Knowing the heartbeat of God for you Part 6
Do you know that God has seen you your entire life?
The Lord gave me this message: 5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
You had heard me share many times from one of my favorite scripture passages Psalm 139:1-18that God knows the number of hairs on our heads, he sees and hears everything we do and say, he knows that day he choose us to be born and the day he has chosen for us to go be with Him. He is always thinking about us…Reread it if you have forgotten…
Today I want us to look at a passage of scripture that is not so common but is important for us to understand God’s heartbeat for us.
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown. 45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
Philip and Nathanael were both friends of Peter and Andrew. All four men were seekers of the truth…they either learned of Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks from their teachings in the synagogue or John the Baptist, but all were expecting the Messiah….Nathanael was meditating under a fig tree something that deep thinkers were known to do in Israel at this time.
He probably saw his Dad doing this, his uncles, the other men in the village it was something that was a tradition, a common element of life growing up
I heard a country singer, I don’t know the singer nor the song but he was singing about being a little by and remembering growing up on Grandma’s front porch. It was a tradition for him, a common element of his life growing up
What are some of your memories that are etched into your mind either good or bad growing up?
As I was thinking about the country western singers story I was thinking how different life is for people…one of the reasons for the intense differences in this nation is our experiences is or as psychologist put it our frame of reference growing up
A child raised in the suburbs even in a wealthy family but whose parents are never home will have one frame of reference one outlook on life that will be different from sitting on Grandma’s porch
A child raised in the inner-city without a Dad and violence all around will have a different frame of reference than either of these two.
A child raised in a home where they are brought to church and the parents are holy and religious there but at home there is swearing, negativity, criticism, judgmentalism and a lack of godly living. This will give a child another frame of reference, this is the main reason children don’t walk with Christ after high school.
A child raised in a Christian home where the parents aren’t perfect but are trying to do their best. The child sees Christ at the center of every decision and the way they are treated by their parents or parent. They have a different frame of reference than all the others
These things are at the root of our cultures arrogance, fear, anger, need for entitlement.
Nathanael being raised in his environment set him up to be a man of pure heart, seeking the Christ, thinking about scripture always as Jesus reference a verse or two later about angels ascending and descending into heaven, these must have been Nathanael’s thoughts
Jesus saw his integrity and called him to follow!
In our culture, it is quite easy to use our parents, our environment, the lack of love, the way we were raised to be a crutch for our present failure, fears, bad attitudes, anxiety, limitations and I get all of that
I understand how being raised in a neglected environment, how feeling like you are always at the short end of the stick, how you were not loved as you believe you should how others were privileged in the way they were raised and you were not would be an easy thing to blame for your present condition.
I also know the enemy would like you to live there and repeat the same disastrous patterns and continue the limitations to the next generation and the next!
Jesus saw exactly where Nathanael was…we also read today that God knew Jeremiah while he was being formed in his mother’s womb!
Do you think God knows the good, the bad and the ugly about your childhood?
Jesus said this in John 10:14
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,”
He knows his own this phrase stress his intimacy in knowing us as is different from those who have rejected him and that he in his knowledge of us has complete oversight over our lives from beginning to end
Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 8:3
“But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”
And 1 Peter 1:1,2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Both of these verses tell us that God saw us, as he saw Nathanael, He saw all of our lives all we have gone through.
Some in this room were raised in horrible conditions, abuse, neglect, molestation, rejection and patterns of destruction…yes I know you don’t think so but we have those in the church who look and act perfect because God has now made them this way because they choose to trust God over their pain and put Him first in all things.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
What does this mean for us today?
I want you to think about how things in your life have molded you and shaped you for both good and evil.
How growing up caused you to learn to dislike people because of the color of their skin, their accent, their financial position, their level of education or any number of things
I want you to think about how events in your life have caused you to fear heights, certain types of people, dogs, rejection, risks.
How certain events in your life have caused you to now feel insecure, fearful, or angry. How you want to judge and reject people before they can do the same to you.
How certain events in your life have caused you to distrust people and or God. How you feel as if God has let you down. How tragedies have caused you to be stuck at that moment and everything in your life revolves around that loss, wound, hurt, rejection, or failure.
God’s heartbeat for you today is that you know that He knows! Remember Psalm 139 1-18? He knows it all, he did not cause it to happen but he knows.
We all have a choice to make, we can continue to allow the tragedy or tragic events of our lives continue to control us or we can realize God knows!
Does that make God out to be some kind of mean unloving Ogre?
No, somewhere along the line, He was able to get through to you to bring you the greatest message of all, the message of hope, joy, love and freedom and you accepted it….
As we grow in Christ there is a process of maturity that is called sanctification and in this we are taught to…
2 Corinthians 10:5
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
This includes the thoughts of our past!
We are not to walk blindly as if nothing has happened but even before you knew the Lord He knew you and saw what was going on…the choice is like Nathanael
Nathanael’s choice was to be arrogant allow his past, his customs, his attitude to control him and he could have gotten stuck on “can anything good come from Nazareth?” but instead he chose to not allow his past, his attitude to dictate his future
Nathanael went on to impact India and Armenia for the Gospel. Millions have been saved because of him because he gave his past to God and allowed him to use it.
Yes, some of your pasts are bad at the least and horribly tragic at the worst but given to God today, he will turn it around to bring life to others
You need to evaluate and ask the Lord if your past is limiting you as a man or woman of God, a parent, a friend and limiting the fulfillment of your destiny
Bring those thoughts from your past into captivity bring them to Christ…allow him to free you from the limitations…His heartbeat for you today is that your frame of reference does not limit you but you use it to bring life and hope to others…but you have to come to freedom before you can use your frame of reference to bring freedom to others
Come today…give your past to the Lord to stop it from limiting you and use it to bring others to freedom