Knowing God: Being Known

"There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and I am glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough!)." ~Knowing God, J.I. Packer, p. 42
I've been attempting lately to read more "heavy" Christian literature... the old stuff like Puritans, and the slightly newer but still not hot-off-the-presses stuff like Sproul. I'm taking on Packer's Knowing God now, which it seems like I should have done ages ago.

And it is breaking me. I can feel it just weighing down on me in a glorious way. Revealing just how selfish and wicked I truly am. How much my sinful, egocentric heart would be content to just gleefully skip through life focused on myself and the externals of the Christian woman's life and lot without actually panting after Christ.

He sees every single thing about me whether I knowingly draw near or not. The King of Kings, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Creator of the farthest stars and the fingers I'm now typing with... HE seeks ME out. I am simultaneously humbled by His intentional pursuit of me and shamefully aware of my own lack of true intent and concern for drawing near to Him. How many times do I choose my own strength? My own way? My own "wisdom"?

And how often, when I listen to or read the Word, am I listening for a "rhema" word (a word for ME), asking Him to speak specifically about me and my life, rather than listening for HIM, no matter what it is He says?

"My sheep listen to my voice." ~Jesus


Lord, let me listen. Teach me to listen. Show me how to listen, not merely for the things I want to hear-- but for anything and everything You have to say to me. Teach me to rest and revel in the knowledge that you see everything about me and yet you love me. Don't let me crowd out your all-knowing, all-seeing love with anything else in my life. Sinful though I am, show me how to respond to your pursuit of me, most holy God.

13 comments:

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

"And how often, when I listen to or read the Word, am I listening for a "rhema" word (a word for ME), asking Him to speak specifically about me and my life, rather than listening for HIM, no matter what it is He says?"

Ouch! Thanks Jess, I needed to read this. More importantly, it seems that I need to read my Bible with new eyes.

:..Rebekah..: said...

Jess,
I so desire to be challenged to be more obedient and to always be aware of the condition of my heart. For women who don't have a spiritual mentor or woman that they can walk with in person, you are such a help. Many of us desire mentors and older, wiser women to walk with for encouragement and accountability, but we just don't know how to go about finding them. You aren't older than me, but you have wisdom and biblical understanding that is very evident here, and I feel blessed to come to your blog to be challenged and encouraged.

Tanya said...

Sounds like I need to get my grubby hands on this book. Thanks Jess. I appreciate anything that puts me back in my "rightful" place.....on my face before Jesus.

darci said...

thanks jess! i agree so much with rebekah..finding a 'mentor' in real life is so hard..to be mentored by others we may never meet..it's such a blessing.
What I was reading just this morning-"God's part is always to run after us. Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost...And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing. " The God of all Comfort, hannah whitall smith

(your quote)"The King of Kings, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Creator of the farthest stars and the fingers I'm now typing with... HE seeks ME out. I am simultaneously humbled by His intentional pursuit of me and shamefully aware of my own lack of true intent and concern for drawing near to Him."
how i long to 'pant' after Him, my Father. How often I do search, flipping pages, looking for something to speak to ME, in my current woes. :( oh how great His love is for us, that He continues loving us, seeking us, teaching us.

Natalie said...

Jess,

Thanks for visiting Politics for Moms. I'm sorry that you were thrown off by several of the posts from this week. I was away on vacation and, of all weeks, had very limited internet access. So I asked one of my very faithful readers is do some posting this week since I knew he was an Obama supporter. And yes, he's not a mom.

If you go through P4M's archives, I think you'd find that our coverage of this election has been very objective and informative. I go to great lengths to be impartial and to uphold the main intent of the site: to educate moms (and others) on the political process and news so they can be informed voters.

I hope you'll give us another chance.

Natalie

Tami@ourhouse said...

Hi Jess! Thanks so much for this post. I read this book about 10 years ago- before my life was dramatically changed and challenged (and blessed!) by a husband and four kids.

Sounds like I need to get it off the shelf and reread it. Soon!

Also, thanks for all those old blog design tutorials! So helpful. My blog still isn't what I want it to look like, but I've learned a lot.

wendymom4 said...

Jess, I found your blog recently and have just devoured it. I've appreciated your archived posts on marriage and parenting as much as the recent posts. Thank you so much for sharing! I think we have some of the same tastes when it comes to books--I just finished "The Holiness of God" by Sproul and found myself weeping and worshipping God as I read about the beauty (etc.) of God's holiness. I'm going to put "Knowing God" on my reading schedule for 2009.

The Magnificent Seven said...

I'm reading Young, Restless and Reformed. You would like it too.

Also Good and Angry by Turansky and Miller.... I like it better than Don't Make Me Count to Three.

Hannah (for the rest of us) said...

Amen and amen.

Tonni said...

Thanks for this... I started reading Packer's Pursuit of Holiness, and I got alot out of the first chapter... but then I put it down if favour of other reading... maybe I ought to go pick it up again... Thank you for the encouragement!

Jess said...

Hey Magnificent Seven--

You're right- I DID like Young, Restless and Reformed! I just finished it seriously about 4 days ago. :)

Thanks for the recommendation of Turansky's book. I may check it out while I'm back in the States next week. So far, I really, REALLY like "Don't Make Me Count to Three". It's very biblical and practical.

Word Warrior said...

Jess,

This post really resonates with me...maybe because I just picked up "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer.

I just have to quote a line:

"I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a daily foe of all spiritual growth. Actute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted."

When I read that I just stopped and said, "Ah! Did you hear that?"

Tonni said...

Oh whoops! I got my book and author totally wrong... It's Jerry Bridges Practice of Godliness that I'm reading, not Packer's Pursuit of Holiness (which doesn't exist, as far as I know!)
Guess I'd lose for sure at Theology Author Trivia!
However, you did inspire me to pick it up again and I learned much in only a few pages... so thanks!