O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:1–3, 23–24).
The desire to be known — fully, thoroughly, completely known — is woven deeply into the human heart. It is the universal craving of men and women everywhere that someone — not just anyone, but still someone — would be able to look past the masks, past the protective layers of superficiality, past the feigned perfection, and really, truly see us, see *me* for who I really am. We all long to be known.
This kind of disclosure, though, is incredibly dangerous, especially as sinful people. To be known is to open ourselves up to the most intense scrutiny, rejection, and judgment. After all, we’re not even happy with ourselves — many of us may even hate ourselves — so why should we expect others to respond differently?
God Knows All About You
You have never been known and you never will be known like God knows you. David writes, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” (Psalm 139:1). God knows where you are every minute of every day (Psalm 139:2). He evens knows what you think — every single thought that crosses your mind (Psalm 139:2). He knows everything you have done, are doing, and will do (Psalm 139:3), and every word you say, even before it leaves your mouth (Psalm 139:4).
That kind of knowledge is terrifying for a broken, sinful person like you or me. How could anyone love us if they knew all of that about us? Nothing covered. Nothing hidden. Nothing left out. How much more terrifying that the one who knows everything about us is perfectly holy, relentlessly just, and invincibly powerful? There should be nothing more devastating to us than that the living God knows every inch of the depths of our sin — our offensive, pervasive preferring of anything to him.
God Gave All Because He Loves You
But we do not have to be terrified or devastated. Instead of taking all of that incriminating information — every awful piece of evidence against us — and punishing us forever in hell, he took our punishment, stood in our place, and canceled all our debt.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13–14)
Your life, your death, your blood was shed for every moment, every moment.
The God of Psalm 139 — the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), who knew every one of your days before there was one (Psalm 139:16), the God from whom you cannot hide (Psalm 139:7) — he died for you. He himself, as Jesus of Nazareth, entered a human womb, lived in this world, and then died on a cross for you. He authored your story beginning to end, and then he entered it to save you.
God Is All Around You, Now and Forever
And that same Christ now lives in you, by his Spirit, and with you every step of your life. Saint Patrick famously penned this description of Jesus’s all-knowing, all-loving presence with us always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20):
Christ with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down
Christ when I sit down
Christ when I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me
Knowing God knows us this well and loves us this well, we welcome him into our lives, into our hearts and minds, into all of our decision-making. We say with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139: 23–24).
Yes, Lord, lead me on; be my guide. Be my guide.