Francesca Battistelli sings,
“I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes. Make no mistake. He knows my name. I’m not living for applause I’m already so adored. It’s all His stage. He knows my name. ” (He Knows My Name, Album: If We’re Honest)
The first time I heard this song, tears blurred my vision as I heard truth spoken over me. So often we think that in order to be respected, appreciated, applauded, and simply seen by the world around us, we need to do something big to showcase a life full of accolades and large paychecks. We need to live a life that begs the spotlight to shine on our successes and build a story to define our worth.
Our worth, our true worth, has nothing to do with money, prestige, or the limelight. God says we are precious to Him (Isaiah 43:4). God says He chose us (Eph. 1:4). God says He delights in us (Psalm 18:19). God says He sees us.
Psalm 139 (NLT)
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Truth: I am seen
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “. . . For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7, ESV).
Here’s the background to this verse:
The Lord had already chosen the next king to succeed Saul and gave the prophet Samuel his marching orders: “Fill your horn with oil and go anoint the king I show you. The next king is one of Jesse the Bethlehemite’s sons (Paraphrased, 1 Sam. 16:1, 3). When Samuel saw one of Jesse’s sons, Eliab, he looked at his appearance and assumed this was the next, future king. Then the Lord spoke the words found in 1 Sam. 16:7, ESV:
“. . . For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Jesse continued to bring his sons in front of Samuel, one after the next.
And the Lord was quiet.
After the seventh (and what appeared to be the final) son had been presented before Samuel, he asked, “Are all your sons here?” (Paraphrased, 1 Sam. 16:11). Samuel knew that the Lord had a king from Jesse’s family picked, however, God had not confirmed any of them.
Jesse replied, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” (1 Sam. 16:11, ESV)
“Bring him to me,” replied Samuel (Paraphrased, 1 Sam. 16:11).
When David appeared, the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” (1 Sam. 16:13, ESV).
David was a simple young man. He was the youngest in his family. He was seen as insignificant. But in God’s eyes, he was so much more. He was truly seen. David is remembered as a man after God’s heart. Samuel revealed this to Saul, the king prior to David, “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people.” (1 Sam. 13:14, ESV).
The world sees what we put out for them to see and nothing more. Facebook gives us a glimpse at our friends’ lives, successes, and comings and goings, and most of it is glamorous and awesome. However, all of these things are surface layer only. God sees the most important part of us: He sees our hearts: Our rawness, our intentions, our longings, our disappointments, our struggles, our core. And that is what He is concerned about.
May we remember today, in this moment, that we are seen by our Creator. He looks beyond our physical attributes, birth order, qualifications, and resume of past accomplishments, and instead, looks upon our hearts, searching to find those who are committed to loving Him and bringing Him glory in the quiet, mundaneness of life as well as in the very public, very loud spotlights of life. You are seen by Him and loved by Him, sweet sister. Whatever place in life He’s allowed you to be, whether a life of spotlight, fame, and riches, or a quiet, unexciting, unvalued life (like that of a shepherd), may your heart be like David’s: A heart that is in awe of Him!
Psalm 8 (NLT)
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,[b]
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?[c]
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!