If we begin to think that nothing is gained from God knowing us, then despair will set in as we compare our lives to those who are clueless when it comes to the ways of God.
In fact, what we often come to believe is that God knowing the real us is a danger. While we may dread the thought of God knowing us, we can usually push those thoughts down. And, as per our normal human response, we turn our attention to those things we do have control over. Perhaps God knows all about me, making me feel vulnerable, but I can make sure that no one else knows about my junk.
So we put on a mask. Much like any superhero or common thief, the mask has one purpose; protect our real identity. The exception to this seems to be Superman, who felt that a pair of glasses would do the trick. (Let me try that. Take off glasses. Do you still recognize me?)
We put on a mask.
We put on a show for the people in our lives. We pretend to be happy, or smart, or confident even though we feel none of those. We act as if we are content, while coveting on the inside. We use words like ‘fine’ and ‘okay’ when we don’t want to be open and honest. We smile to hide our pain. Even amongst our friends and family, we wear a mask.
We have a persona we want to portray. We might even have an admirable person we want to represent to everyone else. Our dilemma is when we value that ideal to a greater degree than the One who can help us to become that person. When we hide our sorrows, we limit the Body of Christ’s ability to offer healing. When we hide our struggles, we limit the potential for growth provided by fellow believers.
All of the sudden, we come to a realization that God knows us and sees all and knows what we’ve been thinking. This is where we realize that all of the stuff we stuff in a closet or shove under our beds to keep hidden from everyone else, God already knows. He sees it and there is absolutely nothing we can do to hide it.
This may have been where Asaph was at when he wrote Psalm 73. He writes that he has been plagued, understanding how God knows him, yet seeing evil people prosper. Just where is the solution? Asaph searches but writes, ‘When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me’ (Psalm 73:16).
The turning point in Asaph’s song is verse 17, when he decides to enter the sanctuary of God. Then his eyes are opened. Then he sees the reality of what is going on, both in this world and the one to come.
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.