Better Together: Known By Him
I can imagine that when I say that word you instantly have a picture of who or what that looks like. Maybe, you even rolled your eyes when reading this at the bio or were tempted to stop reading. Don’t. We know that all scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16–17) and so He will speak through these words even if you have a different experience or perspective.
Over the next 6 weeks, we’re going to be unpacking many of the different kinds of relationships (I don’t just mean romantic ones) we experience in everyday life, that we are called into by God. I can’t wait to hear how Jesus has spoken to you as we journey the next few weeks together.
Have you ever felt invisible?
There are many times in our relationships with others at home, school, church or even God, where we feel completely invisible. Maybe our sibling seems to get more attention, or we didn’t get invited to the party, again. Have you ever asked yourself: “does anyone know I’m here? Do I matter to anyone?” I know that I’ve had these thoughts before when a situation has happened and I’ve felt completely unloved and invisible.
Psalm 139, written by David, reminds me of the truth that no matter how unnoticed I feel, I cannot go unnoticed by God. In fact, David goes further to say that we are not just noticed by God but fully known by Him. This is a deeper level of relationship than to just be noticed by someone:
Psalm 139:1-6 (NIV)
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.
When I’m disappointed or feeling left out, reading this and choosing to believe, ‘I’m never out of your sight’ (The Message Translation) has brought me such peace and comfort. I am reminded that my gaze has fallen away from the One who’s attention and invitation truly matters. It is only in being in God’s sight that I can find peace, no matter whether I am left out or not.
Our culture constantly encourages us to keep updated; to have the latest this or that, get the latest snapchat filter or view our friend’s Instagram story. Our pre-set phone settings are programmed to notify us when someone likes our posts. These things aren’t bad in themselves, but let’s be aware of how we use them, and how it makes us view the world. I love Instagram stories, I love seeing what my friends are up to when I’m not with them or when I haven’t seen them for a little while. I find such joy in this!
David writes further to say that God also delights in where we are and what we are doing. Whether we ‘climb the sky or go underground’ He delights in us still. We are still known to Him and His Spirit is with us. So, what does this look like for our lives when we believe we are known by God? How does that change how we see or act around our friends, class mates and family?
A verse that has really helped me understand is:
‘We love because he first loved us’. (1 John 4:19)
For you, love may mean something completely different, but the dictionary definition is ‘a strong feeling of affection or pleasure in something’. So, God has great affection for us and takes great pleasure in us that he chooses to know us.
Here in 1 John, the writer is stating that the ability to love comes from the great assurance of first being loved. What a security there is in knowing this kind of love comes from Him; we are loved! As in the first passage, there is a certainty we can rest in when relationships can look a little tricky or come under pressure that this relationship with God will never change as we will always be known and loved.
For some of us this doesn’t feel quite so easy and, don’t get me wrong, we must choose each day to believe that we are known and loved by God first, because when we really believe this, it will change the way we see others in the different relationships we have.
Listed below are some tips of how to practice knowing this:
· Know the truth: Reading our bibles and spending time in worship (whether that’s on your own in God’s presence, or singing during the worship time at church) reveals more to us of His nature and who He has made us to be.
· Invest in encouraging friendships: Spend time with people who have faith in Jesus and who encourage you that you are known and loved! If you don’t have any Christian friends, we will be looking at other relationships that can encourage later in this series.
· Ask for help: Asking someone to pray with you when you feel alone can really help. Pray He would remind you that you’re not alone.
Girls, go deeper in your relationships this week. Go knowing, in all confidence, that we are known and loved by Him. In this confidence we can change the world!
Ruth became a Christian at a very young age and has been passionate about Jesus ever since! After moving around a lot, London has been home for the last 6 years, including studying for her Youth work and Practical Theology degree. An extrovert, she is passionate about authentic community, organisation and young people living out their full potential in wherever God has called them to be! She joined the team in 2018 and has written the series Better Together for Rise. During the week, Ruth is an Events and office manager for St Dionis church, Parsons Green.