The Deep Joy of Being Fully Known by God

A sermon idea based on Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18.

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18 NRSV

[1] O LORD, you have searched me and known me. [2] You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. [3] You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. [4] Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. [5] You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. [6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

[13] For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. [14] I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. [15] My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. [16] Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. [17] How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! [18] I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end— I am still with you.


The relevant topic I would be addressing, based on this text…

God has planted deep within our hearts the desire to be fully known, and God himself meets that need by fully knowing us. This – being fully known – is what real intimacy is all about.


Information about the text that matters to the message…

You are known.

Intimacy is a combination of fully knowing and being fully known. Real intimacy is the result of peeling back all protective layers to reveal the true self to someone else. And we all desperately need intimacy with a few, safe people who can be trusted to handle our story with care.

God meets this need in us by knowing and valuing our stories, our perspectives, and our motives. He knows us with all of our faults and flaws and loves us deeply in spite of them all.

You are formed.

Regardless of your scientific view of how humanity came to be, there is abundant evidence of an intelligent Designer behind our story who knows and loves us. And he carefully knitted you together in the womb, which suggests that he, very intentionally, guided the process of your formation so that you would be the unique you that you are today, with your features, your personality, and even many of your personal quirks.

You can know God deeply as well.

The psalmist meditates on the deep, wonderful journey of coming to know God. Theology isn’t having answers. Theology is the process of discovering God’s true nature, and in an entire lifetime, we will not even scratch the surface of really knowing him.

Intimacy works in two directions. God knows you fully, but he invites you to spend the rest of your life getting to know him, too.


The big call-to-action in the message…

It’s okay that you don’t know everything about God yet. Keep seeking and discovering because that’s what the journey of life is all about – an ever-deepening intimacy with the One who formed you and knows you.

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About the Cover Art: Mural on the wall of the young children’s section of All Saints School. Photo courtesy of Robin Drayton. What will you be when you grow up?, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

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