What God Knows About Me That I Don’t Know
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-6, 15-16; Matthew 4:18-22; Jeremiah 1:5
This is my second message for the month of June focusing on men as we look forward to Father’s Day on next Sunday. The title of my message this morning is “What God Knows About Me That I Don’t Know.” I will tell you now that I, like many of you, am very familiar with who I am and what I can do. I mean I have lived with myself on this earth for almost six decades (which sounds wiser than just saying 60 years) and I know a thing or two about me. As a matter of record, no one on earth knows more about me than I do!!! That being said, my Heavenly Father knows me intimately and He knows each of you intimately as well. He actually knows me better than I know myself if you can believe that.
Men, in general, pride themselves on being manly, which includes hiding all semblances of weakness and the inability to do something. This would include asking for directions when traveling or reading directions in order to do something he’s never done before. Why? Because we just know things and often times when it seems like we need help we really do not believe that we do. For example, when we are driving we never get lost because we are just taking the opportunity to discover one of many ways we can get to a new location. Because of this ever growing desire to learn, we do not allow our spouses to help us ruin our ability to discover and learn new routes as we travel to our destination. Again, we are this way because we know who we are and what our capabilities are. But is this in fact true? While it sounds comical for many men this is their reality. So in this message I want my brothers to understand that God knows things about us that we do not know and when we yield to Him He gives us deeper insights into ourselves that can help us become stronger men of faith.
Let me use myself as an example. When I was born my father was 29 years old. He had 29 years of knowledge by the time I took my first breath. In my first year of life, my father knew me. He knew my voice. He knew my likes/dislikes. He knew me on a very personal level as there were times when he too changed my diaper. In that first year when I knew nothing, he knew me. As I continued to grow and learn, my father was steadily growing and learning with me. You see, he knew things that I did not know so it was his job to protect me from my own stupidity. For example, my father knew that I should not touch a hot stove as it could burn me. I did not know this so of course I would reach for it only to have him stop me. My father knew I should not walk in the streets so he would hold my hand to make sure I stayed on the sidewalk when we were out walking. My father knew that I needed to learn the multiplication table so he took time and worked with me until I knew it. These were things that my father knew about me that I did not know. These were things that my father knew that I would need that I did not know. He knew those things because he was a father and understood what I needed based on what his parents had taught to him. All fathers hand down similar teachings to their children as a means to teach and protect them. Well men, God does the same. He knows things about us that we do not know. He knows things that we don’t know but need to learn. After all, He’s our Father and fathers are supposed to teach their children. This morning I will focus our attention only on three things (among many) that God completely knows about us that we do not know but need to. The three things He knows intimately about us is our possibilities; our limitations; and our needs. Turn with me to Psalm 139:1-6, 15-16.
“O LORD, you have searched me, and known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising, You understand my thought afar off. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it……My frame was not hid from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, being yet unformed; and in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:1-6; 15-16)
As we read the first two verses of Psalm 139 we see that God has taken the time to know us. As a matter of fact, He has searched us so that He could know us intimately. Now, without getting too far from today’s message, if God has purposely done things so He can know us, should we not do the same? Should we not do things on purpose to get to know Him? In verses three and four the psalmist declares that God know everything about us and in verse five and six he proclaimed that God knows us better than we know ourselves. Men, in order for us to accept this we have to let down our walls and swallow our pride. We have to be able to admit that God truly does know each and every one of us. He knows the good, the bad and the ugly. While there are many times when we may not know something about ourselves there is never a time when God does not know us. He knows all about us. So let’s look at the first thing God knows about us that we do not know fully about ourselves.
God knows our possibilities. Remember what was written in verses fifteen and sixteen of Psalm 139? The psalmist writes that God knows everything that we are made of. As a matter of fact, God was there when our atoms were being formed and when the DNA strands started doing their thing. God knew what we would look like even before our cells started binding together to form us. Consider what God told Jeremiah. He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) What does this verse tell us? That God was intimately watching over us and making plans for us upon our conception. As a matter of fact, the psalmist wrote “…..in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Before we were born plans were made for what we were to do. God told Jeremiah that even before the sperm and egg came together to form him He knew him. Not only did God know him before his parents conceived him, but He made plans for him. God sanctified (set him apart) and ordained (commissioned) him even before he was born. God did this before Jeremiah was even aware of himself. God knew what he would become and what he would do even before Jeremiah had a thought on his own. Later God told Jeremiah, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And God knew those plans before Jeremiah was born. Men, the same is true for us today. God has specific plans for each of us and we need to know what they are.
I want us to understand something. In order for God to plan anything for us He has to know our capabilities. He has to know what we are able to do through Him. He has to know our strengths and our weaknesses. He has to know all of the possibilities as it relates to each and every one of us. This is important because when God says we can do something we are the ones who say we cannot. When God tells us to move forward, we are the ones who say we cannot. God knows our possibilities – especially those deeper ones that we are afraid to address. God knows what we can become, even in the midst of doubts by others. God knows what we can accomplish, even after many tries and failures. God knows how much we can handle even when we feel like we’re at the end of our ropes. The best thing that you and I can ever do for ourselves, regardless of our age, is put our life, future, and total trust in God’s hands. Proverbs 3:5-8 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8) God knows our possibilities and we can know them too when we begin to lean on Him.
Do you recall the men that Jesus chose to be His disciples? We do not know the occupations of all of the disciples prior to their becoming Jesus’ disciples, but we do know about a few of them which prove the point that God does not see us as we see ourselves. The men that Jesus chose totally confused the “learned” religious leaders of the time (Pharisees and Sadducees). Matthew 4:18-22 records the following, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He said unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they immediately left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.”
• Peter, Andrew, James and John were all fishermen. James and John were actually businessmen in business with their father as they had other men working for them. We see that Jesus did not go to the men who were religious leaders when He chose His disciples as we would have done. No, He went to men who were more or less unlearned in Scripture but had potential - He knew their possibilities. These were everyday men who lived off the sea. If you have ever heard the term “cuss like a sailor” you have an idea of how these men talked in their daily life. They would have been some of the last men we would choose to start a ministry or be our ministry leaders. They were not educated nor had any religious training. But, Jesus saw possibilities with each of them. He saw men with servant’s hearts and a willingness to die for what they believed in which many did. He saw something within them that they did not see within themselves. Then He chose Matthew.
• Matthew. Matthew, called Levi in Luke, worked as a tax collector for the Roman government. He would have acquired some education and reputation to achieve this job. His job provided him with considerable wealth because tax collectors earned a portion of what they collected. Tax collectors were despised by the Jews as they often charged more taxes than was due in order to build their wealth. Yet Jesus chose a despised person to be one of His disciples. Why? Because He knew what was possible with Matthew. I am sure Matthew was not thinking of walking away from his job and becoming a disciple of Jesus when He threw a party in Jesus’ honor and invited his tax collector friends to meet Him (Matthew 9:9-13) and yet this is what he did do.
• Then Jesus chose Simon the zealot. While not strictly a profession, zealots engaged in politics and anarchy (lawlessness), attempting to overthrow the Roman government. He may have been a politician or a revolutionary. This was a man who would have been in the streets leading protests against the Roman government. Jesus called a man who was not afraid to speak out against what was wrong. And get this, he probably despised, as other Jews did, Matthew! He would not be the person you’d want in the same room with a Jew who collected taxes for the Roman government and yet this is exactly what Jesus did. What was Jesus thinking putting these two men together in the same space. He was thinking of their possibilities and He knew each man would be able to move beyond themselves in service to Him.
• The last disciple I want to mention is Judas. You might have wondered as I have through the years why did Jesus choose him? Judas served as the treasurer in Jesus' ministry, and John 12:4-6 identifies him as a thief and an embezzler. While the Bible doesn’t tell us what he did prior to becoming an apostle we can assume that he had some issues managing money. While his choosing might be confusing, we have to accept the fact that Jesus still saw some possibilities within him. There was a possibility that Judas could have made a different choice. Jesus knew this just as He knew Judas was stealing from the ministry. He held out hope for him until the very end.
I wanted to share these men with you to prove the fact that God knows our possibilities even when we are clueless to them. I am pretty confident that absolutely none of the disciples knew that they would be chosen to follow Jesus and change the world. Jesus saw their possibilities just as He sees ours today. And, just as God knows our possibilities, He also knows our limitations.
God knows our limitations. Everyone one of us is different. Even if we live in the same household and share the same blood, we are all different, we are unique. And because we are unique and different so are our limitations. My limitations are not the same as yours. While I am aware of my limitations for the most part I do not fully know yours. That is not true with God. God knows our limitations and has made provisions for us. Let’s read what was written in First Corinthians 10:13. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
The word “temptation” in this verse has a Greek meaning of “that moment when we feel seized and squeezed by eternal and internal forces that are designed to take us down.” In this verse, Paul says these feelings are actually momentary and relatively powerless – our flesh trying to act powerful. But Paul writes that these temptations are actually quite “common to man.” In other words, we all experience them in some form or another and they are not exceptional. Furthermore Paul writes that with every temptation God provides an escape for us. The word “escape” in the Greek means “to step out.” Because God knows our limitations he has made a way for us to simply walk away from a temptation just as easily as we can walk into one. Men, God know our limitations – no matter what it looks like, smells like, or acts like. He knows what pushes our buttons and He has made a way for us to walk away. Isn’t God a wonderful God?!!! He knows our possibilities and will not allow our limitations to stop us from fulfilling them.
God knows our needs. The last thing I want us to know and understand is that God knows our needs. It is very common for men to identify needs based on something someone else has. Our needs are ever changing as we evaluate the latest and greatest new item of the week. It reminds me of when my kids were small and we went to the store. It never failed that they would find something that they “really, really” needed and would beg for us to purchase it for them. Of course once the newness wore off the toys gave way for the next new “really, really” need. We can be like that as adults. None of us will always know what we really need at every moment. We might need affection from our spouse, but it gets translated differently. We might need a little affirmation from our jobs, but that’s not something we can verbalize out loud. Who wants to appear “needy?” And we know that Christians who seem to be faithfully walking with God do not have perfect understanding in every situation. Paul also told the Corinthians “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) In this verse Paul basically states that our future state, while clear from the many revelations that have been given about it, is still like a dream. It is hard to realize how wonderful it will be due to our present lack of experience. My point with this is that while we think we may know some things, God knows all things including the “real” needs that we have.
Jesus told His disciples “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8) Jesus taught His disciples that God already knows what we need even before we ask for it. We ask for a lot of things and oftentimes we ask for things that we do not need, but God is a great God. He truly knows what we “really” need and is willing and able to provide for us. Men, let me recommend something to you today. If you have not taken the time to get to know your God, your Father, start today. Block out time to talk with Him. Not pray, but talk. Talk with Him as if He is sitting right there next to you. Ask Him what His thoughts are for you. Ask Him what His plans are for you. And then ask Him the most important question: “Father, what do you need from me to accomplish Your thoughts and plans for me?” Men, your Father is waiting for you to sit down and have this conversation with Him. He’s waiting to show you what He sees about you. I encourage you, have that conversation with Him this week. Next week for Father’s Day I will share with you the importance of fathers and some commitments that fathers should make to their children.
Until next time, “The Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
(If you are ever in the Kansas City, KS area, please come and worship with us at New Light Christian Fellowship, 15 N. 14th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102. Our service Sunday worship starts at 9 a.m. and Thursday night Bible study at 7 p.m. Also, for use of our social media, you can find us at newlightchristianfellowship on FB. To get our live stream services, please make sure you “like” and turn on notifications for our page so you can be notified when we are live streaming. We also have a church website and New Light Christian Fellowship YouTube channel for more of our content. We are developing more social media streams so please stand by and we will notify you once those channels are up and running. We look forward to you worshipping with us. May God bless and keep you.)