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Jesus Knows Your Name

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Jesus Knows Your Name Book Cover

In our culture of social media, Instagram, Facebook, IGTV, and YouTube, we are pressed to believe that if our faith is not celebrity status, it is not really faith. If our faith is not big enough to have followers and likes, then our faith is not enough. If what we do for Jesus isn’t seen on certain platforms, then we need to do more for Jesus. Celebrity status is not the litmus test of a life that loves and knows Jesus. It is not about how much others see of us—it is how much we see of God. Mary is a great example of a life of faith. Before anyone knew her name, Mary knew and saw God.

Mary did not have celebrity status at this point. No one knew Mary, yet Mary knew God. Mary knew God with the depth of her being. She knew God and could say, “Let it be to me according to your word.” She praises God with a song in Luke 1:46–55, proclaiming who he is and what he has done. She sings of his justice, his faithfulness, and his sight of the poor and lowly. She believes and knows that God sees her. God sees Mary, and Mary sees God. No one knew her, but Jesus did.

the gift of quiet

All of this changes very quickly when Jesus is born. King Herod hears the news and wants to find Jesus so he can kill him (Matthew 2:1–18). Mary is now known, and her son is a threat. Can you imagine what it would have been like if others had known Mary’s story at that point? What if they had known of the crazy, miraculous, culturally problematic pregnancy?

Before she and Jesus were known, Mary was given this gift of quiet and a space to deepen in faith. She was given a few months of reflection. A gift before the chaos. In that time she was able to confide in her cousin, lean into her husband, and deepen her praise and wonder of God. That time of anonymity was a gift of space to ponder, to reflect, to praise, and to get ready for what was to come. And what was to come would be widely public and incredibly painful.

unseen

We all feel the pull to be seen. We want others to notice us, our gifts, and what we have to offer. At times this can be a selfish pull, and we need to remain humble through confession. As we confess our sin, whether it is pride, selfishness, greed, or something else, God’s grace and mercies meet us. At other times the pull of being seen can be the longing to live as God has called you to live, to have someone notice your gifts, your mind, your heart, and your service. With so much competition, minimization, and comparison in our worlds, we are left unseen. Living a faithful life following Jesus does not have to be done on a stage or on a platform. Your obedience to him is not a show.

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Daily Question

Like Mary, how might these unseen spaces be a gift? How might this humble space be an opportunity to know God more deeply, to trust, and to be prepared for whatever and wherever God is calling you?

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Comments (14)

It’s hard to take the time to be quiet and listen for God if I’m constantly putting on a show for Him and others. I’m 8 months pregnant and I know that as soon as the baby is born I will either neglect my quiet times or be in a state of constant prayer ("Please let him go to sleep, please help him stop crying, please give me patience," etc). I can use this time of preparation to build up my foundation with God so it’s even more natural to go to Him when I’m spent, instead of pushing that time back, over and over because I’m too tired.

To come to Jesus and lay our hearts and burdens down … allowing him to heal and put ourselves in a place of trust. To deepen our relationship with him.. by taking the next step and surrendering ourselves. Then allow him to do in us what he will…. to place ourselves in a position to receive his calling and walk in it to do his will.

I’ve struggled a lot with seeing the beauty I hold as a Daughter of God lately. I’m in a struggling marriage with two small children and a full-time job and I feel like I have no idea who I am most days. Prior to marriage and kids, I was confident in who I was and whose I was, but in the whirlwind of life I seem to have lost my grip. I’m slowly learning to use the unseen moments and spaces when my husband doesn’t acknowledge my wants/needs as an opportunity to let God’s love and grace fill and heal those broken areas of my heart. I’m retraining myself to place my value is His hands and not my own ambition or what my husband thinks a wife should be/do/say or what friends/family (or even I) believe defines a “good” mother. In the unseen moments of suffering under the weight of all that society tells me I should be, I offer up my anxieties and let God carry them while I just hold my babies or pour myself a glass of wine and run a bath or kiss my husband even when he’s on my nerves. I think Mary had the gift of knowing that God was the center of her life before He physically was and that is a grace I try to imitate daily.

Thinking about Mary’s pregnancy deeply touched my heart because I’m 9 months pregnant and waiting for my babe to arrive at any moment. For a short while, it felt like Coronavirus took over my life; I was concerned about a hazmat-style birth situation. But once I took a step back and surrendered my situation to God, I saw the beauty in being able to stay home and focus on caring for my body and my baby, and I remembered that His will be done. I worry that makes me self-centered, but motherhood seems to be anything but that! My point is that I feel honored to have a situation similar to Mary’s in that we both got some quiet time before the birth of our children. I find strength in knowing that if Mary can birth and raise the son of God, with His divine power, I, too, can raise a child in faith!

It’s an opportunity that God gifts us with to process, slow down, and see His plan in our lives. It allows me time to gain the strength I’m going to need in order to fulfill the mission laid out and planned for me – specifically by God! My purpose, His plan! To be quiet and KNOW that He is God!

This morning before I read this, I listened to Jennie’s podcast on Made For this with Jo Saxton. It was perfect for this lesson today. Thank you for all that you and your team do.

The unseen for me is a gift to strengthen my relationship with him. It’s hard because i’m a "whats next" type of person. once i complete this task, i am ready to move on to the next. once i accomplish this goal i am ready to make another one. Although in this season of life that i am in, i don’t have a next move or another goal right now so it is hard. I feel like i am coasting and i guess this is me recognizing i am in the unseen space right now.

I am so guilty of this. I am going through the Good Gospel, and for so long have studied the Word, and love the Word, but never truly believed it was for me, only everyone else. I am emotional just thinking about it. I want to deeply know how loved I truly am by God, and am learning about how Ive been redeemed from the curse of the Law, and not sentenced to death everyday because of my sin and character defects. I wish my husband was on the same page with me regarding love for God. It makes it more difficult, but I will never stop serving God. I am a hospital worker, and when I get up in the am for work, I watch worship video’s that are so moving. I am being broken, but still have some unforgiveness, and anger towards my husband. I need to let it go, and to have the joy of my God. Please pray for me. It seems I am only truly happy when I am in His presence. Forgive me.

Jewels

Holding you in prayer, dear one. You are on a hard road, but doing the right things by filling yourself with the Word. Jesus’ mighty love will sustain you.
GrammiAnn

You aren’t doing things for others so it is a time to quiet your spirit and walk in community with Jesus. You don’t have to worry about others

I think this Covid-19 SIP scenario is a forced time for the whole world to stop, slow down, look around and focus on that small still voice.

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