September 12, 2015
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
The Sixth Day Exercise
Authentic self knowledge and understanding comes from the realization of being known and understood by God. Knowing oneself is a fruit of knowing God and it’s true to say the more one knows God the more one knows oneself. One of the big problems of not knowing God in a personal way is the human propensity toward idolatry. Idolatry essentially means putting something in the place of God. It is worshipping that which is created instead of worshipping the Creator. Many things can attempt to fill the void of a God-less life. All of the substitutes ultimately lead back to the same place: oneself. In the absence of a living and personal relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we invariably become our own god. This leads away from self knowledge and into the slow darkness of self-deception. Instead of self awareness, which is the gift of God, we become self-absorbed which is the curse of sin.
Once we lose sight of the Divine Other, who is God, we lose all capacity to “see” others; or anyone other than ourself. This is the default condition of the human race. The grave tragedy comes in the progressive self deception this condition fosters. We are incapable of knowing that we are self-absorbed because we have lost sight of our true selves and can only see the false self into which we have devolved and to whom we devote all of our energy to keep propped up. It’s living life on a foundation of lies. The hard truth: Unless we are actively growing in a personal relationship with the True God, we are unavoidably becoming something or someone we were never meant to be.
Freedom from the trap of self deception just may begin with Psalm 139:1.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
To know that one is known by God is the beginning of becoming a person who knows God. It is a terrible thing to know you are completely known by God, until until you know you are at the same time completely loved by God.
This is how we move from self absorption to self awareness to self abandonment, which is life lived as a perpetual offering of worship to God, gloriously alive as a living sacrifice. (see Romans 12:1-2) This is the logic of salvation.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
This is the exquisite beauty of Psalm 139. It begins with You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. And it ends with, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I can’t think of a better invitation to do the Sixth Day Exercise this week.
In case you are new to the Sixth Day Exercise. In case you are just joining us, each week we share in an exercise called “The Sixth Day Exercise.” As Genesis 1 has it, God created human beings in his own image on the sixth day. Genesis 3 shows us the desecration of the image of God in our race which has only compounded itself across the centuries. It’s why the Image Bearer himself, Jesus Christ, came. His life, death, resurrection and ascension reversed the curse of sin and death and created a pathway whereby our broken race could be made gloriously whole again; restored to the Creator’s intent. Paul put it this way:
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22.
Given we were made on the Sixth Day, it makes sense that we might stop and assess how it’s going on the long journey of being “remade” on each successive sixth day.
You can now listen to the Daily Text read aloud by J. D. Walt.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.