Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

May 2024 Issue

From Fascination to Faith

From the March 2023 Issue

Detailing Your Life

Online Exclusive: From This Point Forward

Detailing Your Life

If you have an auto entered in one of the many Concours d’Elegance (French, meaning “competition of elegance”) competitions around the world, then you’ve got some car. And I dare say you didn’t drive it to work this week.

Concours d’Elegance cars take auto detailing to a whole new level. While there are no established standards for normal auto detailing, it usually involves a thorough cleaning of the interior, probably steam cleaning the engine compartment, washing and waxing the exterior, and applying protective finishes to various surfaces. If there is a target in normal detailing, it’s returning the car as near as possible to mint or showroom condition.

But Concours detailing goes way beyond “mint.” Engines are chromed, tire treads are manicured, and trunks are made sumptuous. No speck of dust or dirt is allowed. The goal of a Concours detail is to know every square millimeter of an auto’s interior and exterior—and make it perfect.

But the biggest difference between Concours detailing and normal auto detailing is the purpose. With Concours cars, the goal is perfection for the purpose of admiration. With our cars, the goal is completeness for the purpose of transportation.

The Master Detailer

When an auto is detailed, those doing the work have to look into every nook and cranny of the car. While that can consume hours (regular detailing) or days (Concours detailing), it’s still a finite task. A car is a relatively small object, and there are only so many parts to know and make perfect.

But when it comes to the way God knows you and me, the task is much different—in two important ways.

First, we are not finite entities like a car. The human soul—mind, will, and emotions—is an infinitely complex system. With each moment of each day, we have new thoughts, experiences, memories, and desires that have to be known by God. If a car were as ever-changing as a human being, detailing it would be a full-time, never-ending job. But that’s what God commits to when He commits to knowing you.

Second, God’s knowledge is not just academic. In school, we sometimes accumulated knowledge for the sake of knowledge: states and their capitals, the Pythagorean theory in geometry, and when to use principle instead of principal. Maybe we’ll use that knowledge, and maybe we won’t.

But that’s not how God knows us. He doesn’t accumulate facts about us for the sake of knowledge alone. Rather, God’s knowledge of us is purposeful. He knows us for the purpose of conforming us to the image of Jesus: “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29, NLT). In that way, God knows us like someone who details a car in order to make its performance more pleasurable and proficient—not just to have a “perfect” car.

The biblical scholar W. E. Vine gives three ways the Hebrew verb “to know” is used in the Old Testament: (1) to know by observing and reflecting (thinking); (2) to know by experiencing; (3) to know by learning and giving back. “‘To know’ God,” Vine writes, “is to have an intimate experiential knowledge of Him.”1 And that’s the same way God knows: intimately and experientially, not just cognitively.

How Does God Know Me?

Without taking time to cite all the verses that support this idea, let me just state it up front: God knows everything about you and me—past, present, and future. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” And Psalm 33:13-15 puts it in plain language: “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.”

No one knows anything better than the one who designed and created it. And that is true with God as well: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me” (Psalm 119:73); “For You formed my inward parts.... Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed” (Psalm 139:13, 16). Because God fashioned every cell—every nook and cranny—of our body, there is nothing about us He does not know.

To be more specific, here are the ways God knows you.

The Microscopic You. Science in the last two centuries has bowled us over with what it has discovered about the human body—including what we can’t see with our eyes. What, exactly, is a vitamin? An antioxidant? A virus? How does a white blood cell know to attack and remove harmful elements in the bloodstream to keep us well? At best, science has given us words to describe such amazing phenomena, but God knows it all. He designed and created the wonderful organism we call “the body.”

The next time you have an ailment you can’t explain, whether large or small, ask God for insight. Yes, you may need to see a doctor. But ask the Great Physician first: “Lord, something feels ‘not right.’ You know my body and what’s wrong. Please give me wisdom and direct my return to wellness.”

The Physical You. From the perspective of genetics and science, you are the physical manifestation of the blending of your parents’ genes—and their parents’ genes, and their parents’...and Adam’s and Eve’s. True enough. But that doesn’t mean you are the result of a random role of the genetic dice. You are, in God’s creative plan, the only person like you who has ever lived. Your appearance, your skills, your giftedness (spiritual and natural) are the result of God’s all-knowing choices.

The Mental and Emotional You. We sometimes think we don’t know the depths of our own thoughts and feelings, they are so complex. In that case, we are like David, the psalmist, who prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties” (Psalm 139:23). David didn’t trust his own limited ability to know and understand his thoughts and feelings, but he knew God did.

How many times have you confessed to yourself, a spouse, or a friend, “I just don’t know how I feel”? That’s nothing to be ashamed of. We are incredibly complex beings with billions of neural impulses firing at any given moment and limited ability to understand what they all mean without time to reflect. Even then, we need God’s help. He knows and understands every single thought we have—whether it is one of joy, sadness, fear, shame, gratitude, or suspicion. Turn to Him first to understand your thoughts. He alone knows all your heart and soul.

The Relational You. If one human being is infinitely complex and unknowable, what are two or more? When two people are in a relationship together, there is each of their own personalities—but then there is a third: the mysterious confluence of where the two interact. Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m only like this when I’m with so-and-so?” That’s the third person! It’s that love, that disagreement, that unity, or that conflict that arises when we join with others.

Instead of leaving the relationship because you don’t understand it, ask God for help: “Father, you know me, and You know (name). Please teach me about my relationship with him/her. Show me what You see; tell me what You know about me and this relationship.”

The goal of God’s knowledge is not to make you perfect but to make you complete in Christ—to show you who you are with and without Christ, to show you that in Him, you have been given everything that pertains “to life and godliness” now and forever (2 Peter 1:3).

In this uncertain age in which we live, will you trust God’s intimate knowledge of you, your life, and your needs? No one knows you better, and no one cares more deeply than He does.


1W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1984, 1996), 130-131.



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