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I must say one more thing about the joy of being known by God. There is no doubt in my mind that the idea of being known by God is a precursor to a lot of things that make our walk with God worthwhile. Even as we strive daily to know God a little better, we find, as J.J Packer said in his book “Knowing God”, that what matters most is not the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it, the fact that He knows me.” As important as it is that we know God, we find that on this side of eternity we can only know in part. Our hope, always, is in what Apostle Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known”. The time comes when we will know even as we have been fully known. This tells me that it is important that God knows me, and also that the day will come when I will know more than I do now.
As much as we try, our identities are not clear to us. We think we know who we are, but again, we only know in part. Let us take the example of Simon Peter the first time he met with our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:42), He told Simon Peter, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas”. Obviously, the Lord Jesus already knew him inside and out. He knew his complete identity. What the Lord knew about him is completely different from what he thought he knew about himself. Recall when the Jesus asked Simon Peter to cast his net in a certain direction and he ended up catching so much fish after initially arguing with Him. Subsequently Simon Peter knelt down and proclaimed to the lord that he is but only a sinner. That was what he knew about himself, that he was a sinner. But the Lord Jesus knew so much more about him that he never knew. Jesus called him the rock, and that was exactly what he became.
As Simon Peter continued to grow in faith, the vestiges of his past still did not allow him to express his faith the way someone who is supposed to be a rock should. When Jesus Christ asked him to walk on water, he did momentarily (Matthew 14:29-30), but when the wind started blowing his faith was not as stable as a rock was supposed to be. When trials came for our Lord, Peter still managed to deny Him, as the Lord had already prophesied. All of these did not mean he was not the rock that our Lord Jesus Christ knew him to be; they were all part of the design of God in getting him prepared to play his role as the rock of faith. That was his identity, Peter the rock, the one on whom the followers of our Lord had to depend. All the events that occurred later proved this to be so. One can argue that the event led to his knowing God much better.
In 1 Corinthians 8:2-3, Apostle Paul says “Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.” Meaning we do not quite know what we think we know. However, anyone that loves God is known by God. So, while we may not yet know why we are here, and we may not yet know who we are, or quite well who we serve, as long as we continue to love God, we are known by Him. The time will come when we shall know fully, even as we have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). So, here I see a nexus between knowing and being known. It seems to me here, that knowing comes from being known, and being known emanates from loving God which comes from a relationship with Him.
Being known by God leads to knowing Him. Being known by God leads to me knowing who I am and why I am here. Being known by God transforms me. All these can happen only when we have a symbiotic relationship with God and give ourselves completely to a real relationship with Him in word and in deed. Knowing and being known transforms us to who we ought to be. As Apostle Paul mentioned in Galatians 4:9, “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” Anyone who knows God or is known by Him is a new being and cannot go back to old rejected ways. My prayer is that God will help us to love Him the best way we can. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya