Knowing vs. Being Known

Steven Curtis Chapman released his album Signs of Life in September of 1996. I was 8 years old and firmly believed that there was no greater Christian song writer or performer than SCC. My family and I went to the Signs of Life tour. While wearing my brand new, black suede SCC baseball cap, I sang along with every song he played.

Even now, I’ve decided to play that album on Spotify to help recreate the memory. The first song? Lord of the Dance. Does it get much better than

I am the heart, I need the heartbeat
I am the eyes, I need the sight
I realize that I am just a body
I need the life
I move my feet, I go through the motions
But who’ll give purpose to chance
I am the dancer
I need the Lord of the dance

I regress.

I was 8 and at the SCC concert with my family. Steven was addressing the crowd and sang a lyric with the word “you” and pointed to the crowd. My mom looked at me excitedly and said, “He pointed at you!”

Even as an 8-year old, I knew that Steven did not point at me. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of us in that arena. And our seats were not near the stage. But I clung to my mom’s words and pretended that he did. I pretended that Steven had seen me and pointed to me specifically. I felt special. I felt known. Even if it was just for pretend.

I was reminded last month by one of our pastor’s sermons that we don’t have to play this pretend game when it comes to our relationship with God. Let’s look at two of the verses he preached on:

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
– Galatians 4:8-9

Paul says, “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God.” Isn’t that odd? Why did he feel the need to correct himself? It’s like he was saying, “Now you know God – well – actually, it’s more like God knows you.” What’s the importance of that distinction?

God is not some celebrity that we sit back and pretend to know. It’s not like my “relationship” with Steven. I’ve followed his career my entire adolescence. I even made friends with a girl who, as it turned out, had attended the same school as his sons and was on a first-name basis with them. Now come on, how cool is that?

I can tell you a good bit about Steven just from my years enjoying his music. Even a little bit about his boys and their music. Earlier this year I read Choosing to See by his wife Mary Beth.

But I cannot honestly make the statement that Steven Curtis Chapman knows me. Not even a little bit. He doesn’t know that I still have his CDs, DVD, book, ball cap, or jacket.

In short, I am not known by Steven Curtis Chapman.

But I am known by God. He’s not a celebrity standing on stage at a distance from me. He’s my heavenly Father who seeks me out. He loved me before I loved Him. He leaves the 99 behind to save me. To bring me back into a right relationship with Him, He sent Jesus. To keep me on track each day, He gave me the Holy Spirit.

My God knows me and He loves me! Hallelujah! It’s a privilege to be able to say that I have come to know Him now as well. Or at least, come to know as much as humanly possible. You, too can say that you are known by God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me on Facebook (Pedestrian God) or Instagram (@R_Adelsberger).

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About the author

Renae Adelsberger
Renae Adelsberger

Renae lives in Jackson, Tennessee with her husband Kevin. She works in insurance and teaches middle school girls Sunday school. She has a desire to see young women grow in Christ, she writes and speaks to that end.

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