God Knows You
Well, can you believe it? One year of online church already and I would like to take this moment to thank you, Pastor Tim and Emily, I want to thank you for your leadership, for your support, for your vision and we really believe that the best years for Festival Church are still ahead of us. Before we jump into the message this morning, I would like to have a look at this quick video. It’s a TV advert from South Africa. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this one, have a look.
I just love it. “Do you know who I am?” And if I have to ask you the question right now – who knows you the most – who’s name would you put down in the chat box or who’s name would you write down in your notebook? I know for me, the person that I would write down is Klara, my wife, she’s the one that knows the good, the bad and the ugly, and, in fact, sometimes I think she knows me better than I know myself.
When I look at social media, you know we all post things online of our families and what we do and the things that we’re passionate about and I think it’s also because we want people to know us. We want people to celebrate life with us. We want people to see how perfect and beautiful our families are and how perfect our beautiful our cakes and our breads and everything about us are. Sadly, you know life is not perfect when you when you stand on the other side of the camera, you realise there’s more to this picture than just a pretty shot. There’s real life happening behind the scenes and everything is not always what it appears to be. But we want to be known, I believe that it’s true for you as it is for me. I want to be known not by the whole world, but I want to be known by people or individuals that really know me well, that understand me and that would love me through the good, the bad and the ugly. And that is what I love about the Scriptures. I love the fact that when God wrote the Scriptures through men, he didn’t hold back. He didn’t press pause and say well, no, no, no, no, no, that is not perfect. Let’s take that out. He says, let’s put it all in there to show you the journey that people go through, with the imperfections and the perfections and just how God loves them through it all and how God knows us.
There’s this one story that I love, it’s in first Samuel chapter sixteen. I love the story where God appointed the king and he’s not happy about the decision that he has made. The king has terribly disappointed God in his decisions and he wasn’t listening to God. And then God spoke to the prophet Samuel and He said to him, I want you to go to Bethlehem, there’s a man there, his name is Jesse – go and anoint one of his sons as the new king. And Samuel set out to Bethlehem and he meets Jesse and Jesse gathers all his sons together. There are these boys standing in front of Samuel and then there’s this one guy, the eldest brother, as he walks in Samuel saw his appearance and saw that this guy is tall and he’s like, wow, surely this must be the Lord’s anointed right here. But that was not the case. Look at what God says to him in verse 7:
But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’1 Samuel 16:6-7 NIV
Wow, what God is basically saying to Samuel is there’s more to a man that his pretty face and a six-pack. One day the face will fade and the six pack will end up in a cooler bag. There’s more to that person. Do not pour my anointing oil on corrupted character. That is such great advice for people that’s getting married right now or planning to get married one day. Don’t just look at the outward appearance and think oh wow, this must be the man or the woman of God. This is like oh, this is God’s gift to me, wow, this is incredible. No, wait a minute, before you pour your anointing oil over the person, just test the character first. There’s more to the person than just what you see. There’s the heart and it’s the same for businesses when you step into a partnership with people, you don’t want to just jump in because the CV looks great and what they have to offer looks great. You actually want to consider what’s the motives behind what they do, what’s the real heart behind the issue there. It’s incredible that we’ve got the Holy Spirit to lead us through those moments.
What happens then is Samuel is like well if this is not the Lord’s anointed, then who is? Jesse brings the other sons one by one, he’s got eight sons. There are seven of them lined up and every single one of them, God says nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Samuel is like God did I miss a memo or something, what’s happening here? Jesse, do you perhaps have another son and Jesse’s like oh, yeah, I’ve got the youngest one, he’s looking after the sheep right now. Do you want me to call him? Samuel was like, yeah go call him. We will not sit down until that boy is here – go and call him. And that’s what they did. When David walked in, God said this is the one, I know his heart, I know what kind of character he has. This is the one. Samuel poured the anointing oil on David and he anoints him as king of Israel. Then I thought, wow, what a moment. Imagine how David must have felt in that situation. The prophet came to town ready to anoint the new king of Israel. Super excited. My dad didn’t choose me. My dad didn’t think that I was king material. Perhaps my dad thought, well he’s too young, God will never choose him anyway. What a moment. Maybe David was disappointed and excited at the same, time who knows. And I know that sometimes as dads, and if you’re a dad, you can relate to this, sometimes we don’t always get things right. But I’m so grateful that God still works beyond our failures and the things that we do wrong at times. Sometimes when we overlook some of our sons or our daughters, God still works out his plan for our children. Don’t stress out too much. Mums, dads, God’s got big plans for your children and for your life, let him work it out. Trust God in this season.
So, there is David and perhaps you’re feeling like that. Perhaps you’re feeling like you grew up in a home and my dad never celebrated me. My dad never said, hey, you know, I’m there for you. My dad always overlooked me. Perhaps you know, he said to you, you’re a failure. You will not amount to anything. Can’t you just do anything right and you have this belief or this idea about yourself that you are not good enough. There are times where you’ve said that to yourself, why am I here? What purpose do I have? Does anyone actually really care? Why am I here? Does anybody really know who I am? Does someone really care about who I am? But now I’ve got good news for you because David later on in his life wrote a song and this is a beautiful song. Verse one of Psalm 139 says this:
You have searched me Lord and you know me Psalm 139 NIV
Don’t just jump to the next verse, just wait for a moment, just think about what David just said. He says you searched me. It doesn’t say well, my dad searched me, my mum searched me. It’s not like my brother searched me and also it wasn’t like he was lost. The Scripture doesn’t say God you searched for me. No, no, he wasn’t lost. God didn’t have a search party going on, no, no. It says you have searched me and that searching means when someone goes digging for gold. It’s digging deep into the ground. It’s like someone that goes and explores the land, not just to quickly have a look around, but it’s exploring the land to see the beauty of it, to see what’s really in there. It’s almost like that searching means like when you search a legal case. You’re really looking in to it properly. And that’s how God searched David’s heart. And the beautiful thing is that He says you have searched me. So many times, we want people to approve of us and so many times we want our bosses and our family members or friends to like us. But David says no, you have searched me Lord and you know me. The beautiful thing about this song is that it’s a declaration that David made, he writes the Psalm and he’s making a declaration of how God has formed him. How God has made him on purpose, for a purpose, he’s not a mistake, God knows him by name. And what’s even greater than that, I believe, is that it’s not a declaration of David saying that God how much you know me, it’s actually a declaration of God to you and to me saying I have searched you and I know you. I know when you sit when you stand, I know when you were formed in your mother’s womb, I created you on purpose, for a purpose. What I want to do right now is to take the rest of that song and I want to read it to you. It’s not too long, so hang in there, but it’s a beautiful song and I want you to listen to this, verse one:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand –
when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:1-18 NIV
I’m going to stop there. But I want that to sink in for a moment and I want you to know this this morning that God knows you. God knows your name. God knows your past. He knows your present and He knows your future. The beautiful thing about God is that he sent Jesus Christ. His one and only Son to die for your sins on the cross. So perhaps you’re sitting here saying Erold I don’t want people to know me. In fact, I don’t want God to know me. I don’t think if He had to search me, I don’t think He would like what he sees.
Well can I say this, whatever is hidden in your heart, Christ has died for your sins already. It has been paid for you are forgiven. All you need to do is say Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and my Saviour. I believe that you are the Son of God and today I invite you into my heart. I want to give you that opportunity right now to do that. Perhaps you’re that person right now, you’ve never done that and you’ve gone to church all your life. Perhaps you’ve never gone to church, this is the first time you’ve actually joined online church, God loves you, make a decision right now to say yes to Jesus. Be my Lord, be my Saviour. Thank you that you know me. Lord Thank you that you understand me Lord and thank you for the plans that You’ve got for me. And may we all, including me, may we find our purpose and our identity and our value not in what we do, not in who we are, not in what we own or who we know, but we may we find our value and our purpose in this fact that God knows us. God knows you.
God knows you. What I would like you to do this week, take Psalm 139 and set a time, and set a place and meet with God and let Him speak to you. He can’t wait to speak to you. Have a great week. God bless you.