Updated: Aug 29, 2022
“And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Exodus 33:17
Notoriety is the hidden trap of man that manipulates the true identity of self. Whether we admit it or not, we all immensely desire to be recognized, admired, and revered. God built us that way! The problem is, that when this validation by others becomes our motivation for existence outside of God, we will always end up feeling insignificant. Our identity should never be found in titles, organizations, or through the approval of others but be found in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament gives us clarity in who determines our importance. Exodus 33:17 tells us, “And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” The prophet Isaiah received this confirmation from the Lord concerning his people in Isaiah Chapter 43, verse 1(ESV): “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Jesus himself, in the New Testament, makes this colossal declaration in John 10:14 - “I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me,” for those who have professed him as Lord and Savior.
God definitively assures us that we are of utmost importance to Him, despite our shortcomings! He, being the creator of all, knows us intimately by name and has our best interest at heart. He doesn’t lie about who he thinks we are or maintains a superficial relationship with us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). We can move forward with the boldness and confidence that the Lord knows our name! Tasha Cobbs, one of the prolific gospel recording artist of our time sang these beautiful lyrics:
"And You know my name
And You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
And oh, how You walk with me
Oh, how You talk with me
Oh, how You tell me
That I am Your own
God, You know me
So I trust You with my life, yeah
No fire can burn me
No battle can turn me
No mountain can stop me
‘Cause You hold my hand
And I’m walking in Your victory
‘Cause Your power is within me
No giant can defeat me
‘Cause You hold my hand"
When we understand that God knows us and has our best interest in life, we can have the confidence to face any challenges life may throw our way. Let us not fall prey to the empty vanities of this world. Regardless of who in this lifetime acknowledges you, validates you, or honor you, there is the one genuine person in Jesus Christ who has the beginning and last say. And he says, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5, NASB).
God knows us better than we know ourselves! He knows our name, if we render our lives to Him.
Dr. Stephone A. Berry is an Associate Minister at Christian Faith Fellowship in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated with a Master of Divinity in Ministry Studies and earned a Doctorate of Ministerial Leadership from Columbia International University.