Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What If I Don't Want God to Know Me? Part 3

If you're just getting to my blog this week, what have you been doing with your time? Working? I'll let it slide, but you can find part 1 and part 2 if you want to catch up. 
The long view goes something like this;
We want to be known. But does familiarity have its limits? Our knowledge of good and evil means, of course, that we have knowledge of evil. We’re very capable of anger, selfishness, lust. So, deep down, do we really want to be known for what we truly are, with our hidden flaws and our secret sins? Of course, the people who know our dark sides and flaws and STILL love us are the ones we’re most comfortable with.  While we come to know God a little bit at a  time—through His Spirit, His Word, circumstances—God has always fully known us,  and He still loves us. This is something we come to embrace more and more as we collect the scars from battling our knowledge of evil.   
In all honesty, you might simply be asking “…and God still likes me!?” And of course the answer is, yes, He does. Asaph, the writer of Psalm 73, opened the psalm wanting nothing to do with God. He ended the psalm wanting everything to do with God. In fact, after experiencing some distance from God, Asaph expressed that now, “it is good to be near God.” He’s glad to be known.     
Maybe you’ve experienced some distance from God lately and you’ve lost sight of how well God knows you and how much God loves you and how deeply He desires to be with you.
Perhaps you are in need of a time of confession this morning. Asaph does that.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
    and I was all torn up inside.22 I was so foolish and ignorant—    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
This is the spiritual equivalent of looking back at old photos of yourself. Have you ever done that? A fun thing to do is go back and look at old church picture directories. Because why just make fun of yourself when you can have a good laugh at all of us from 10, 20, 30 years ago.
At the time, we look in a mirror and we say to ourselves that what we see is good. But looking back, we often wonder what we were thinking. (Maybe collars were never supposed to be that big.) Looking back we realize. (Maybe hair was never supposed to be that big either.) 
This is what Asaph is realizing about himself. Some of us need to do the same. We need to understand the sin in our lives. We need to confess where we are weak. Like the old family reunion photo, we need to admit we were deluded. Unlike the old photos, it’s no laughing matter.
Embracing the God’s-eye view of ourselves can be scary, if we only embrace half of the truth. It’s like accepting Jesus as your Savior but refusing to serve Him as your Lord. It’s thanking Jesus for the blessings but rejecting the responsibilities that go with such a gift.
How did Asaph continue after his confession? 
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
Who else do I have? Accept God is our only alternative (Psalm 73:25). This is why we accept the gift of God with humility and a joyful heart. Look around! If there is a better option out there, I’d love to hear about it. But understand this – this gift of God is more than just the better option. It’s the only option that offers life. Someone in this very church mentioned to me that they liked to have a plan B. I think many of us are like that. But there is no plan B when it comes to finding someone to place our ultimate trust and hope in.

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