Informing the Reforming

All My Ways Are Known To You

It’s one of my favorite tracks from Only a Holy God, the new album by CityAlight. It celebrates God’s omniscience, his complete knowledge. It celebrates God’s omnipotence, his complete power. It celebrates God’s omnipresence, his constant presence in this world. It celebrates the joy of knowing that these attributes make a difference to the life of the Christian. It’s called “All My Ways Are Known To You” and says, “And oh what peace that I have found / Wherever I may be / For all my ways are known to You / Hallelujah, they are known to You!”

I have found myself reflecting on two meanings of “all my ways are known to you,” one that is intended by the songwriters and one that is outside the scope of their song. Both have brought me comfort.

The first is the meaning they intend. All my ways are known to God. He has planned my life. He sees its beginning and its end, its peaks and its valleys, its brightest hours and its darkest days. “No trial has come beyond Your hand / No step I walk beyond Your plan / The path is dark outside my view / Still all my ways are known to You.” As I walk life’s paths, I know that God has seen them and, in some way, planned them. I know there are no surprises to him. I walk only where he has determined my feet will tread. That brings me all kinds of comfort, all manner of joy.

And then there is the meaning they did not intend. All my ways are known to God. God knows everything I am, everything I have ever been, everything I do, everything I have ever done. He knows who I am at heart, who I am in my darkest moments, who I sometimes wish to be and what I sometimes long to do. He knows how even my best deeds have been done with imperfection and from tarnished motives. He knows all there is to know about me, things I don’t even know about myself. I am an open book before him, laid bare before his penetrating gaze. And still he loves me.

If there was even one thing God did not know about me, that might be the thing that would put me beyond his grace. If I could hold back anything from him, I would, of course, keep back my darkest deeds, my most shameful secrets. I would display my best and hide my worst. But then, when the books were opened in the last day, it might be found that these sins were the ones for which there is no forgiveness, the ones he had not foreseen when he accepted the sacrifice of his Son on my behalf. My confidence would be undermined and destroyed. But, no, all of my ways are known to him, and even this complete knowledge does nothing to diminish or destroy his love for me.

God knows the most intimate details of the events and circumstances of my life, so I have nothing to fear in life. He knows the darkest, most shameful details of my thoughts and deeds, so I have nothing to fear in death. All my ways are known to him.

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