase “dark side” to refer to aspects of our lives that we keep hidden. And we use slogans like “put your best foot forward” to encourage others to show their best side. He created us and knows all of our ways. There’s nothing that we can keep hidden from Him. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12)
One reason we are unwilling to risk being known is that we fear rejection and ridicule. But when we discover that God knows us, loves us, and is willing to forgive even the worst thing we have done, our fear of being known by God begins to fade away. And when we find a community of believers who understands the dynamic relationship between forgiveness and confession, we feel safe confessing our sins to one another. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16).
God has not rejected us. On the contrary, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to bear the burdens of all of our sins. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The life of faith is not about showing only our good side. It’s about exposing our dark side to the light of Christ through confession to God and also to others. In this way we can receive healing and live in the freedom of forgiveness. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
From NASB Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes: What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Does it mean that intellectually you agree with the fact that He was born in Bethlehem of a virgin and that He is a great teacher? Yes, but there’s even more to it than that. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to believe that He is God (John 1:1; 10:30; 14:9) and that He saves you by His crucifixion (Eph. 2:8, 9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5). If you continue to believe that you can somehow earn your salvation, you have never been truly born again. However, when you truly place your faith in Him, you receive His gift of eternal life (John 6:40; 17:3).
- Life Application Study Bible (NIV)
- On Being Known