September 30

Lord, You Know

John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

I John 3:20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

I Corinthians 4:3-4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

Let me rephrase the three passages above:

John 21:17 Peter finally lets go of convincing Jesus that he loves Him. He could sense in Jesus’s famous three questions that Jesus was addressing Peter’s three denials and that He was restoring him in the process (see devotionals March 18-21). “You know all things” is Peter’s final surrender, specifically of even trying to figure out all that Jesus was doing with him right then. He could only say that he loved Him, and left the rest to his all-knowing Savior.

I John 3:20 Hear John’s possible reference to his own gospel, and to Peter’s own surrender into God’s omniscience and mercy. John is encouraging us that even when our own hearts condemn us, God—with all He has done and promised us—is bigger than all those thoughts and accusations, and in fact, knows all things. We can rest in the fact that no matter what we are struggling with, He is aware of it all, especially what He has purchased for us and His promises toward us (e.g., Romans 8:1). Who knows better than God about those things we struggle with and about all the things He’s done for us in Christ?

I Corinthians 4:2-4 Paul, like Peter with Jesus, is fully aware of who he is, how he has failed, and how he may still be failing. Yet he also knows that he can’t be his own judge. As a mere human, he doesn’t possess the intellectual or spiritual capacity to properly evaluate himself and his actions. He must release every thought connected with those issues to God, who alone knows all things.

Releasing ourselves to the God who knows all things is one of the great surrenders we can make. Sometimes we try to figure out what’s going on spiritually, struggle to “feel” forgiven, or wrestle to position ourselves rightly before God. There may well be issues God wants us to face or work through, and we should be faithful to follow His Spirit’s lead.

But we must realize when we have come to the end of the line of what we can understand or take genuine responsibility for. It’s then we must say, “Lord, You know.” This is a powerful acknowledgement and a great leap of faith. It brings with it a temporary sense of panic followed by His peace and a greater understanding of our God. Next time you hit that wall, let go and release it all to Him in the light of His omniscience and goodness.

Prayer: Father, help me to be faithful to follow You when You’re working within. Help me know when we reach the end of what I need to do, and make it clear that the next step of obedience is to let go and trust You. I agree with Peter, John and Paul: You know all things.

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