The Grace of Attunement: You Know Me . . .

3

Psalm 139:1–6 (NIV)

You have searched me, Lord,
   and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
   you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.

CONSIDER THIS

I have been aware of Psalm 139 for many years now, admiring the extravagant way it describes the nature of our relationship with God and of his exquisite understanding and care of those who bear his image. Despite my awareness, I have never paid it that much attention. (See what I just did there?!) In the past four months the Holy Spirit has shifted my awareness of this magisterial text into a focused and sustained attention. For the past six months, I have begun my day listening to the text read on my phone via the YouVersion Bible App. I invited a couple of anchor buddies to join with me in this text.1 We have been ruminating and rememberizing it together bit by bit. 

I don’t know why I am surprised, but the Spirit is sub-soiling the field of my life with this text. I marvel at David’s awareness of the Lord’s awareness of him. 

You have searched me, Lord,
   and you know me.

This is a declaration not only of fact but of truth.

You know me

These three simple words hiding in plain sight on the page, given audible voice, have a way of creating the very reality they declare. Think of close family and friends and the way they “know” you. This is the essence of attunement. 

You know me. 

Try speaking it aloud now. Repeat it until you are aware of hearing the words. Continue until your awareness becomes attention to the One whom you address as You. And then persist until you have owned that the “me” in the text has become the small y you who is speaking. 

You know me. 

This is the Holy Spirit’s gift to us, making us aware of and attentive to the intimate awareness and attention of the Lord to us. Watch now how this shifts into the depths of the Lord’s comprehensive attunement to us. 

You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
   you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.

This is not spiritual hyperbole. The God of heaven and earth knows every single one of his image bearers with this level of attentive depth and loving care. This is utterly incredible. Many of us have a hard time fathoming this, much less believing it. It is why texts like this invite us to enter them like cathedrals of revelation where we stand in awe and amazement; never to depart. This is exactly what David says:

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.

Wake up, sleeper! There is only one way to become attuned to the God of heaven and earth, it is to realize just how deeply attuned he already is to us. 

THE PRAYER

Farmer Father God, thank you for Jesus, and for the gift of your Spirit, who miraculously knows each one of us intimately. Bring us into deep attunement with these three words, “You know me.” Awaken us to the depths of the certainty of this fact. You know me. I still struggle to fathom it. Grace me with an awareness that transcends both my thinking and my feeling. I love you, Lord, and I am in awe of your love for me. Praying in the name of Jesus, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Do you believe Psalm 139:1–6? Really believe it? Have you spent much time deeply ruminating on this text and the reality it reveals to us? Will you now? Pray for the grace of knowing beyond mere knowledge. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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NOTES FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

  1. Earlier this year I wrote about the concept of an “Anchor Buddy.” It is a person with whom you spend an extended season reading, ruminating, rememberizing, researching, and rehearsing a particular text from Scripture. With Psalm 139, we will break out a portion of the text week by week and focus there. We will text the bits of the segment back and forth throughout the day. The Holy Spirit bonds us together in the Word of the Lord. Scripture was meant to be read together; to be enjoyed, delighted in as it is shared. 
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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I know that
    God knows me
    And focuses
    On me with
    Attentive awareness
    There’s nothing
    I can hide
    From Him.
    Even if I tried
    Everything’s out
    In the open.
    He even knows
    My secret pride.
    Nothing can be denied.
    He knows what I decide
    Before I choose it.
    He knows my every stride
    Before I take it.
    He knows when I’ve cried
    Before a tear falls.
    He knows where I reside
    Even when I conceal it.
    He knows when
    I’m not on His side,
    Yet He abides
    Ever by my side.
    Even when I refuse
    To confide,
    He knows the
    Self-embraced lies
    That I’ve hidden
    Deep inside.
    No matter how low
    That I slide,
    He knows
    And cares
    And calls me
    To come to Him
    As His bride.
    O, how deep and wide
    Is His love for me.

  2. Luke 12:7
    “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

    God is all about the details. We see the statue of David as a finished work. Michelangelo saw the finished work before he began chipping away at the excess. God sees us as His finished work. And He is always chipping ways the excess to achieve the masterpiece that is us.

    Ephesians 2:10
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
    Learning to become like the One
    PS.
    The Kairos prison weekend was awesome! Lives were changed! Praise be to God! Thanks for all of the prayers!

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