I have had the privilege of visiting some of the greatest places in our county both on foot and by car. I remember one time on a car trip to Southern California that took the wrong exit heading through Sacramento. I was convinced that we had successfully navigated the traffic of a busy complex interchange and were heading the right direction! That was until I saw a sign for Lake Tahoe not Los Angeles. It hit me that I was lost. I was not heading where I thought. This is also a sad truth for many that profess to follow Jesus. They are heading in the opposite direction and don’t have a clue.
The truth is that the lost do not realize that they are lost until they realize it. We all think that we are heading the right way until it becomes obvious that we are off track. It almost always involves information to challenge our ignorance, a sign to Tahoe not LA. I was reminded of this same situation in Moses’ journey with God. Moses as a young and middle-aged man was able to check all the right boxes except for one. He was born into the faith, the people of God, check. He was born into a God honoring family, check. He was raised to know about God by a godly mother, check. He knew that he was different from the other Egyptians in Pharaoh’s court, check.
He was so convinced of his relationship with the Creator that he even stepped in to protect a fellow Israelite from the abuse of the Egyptian, killing the man! He really believed that he was serving God. But the truth is, he was just as spiritually lost as the Egyptian he murdered. I wonder if you may be like this version of Moses. It is easy to know about God and yet not be known by God. It is not a matter that you know God, but that He knows you! I lived the first 18 years of my believing that I was a Christian yet the Lord did not know me. What about you? Could it be that you were born into a “Christian” family? Could it be there was a Godly influence in your life? Could it be you know all the right things to say and how to act in certain contexts? Could it be you are even involved in ministry? Moses would have justified that his protection of the Israelite was doing God’s work, but it was not. Yes, God was going to use him, but not yet. Remember we do not know that we are lost until we see a sign revealing that we are heading in the wrong direction.
It is interesting that the New Testament challenges professing followers of Jesus to “examine yourselves” to make sure that you are in the faith. The challenge is a direct statement. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”(2 Corinthians 13:5) A genuine follower of Jesus is living a transformed life. Let me also point out that just about every Epistle contrasts the characteristics of the life with and without Christ. One side list the actions and attitudes of a person that is not known by Christ, the other side, the attitudes and actions of one who has been transformed through Jesus. So how do you know that Christ knows you?
The second Moses began with the 80 year old’s encounter at the burning bush, a sign. “When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”” (Exodus 3:4) Yes, Moses knew of God. Yes, God had been working in Moses his whole life. Now, Moses would know God. He would go on to be a great man for God, the humblest man on earth, one who talked with God face to face. It was now that God would do His work through this second Moses.
I guess the question that we need to ask ourselves is, “Does God know me?” Does my life reflect my profession? Do I have the assurance that comes through a genuine faith in Christ? It would be a terrible shock to meet the Lord and then learn that He never knew me!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson