I love new beginnings.
I think my heart jumped a little when I woke up and knew it was January first.
A brand new month in a brand new year.
Since I am an avid journaler, I often write down what I’m thinking for the coming year and now that I have a husband to do life with, there have been lots of discussion as far as what we feel God has/wants us to do for the next 12 months.
I think this is all good and right that we do this sort of intensional planning. But I had a deep-in-my-gut feeling when my husband and I were taking time to wait on God recently. It’s not a new thought. In fact, I’ve thought it nearly every new year for a while.
Out of all my fancy plans of things I’d like to do I always go back to this one thing:
Out of everything I ask of Jesus to do this year, my greatest and most treasured desire is to KNOW HIM and be known by him.
I really appreciate all of the Psalms that David wrote. This one particularly:
Psalm 139:1 “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”
Way back then, he knew the importance of knowing God…God said he was a man after his own heart! But he also knew the precious reality that God can know us (and he actually wants to).
Like David, Jesus talked about knowing and being known:
“Not everyone who calls out to me. ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my father in heaven will enter. On judgement day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
I’m not one to usually be so intense about the end of our lives because I certainly think there’s lots of things to do while we’re here! Nevertheless, I think about the end of my life more and more and I think of the moment when I will stand in front of Jesus.
I’ll stand in front of him some day and I want to have already welcomed him in and for him to know me. I want there to be such a familiarity between the two of us because although I have not seen him as I will see him in that moment, I’ve been with him throughout my short time on earth.
So with this on the forefront of my mind, I can’t make miniscule things my goal for the year. I can’t fill a list of things that won’t get done and I’ll only look back on December 31 of this year and have regret.
I need to know him more.
I need him to know me more.
If I need to be reminded about what matters, I sometimes go to this short video.
Once again, intense, I know.
But I’m not sorry.
Our lives scream intense.
Because he’s intense about us.
Oh, how I too often give him so little.
Now for a little story of something that happened this past weekend. But first, I must say: If you do not believe in prophecy, I’m going to be more frank than I usually am and simply say I’m sorry. It’s biblical and right and in 1 Corinthians 13 it says “the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort” and “the one who prophesies edifies the church.” In the same chapter it even goes to say that we’re to “follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
There ya have it.
Now I will get back to my story.
My husband and I were at church this Sunday. A regular Sunday for us. The husband was doing sound and I was busy with Kid’s Church when, in between our two services, this man comes up to me. I realized when he started chatting with me that we had a guest speaker this week and he was the guy! Well, he started by saying, “I felt like God told me…” and needless to say, he read my mail, so to speak.
Every.Single.Thing. this guy said was exactly what my husband and I had been chatting about this new year and he even touched on quiet, whispered prayers that were in my heart. You know those ones? The things that really only you and God are working out. Things the husband knows in part, but God knows in depth. He said straight to my face those things. One thing he said was:
“God wants you to know he knows you. Really knows you. And he is pleased.”
And in that moment I am a puddle.
Oh, to be known by God!
The best way I know how to describe this knowing and being known thing is marriage.
My husband and I are coming up on one year of marriage soon. One thing that’s so precious to me about marriage is that I have this other human being that knows me. The good parts of me, the bad parts of me – he knows. He’s around me when I’m kind and he’s around me when I want to scream. He knows the Brittany that thinks of fun, creative things and he knows the Brittany that has said, “I’m beyond tired, don’t talk to me.” He’s seen me sweet and he’s seen me sour. We’ve had such hilarious moments in this one year of marriage – we’ve laughed A LOT together. We’ve also had some scary moments. He’s seen me in it all. There’s so much more to learn about each other but so far, it’s been a blast and we each have someone who knows us and it’s quite beautiful.
And to think: God knows me even more.
So what do I do with this?
Well, for me – the reality of being known by God makes me stop praying superficial, ridiculous prayers. It pushes me to TALK to him. Tell him everything. It forces me to stop praying what I think he wants to hear and start letting him in. Let him in on what’s bugging me and what makes me come alive.
Let him in more this year.
If I had only one prayer for 2015, I’d gladly spend it on praying with all my heart:
Know me, God.