“I know you… but from where, and who are you?” Those were my thoughts as I sat waiting for some friends to join us for coffee and fellowship in December. I listened and responded to the questions and interacted as best I could. I came to realize that he knew us well. Questions were asked concerning our family. In my mind I was seeking to process in a manner that would allow me to ask intelligent questions concerning his family. The conversation continued for at least five minutes. I began to think that he thought I knew him even though I never once used his name. It was because I listened and reflected on his interest.
Later in the day, his name and identity came to us, and then I thought of so many things we could have discussed. Our friend knew us, and it reminded me in a small way how God knows us. Since that conversation, I have reflected on many things I could have said and done to open the door for us to truly connect.
This event brought Psalm 139 to mind. We see in this life a God who knows us even before our birth. Not only does he have his eye on us, but there are many truths in his Word that remind us of the great lengths to which he goes to know us. In that process, it seems to me that God is calling us to pay attention to the Scripture so that our relationship with him will deepen and become more intimate.
We often neglect to acknowledge the characteristics of the omniscient God. From Psalm 139:4, he knows what we say. I am discovering that in tumultuous times I do not know what to say. So, should I not take note and seek the Lord to guide my words? In the previous verses, he knows where we go. This is good news. At times in my life, I have wondered, “Why am I here?” Then in that moment my all-knowing God has me there for just the right connection. I am awakened to the way he puts us in places to provide for someone who needs a word of hope, a message of comfort or a word that gives direction. HE KNEW!
In these days of confusion and desperation this all-knowing God knows what we need. Think about the words from Psalm 139:5-6. In the New Century Version we read: “You are all around me—in front and in back—and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.” The Scripture reminds us that God protects us from what may come in the future and what has happened in the past.
Thinking on this Psalm, I noted that not only does he know what I say but this omniscient Father knows what I think. Ponder that thought. Does it guide us to acknowledge that we need to bring into subjection even the ideas and words which ought not to be spoken? Get in touch with the truth that we need to have our mind subjected to God’s truth. Paul, writing in Philippians, admonishes us to “let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” When that becomes our pattern, then what we do is more likely to be in harmony with the will of our all-knowing God.
When Christians say God is omniscient, they mean that God knows all things—past, present, and future. God is the source of all knowledge. He knows all the potential words and actions in any situation. God knows every person’s thoughts—even before they think. A.W. Tozer wrote, in The Pursuit of God, “He is omniscient, which means that he knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events.”
As we recognize the omnipotent God, we discover he has power over wind, water, gravity, physics, and all that impacts our lives. God’s power is infinite and limitless. There is a personal side to this. God has changed everything in my life. Because of this we are led to peace. We are able to understand and love. He shows us the way and causes us to be more understanding. As we seek to allow his action upon our lives, we learn forgiveness in ways that bring him glory.
Since he knows all things, remember that he also knows the end. Consider what this means for us.
Take the steps necessary to rest in God’s love. Trust in his care. Live in God’s plan. This means that when we don’t, then what we think and what we do is needless worry. God knows and is working. That provides assurance that everything will be okay. Live in what God has called us to do.
During these recent months, I am learning greater dependence on the heavenly Father. I am devoted to the Scripture and in that journey am learning the value of prayer. I have pondered the prayers in Scripture, listened to the prayers of others and sought out prayers that have been written down.
Pray this prayer, as a way to come into the presence of God:
Dear God, you are the Creator. Your knowledge is infinite, complete, and perfect. You are omniscient. You know everything about me—seen and unseen. You know when I sit and when I rise, you have numbered the hairs of my head. Forgive me for my unspoken thoughts and the things I did that I tried to hide from everyone—they were not hidden from you. Teach me the way that I should go, give me the words to speak, and provide me with understanding beyond my human knowledge and ability. Take care of my loved ones—you see their hearts, you know their every action—nothing is hidden from you. Protect and guide them according to your will. Help me depend on your omniscience rather than my knowledge. May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Rev. Elroy Vesta is Pastor at Liberty Lutheran Brethren Church in Fargo, North Dakota.