God Knows Your Name But Do You Know Your Neighbour’s Name?

We rejoice that Our Father knows our name and is active in our lives. But how well do we follow his lead? Do we know our neighbours? Do we even see them?

God knows you; he knows your name; he knows you better than you know yourself. He pays attention; he notices things. God’s not just making a list of all the areas of your life that need fixing though! He’s genuinely interested in your thoughts, your desires, and your dreams. By a single glance, your Heavenly Father knows when you are having a rough day and when you need a word of encouragement. If you are brave enough and you ask, he will show you your heart and its hidden motivations. He doesn’t reveal these things to shame you or condemn you.

God speaks his truth into our hearts. He’s not afraid to praise us and rejoice over our victories and our accomplishments. He’s there to help us walk through those scary corridors of our hearts we’d rather not walk through. As we walk through those areas with him, we find they are not so scary, after all. His light defeats all the monsters under our beds.

If you struggle with the lie that God is not personally interested in you, I encourage you to read Psalm 139 as a prayer. Pray it every day until its truth sinks deep into your heart. It would be helpful to read it out loud. Read it in your favourite version. However, I appreciate The Passion Translation’s approach. It echoes my heart.

Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18, 23-24 (TPT)
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.

13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvellously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,
carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something.
You saw who you created me to be before I became me
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book
Every single moment you are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more
than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.
Examine me through and through;
find out everything that may be hidden within me.
Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
the path that brings me back to you.

If we as Christians call ourselves God’s children, we should take after him. Others should recognise the family resemblance. We are not all unknowing, and we can’t be everywhere at once. However, we can sharpen our observation skills by becoming less’ me-focused’ and more’ others-focused.’

How well do we take notice of those around us? Are we paying attention? Do we really ‘see’ those that pass along the periphery of our lives each day? Do we honestly see that person who is always at our bus stop every morning? Or, are we so preoccupied with planning our day that we barely acknowledge their presence? Do we focus more on that anticipated first sip from the coffee cup the barista hands us or do we focus on the barista herself?

I found this nugget decades ago, written by an unknown author.

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

 Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello’.” 

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Personal Application

If you were that student, how well would you answer the professor’s question on that test?

Ask the Lord to help you be more attentive to the world around you. Go on a scavenger hunt with him; you’ll be amazed at the treasures he unearths for you!

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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.

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Until Next Week,

©2019 Katherine Walden

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