You Are Known
Meet Brandon. He’s a well-liked art major at a state university, where he works hard, makes good grades, and is active in his campus ministry. If you saw him, you’d think he’s got it all together and possesses all the blessings a student could ever want. But there’s a hidden problem. Brandon comes from a broken home. He never knew his parents as a couple, and he was raised by his grandparents. His childhood years were spent splitting weekends between his mom and his dad. And although no major conflict ever occurred, the relationship between Brandon and his dad has always been distant. He doesn’t see his dad more than once a year, and phone calls are sparsely shared. Now a young man entering adulthood, Brandon calls his dad, longing for a deeper relationship. But the conversations never go beyond sports, politics, and the weather. Brandon can’t understand why a father wouldn’t want to know his son. Introspective and defeated, he muses, I’m doing so many great things in my life. If only he would get to know me.
Brandon has grown from being a boy to a man, but he still has a deep longing to be known by his dad, not on the surface level but at the heart level.
Among your family and friends, who knows you best—the real you?
Just as human beings yearn for approval and worth, we also long to be known—and to be deeply known. And when we don’t feel that we’re known by our parents, we’re left feeling isolated or abandoned. Those feelings can then lead to a whole host of responses. We might erect relational walls, refusing to let others in. Or we can go to the other extreme by sharing to a fault without a filter. We were created to know and be known by others, especially our parents.
What’s one detail you wish your dad knew about you?
What stands out most about the way your dad pursued you?
Maybe you’re reading these questions, but you don’t have an earthly dad. Perhaps you never knew him, or maybe he’s no longer living. That’s not an easy station in life for anyone. I don’t want to be callous or to ignore real hurt or absence. But I want to help you process your thoughts too. So here’s a question for you:
What have you most longed for from a dad?
Some of these questions might be difficult, but don’t let the difficulty push you away. Instead, allow them to expose the need in your heart so that you’re prepared to receive the answer to that need. We’re going to learn today that your longing to be known can be satisfied by God. Whether you have a blessed or an estranged relationship with your dad, you’re perfectly known by your Heavenly Father. And it’s a deeper knowledge than even the best dad on earth could ever give.
God Knows Everything
Psalm 139 is one of the most personal passages of Scripture in all the Bible. In it we see the depth of God’s knowledge of, presence in, and design for our lives. Each way God is involved in our lives is illustrated through a display of who He is.
READ PSALM 139:1-6. Record the significant details God knows about you.
God is omniscient. Simply put, that means God knows everything—including everything about you! He knows your actions, your ways, your comings and goings, and even all of your words—before they’re audibly spoken. Your Heavenly Father knows your deepest thoughts, highest aspirations, and wildest dreams. He’s intimately acquainted with all of your victories, struggles, fears, and doubts. The psalmist David was overwhelmed in response to God’s deep, personal knowledge of his life.
Why is it good that God knows us personally, truly, and deeply?
God Is Present Everywhere
God isn’t defined by space and time. He’s literally present everywhere. That means God is omnipresent. He not only knows everything about you, but He’s also with you wherever you go.
READ PSALM 139:7-12.
Many of us know what it means for our dad to have missed an important event or to have been at work when we needed him most. Some people experience these absences as isolated events in the midst of an otherwise blessed existence. Others know these as the norm. The psalmist David proclaimed the good news that your Heavenly Father never misses an important date. He never fails to show up. And He will never leave you or forsake you (see Heb. 13:5).
According to Psalm 139:7-12, why should it comfort you to know that God is always with you?
God Is All-Powerful
In addition to being all-knowing and ever-present, God is all-powerful. He’s omnipotent. You can see His power on full display in the next section of Psalm 139, illustrated in the intricate ways He created you.
READ PSALM 139:13-16. Reflect on the way God intricately and personally designed your body and your life. Record any words or phrases from these verses that you find especially meaningful.
You may have inherited your grandfather’s nose or your mother’s laugh, but your Heavenly Father ultimately designed, created, and gave the gift of life to you. This means no one knows you like your Creator. No matter the joys or sorrows you’ve experienced with your earthly father, your Heavenly Father knows you, accompanies you, and fashions you as no other father can.
Next David reflected on the continual, vast thoughts of God toward His children.
READ PSALM 139:17-18.
Here’s the liberating truth to grasp and hold on to as you go through life: your Heavenly Father knows you. He’s with you always. And He will never abandon you or let you down. Just as you’re known by God, He also wants to be known. Jesus said knowing God is the ultimate meaning of life:
This is eternal life: that they know
you, the only true God, and Jesus
Christ, whom you have sent.
Simply going to heaven when we die isn’t the goal of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that the ultimate end to which all of existence points is for us to know God. All of your life—from the time you give your life to Jesus and continuing throughout eternity—should be characterized by a deepening knowledge of and love for your Heavenly Father.
Father, You’re all-knowing, all-powerful,
and present everywhere. I marvel at Your
works, and I’m humbled by the vast sum
of Your precious thoughts toward me.
Give me grace to be satisfied by Your
presence in my life now and forever.
This content is excerpted from Louie Giglio’s Not Forsaken Bible study. To find out more about this resource, please visit lifeway.com/notforsaken.
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