READ: Ezra 1-3, Psalm 139, Luke 6, 2 Peter 1
Social media reveals both too much and too little. On the one hand every banality is self-disclosed to a voyeuristic world; on the other who we really are is buried below layers of self-absorption. Psalm 139 unveils the joys of being fully known. God has searched and known us (v.1). He knows when we sit up, get up, and what we think (v.2). He knows where we go and when we lay down, and He knows all our ways (v.3). He knows every idle word that has rolled off our tongues (v.4). Most marvelous of all, He has “hedged us in behind and before, and laid [His] hand on us” (v.5). This indeed is too wonderful to believe.
Because we are so intimately known by God, we don’t have to be known by others. Much of the frenzy of modern self-disclosure stems from the insecurity of being anonymous. Our culture makes much of those who make much of themselves. When no one is exalting us, we feel driven to self-promotion. We may guise it in terms of family activities or hobbies or humor, but what we are actually doing is crying: “See me! Know me! I am of worth, too! I have something to contribute!” These all are pathetic cries to be known, unnecessary if we are secure in being known by Jesus. When we comprehend that Jesus knows us intimately and loves us deeply–despite what He knows–it alleviates any need to be known by others.
Because we are so intimately known by God, we don’t have to have any secrets. There is a fine pivot point here. To not have any secrets does not mean the constant self-revelation of banalities. It does mean that in relationship with God and others, we have nothing to hide. We have no skeletons in the closet, we have no lies to lie about, we have nothing false or shameful that we scurry to keep concealed. To be secret-less is to have liberty of always being at peace, never guarded that someone will find out a negative about you. God knows it all. You have brought everything into His light, you are impervious to scorn or blame. This is the secret of a powerful life.
Because we are hedged in, we are free. Our protection stems from God knowing everything about us. Most humans resent the boundaries of God, fearing that restraint removes freedom. The opposite is actually true. Only those who embrace the limits of God have rest, joy, and freedom. To have no boundaries is to be in the prison of insecurity and doubt. When God hedges us in from behind we have the assurance that we will not falter, fail, or return to our vomit. When God hedges us in before, we have the assurance we will not get outside of His will or pleasure. We can run, abandoned and protected. There are no cliffs to fall off.
How marvelous it is to be completely known and completely surrounded by God. This is what it means to be free.