The Power of Being Known
Yesterday morning I took my customary dive into the daily paper while eating breakfast. As I reflected on this, I realized that I was unconsciously seeking to learn and understand more about the world. It's a continual thirst in my heart and in yours, this longing to know. During my collegiate years, it surfaced for the first time with feverish intensity. I had so many questions about the meaning of life, the reality of God’s existence, and the quest for happiness. Strolling through the massive library at Duke one day, I concluded that I could find the answers if I read enough of these books. Since those days, my longing to know has never left me, motivating me as a lifelong reader. Perhaps you are not the reading type, but I bet you have longed to know other things, such as how to fix a lawn mower, how to fly fish, how to succeed in your career, or how to understand a woman. Our desire to know is clearly stamped into us by God Himself. We are created in the image of the One who knows. During my years as a schoolteacher, I sought to tap into this desire by creating a climate where students felt motivated to learn. It became critical for their success in the class and their continued love of learning.
I used to think that my longing to know was the most predominant. But now I realize that there is a deeper longing underneath—the desire to be known. It has moved me toward brothers with whom I can connect. It has given me joy in moments of deep conversation with my wife. And any resistance to it has only taken me into darkness and loneliness. For years, I have led small groups of men, helping them to tell their stories, both the wonderful and the ugly. I am always astonished at the transformation they experience. They are moving beyond shame and into their true hearts as men. They are allowing themselves to be known.
This same pattern of knowing and being known also happens in our relationship with God. We long to know and understand Him. This desire first moves us into the faith and then keeps us growing in it through Bible study, prayer, and church life. But there is that deeper thirst underneath again—the desire to be known by Him. We know that God loves everyone through Christ, but what we really want to know is that He loves us individually. We want to know that He knows our name. Paul expressed it this way as he wrote about the life to come: “Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known” (I Cor. 13:12).
What would it be like to live knowing that you are fully known, yet fully loved and enjoyed by Him? To ask the question this way may sound as incredible as proposing that you take a spaceship to Jupiter. But this is the incredible life into which Jesus invites every man. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you have made or how screwed up you think you are. It doesn’t matter little you have felt known and loved. The only thing that matters it the grace Jesus extends to you right here, right now.
He invites you to follow Him and get to know Him. As you do, He will begin to show you that He knows you, loves you, and enjoys you. This is the life I am learning to taste and the heritage of every man who belongs to Christ.
Ask Jesus to help you enter this incredible life.
Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has served as a pastor, and a high school Bible teacher. Presently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries as a speaker, small group coach, and author of Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree and Landmarks: Turning Points on Your Journey Toward God. Bill also serves as content editor for Stand Firm, LifeWay's devotional magazine for men. He and his wife have two grown daughters and reside in Franklin, TN. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillDelvaux.