we are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; [2 corinthians 6:8-9]
one of the hardest things about moving across the country to a new place – is not being known. to not know others is one thing, to be unknown by others, can make you feel very alone, very isolated.
my wife and i moved to the st louis area 23 years ago to plant a church. we knew 5 people when we moved here and we barely knew them at that. they did not know us. it was exciting to move and begin a new gospel work. it was an adventure, full of hope and purpose because God had called us to this work. and yet, it was incredibly isolating at the beginning because no one knew us.
you and i were not created to live this way. we were made for relationship, to know and be known.yet we often find ourselves living a life where we feel unknown. may i encourage you with two things today.
first, you have to purse godly relationships, friendships. they don’t just fall out of the sky. they are not discovered or found. they are made. they take prayer, purpose, and work. you and i need them. God knows this. he provides them, but you must work for them.
second, it is much easier to build relationships where you are risking being known – when you believe you are already fully known and accepted by the Lord. from being known by God, we can pursue knowing and being known by others. without this, many of us will struggle to pursue godly relationships. (why? there is fear in being known.)
in Christ, we are known, fully known and accepted.
he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. [eph 1:4]
now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, [jude 24]
o Lord, you have searched me and known me. [psalm 139:1]
“blameless” – literally. accepted, without fault. in Christ’s work, (our faith in his work not ours) we are blameless. he makes us and keeps us blameless and finds great joy in this. we have his record, his life, his holiness. this means God knows you fully and accepts you! it is no small thing. you are known! you are known – loved, desired, and accepted and all because of Jesus. from this truth, this love, this reality, we can pursue being known. we can pursue others. we can pursue life knowing whether we are accepted or rejected, our Creator knows us, is for us, and is with us!
today Lord, anchor us deeper into this truth – in Christ i am fully known and fully accepted. in Christ, you are with me and for me. in Christ, i am never alone. in Christ, i can pursue others. In Christ, i was made to be known. in Christ, being known brings glory to the One who fully knows me already. thank you for knowing and loving me – In Christ!
~ john ryan