Wednesday, June 15, 2011
A few months back, I decided to start cutting my hair really short. Now, when I say “I started,” I literally mean it. I took the clippers, set them to the lowest setting and then started clipping! About the second time after having started my “self-haircut” endeavors, one of my colleagues at Genesis came up to me and said, “You missed a big spot right here.” And so I used my fingers to feel the spot, and sure enough, there was a patch of fur there! Oops!
I am sure I am not the only one who has been oblivious to something that was obvious to others. Maybe you have been unaware of the recycling box at the end of the driveway, crashing into it and sending cardboard and plastic jugs all over the place as you left for work. It could be that you did not realize that your zipper was in the down position as you walked around town. It might be that you used an impolite expression that did not register to you as such. Sometimes we need others to help us see what we can’t on our own.
Moms and dads, spouses, friends, etc., can help make us aware of something that is off our radar. But sometimes we need a more high-powered insight than even our closest friends can muster. We need insight from above to make sense of what is going on in our world. Our minds need big time help to be informed of why we do the things we do.
King David from ancient Israel shares through Psalm 139 in the Holy Bible that the Lord is the one fit for the task of helping us understand ourselves better. In verses 1-4, David expresses, “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.” Something important is being relayed to us here: Everything is obvious to the Lord.
David confesses that God knows his outward activities like sitting, rising and lying down and he also knows his inner thoughts like “before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.” David asserts the claim that is time and time again presented in the Bible, that God knows and everywhere present. But his knowledge is not just trivia or trivial, his insight is practical and relational. Think of it this way, the Lord personally knew David and he knows you. He knows your favorite food, your personality, and he knows the good, the bad and the ugly.
How did God have such intricate knowledge of David then and of us now? David writes in Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” It is proclaimed here that God made us. I like to say it this way, that the Lord wrote the owner’s manual on us. He is not a “far away Lord,” he is an involved God who understands our ins and outs. Not only does this passage assign personhood to the one who is in the womb, but it also demonstrates the deep intimate knowledge that God has of his created beings.
The value of God’s knowledge is expressed by David in Psalm 139:17 where he states, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God!” He is testifying that the Lord’s knowledge is insightful and helpful. The Lord’s thoughts can bring about healing. As God helps us to dive below the surface, he makes us aware of the way things really are and the way we are. When we are facing reality with God, we are able to move forward in life.
David desires to know what God knows, as expressed in Psalm 139:23-24, “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.” David invites God to search him and make known what is really going on. He says test me and point out any offensive ways in me.
What does it look like to have God search your life? I suggest a quiet time set aside to hear God by reading and meditating on a key Bible passage or two, praying and journaling. If you are interested in a personal moral inventory description that I have developed, please contact me.
Things can be oblivious to us in our lives but God know us and he knows what we struggle with. The Lord can help us understand what is below the surface and help us overcome whatever challenges we face. Aware instead of oblivious!