Ps. 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Hear the passion in David’s words as he calls out to God with amazement that God’s thoughts are toward his children. Did David ponder these words as he sat beneath the stars with his contented sheep resting in peaceful sleep? Or perhaps he has just come in from a victory in the battlefield; or is he sitting down to lunch with his family when a sweep of emotion comes over him. At another time the same rush of emotion comes to him and he puts words to the wonder that God is deeply involved in the lives of his people. “The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works” (Ps. 33:13-15). The passion mounts in Ps. 139:2-6.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. . . . How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Lord, this knowledge is just too much! Who would believe it!
Job expresses the same realization of God’s thoughts toward him, “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings” (Job 31:4: 34:21).
The wisest of all men, King Solomon, also declares that God sees and knows the ways of all men. “For,” he says, “the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings” (Prov. 5:21).
Jesus confirms the same assurance in Matt. 10:20 when he says, “the very hairs of your head are numbered!” (As an aside, let this writer say that Jesus may have been giving a little insight into our modern scientific study of deoxyribonucleic acid -DNA. Wouldn’t DNA determine the amount of hair one has? Amazing, amazing!)
In the fourth century, St. Augustine (354-430) stated, “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”
Sir Frances Bacon (1561-1626) seems to agree with the writer of II Chron.16:9, who speaks of the eyes of the Lord roaming to and fro over all the earth, when he states, “We cannot too often think that there is a never sleeping eye that reads the heart, and registers our thoughts.”
Contemporary writers also agree that God desires a personal relationship with man.
I am here because God put me here. And God’s intention for me is that I should come to know Him who made me and is the author of everlasting life. God wants me to be restored to fellowship with Him and to live forever. He wants me to recover the Paradise that Adam and Eve lost. He wants me to worship and to adore Him. He wants me to enjoy my Creator forever.
Roger Palms is quoted as saying, “God wants you near him and wants lovingly to guide your life. There is still that one clear certainty in an age when nothing else is certain at all: God wants you to be his friend. He wants to give you the pleasure of his company.” Cynthia Heald, the author of Intimacy with God, states, “God is our personal creator, and He wants to be our Shepherd who protects and provides for us. He has proclaimed His love for us, and He waits only for our response.”
In the Introduction, Westminister Catechism, developed by British Protestants in 1646 as a spiritual aid to clergymen and children as well, clearly explains why knowing God is life’s most important undertaking: “The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” Perhaps he is leading us to lay aside less important things that take up our time so that we could and would spend that time with Him. Spend time with Him, adore Him, pray to Him, get alone with Him, express your love to Him, glorify Him, and let Him be God, the Father, to you. He will love you, sustain you, bless you, heal you, lead you, protect you, guide you, help you, encourage you, provide for you, restore you, and take care of you as His child forever.
We can only glorify and enjoy God in the dimensions in which we know Him. The person who knows God as Creator of all nature, can glorify Him and enjoy His creation, but have no concept of a personal Holy Spirit who abides with him and desires to communicate with him as a friend and guide. In reference to Hosea 4:6, Nathan Stone writes, “It is for a lack of knowledge of God that the prophet Hosea informs his people they are destroyed. And it is from the lack of knowledge of God that many are without spiritual power or life.”
A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), a pastor and writer, made the following statement in his book, The Pursuit of God.
I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.
Tozer sorrows that so many Christians are content with “accepting” Christ without any further pursuit to know Him.
Tim A. Dearborn relates the following vignette in his article called Life’s Basic Questions. The situation developed while Mr. Dearborn was in a hospital, as he “lay on the brink of death, confronted with his own mortality and after having heard a knock at the door.”
Moments later there was another knock, and I called out again, “Come in.”
I heard within me a gentle voice saying, “Tim, let Me in,” and I felt the presence of the Lord Jesus. For some reason the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism came to mind: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
Now when I think of it, it seems to be an amazing notion. God created us to enjoy Him! We bring God glory as we live faithfully, obediently and joyously with Him. That’s why we’re here, and it’s a big enough reason to sustain us through any situation.
Yes, God knows the very thoughts and intents of our heart. He longs to hold us close, as Jesus expressed in the analogy of a hen and chickens (Matt. 23:37), “how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Hear the voice of God as he appeals to His children to draw closer! Draw close enough to hear the beat of His heart, to feel the heat of his love, to smell the aroma of his presence and to touch the breast that breathes life anew.