“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you...’”
Matthew 7:21-23 NASB1995
This has to be one of the most sobering warnings in the whole Bible. As I considered it, it struck me afresh how in the last day, the question is not, “Do I know God?” but rather “Does He know me?” That’s what Jesus says to those who worked miracles in His name, as He sends them out of His presence forever:
“You may think you knew Me. But I didn’t really know you.”
Doesn't God Already Know Me?
In a way, it seems impossible for God to say He doesn’t know us. Psalm 139 is a precious reminder of how intimately acquainted the Lord is with all of our lives:
“LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all...
“For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
Psalms 139:1-4, 13-16 NASB1995
We should absolutely treasure God’s intimate familiarity with us, His careful planning of our lives. We should take comfort in God’s intimate acquaintance. Which begs the question: What could it mean, that this Jesus Who knows me so well, never really knew me? If I know Him, and He knows all the details of my life, what more is there?
Does What God Knows Make Him Happy?
I caught just a little glimpse of the answer in the same psalm that details God’s intimate knowledge. The same psalm that starts with, “You have searched me and known me....” and goes on to describe that searching in fine detail, ends with a surprising request:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NASB1995
“I thought He already had searched you and known you, psalmist? Isn’t that what you said through your whole song?”
“Yes, but it’s not enough. I want God to keep searching and knowing me! I don’t want Him to stop at knowing the details of my life; I want Him to show me my sin, and to show me the path out of sin, and into victory!” Why? Because I want to please Him!
I was blessed by how the last verse spoke to me: “I want You to know me more, God! You’ve searched out so many details, but it’s not enough! If there’s anything in me which makes You sad, please show me! Don’t hold back.
I don’t simply want You to know about me; I want you to be happy with me. I want You to lead me to become someone with whom You are pleased to associate, with whom You’re pleased to dwell, with whom You can fellowship freely, because I’m not holding onto anything that You point out.”
This was the way that God the Father knew Jesus, His Son—“and a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased’” (Mark 1:11)—He was happy with Him.
And that’s the lifelong ambition of any true disciple: “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).
What I took from this is that someone whom the Lord knows in the final day is someone who has given Him free reign over all their life. Free entrance into any room. Freedom to point out any detail. And no matter how much the Lord has shown, or how much He knows already, there’s a longing in that heart for greater welcome of the Heavenly Guest, greater entrance of His Perfect Presence, greater enjoyment of His nearness.
The one whom Jesus knows in the final day is the one who spent their life growing in intimacy with Him, never satisfied with any amount of prior experience, inviting Him further and further into every aspect of their life, eager for Him to be pleased.
The one whom Jesus knows in the final day is the one whose every little life-detail makes the Lord happy.