“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."—Psalm 100:3 (NIV)
The first time I visited my best friend and her newborn son, I witnessed a part of her I'd never seen before. She suddenly had this instinctive and protective awareness of her baby; he belonged to her.
The psalmist begins this verse by first calling our attention to God—the maker and sustainer of the universe. God, who made galaxies, colors, gravity, and cells, also knit together each human life as part of His creation.
The psalmist continues with a statement we may overlook in our English translation. The phrase “we are His” in Hebrew can actually be read as both "we are His" and “not we ourselves.” Both convey the same idea that Barnes’ Commentary explains this way, “We are not self-created; we derive our being from Him. All that we have and are, we owe to Him.” God made us, it was all Him, and we had no part in our formation; thus, we are wholly and solely His. Just as a newborn belongs to the parents who conceived him, so we belong to the One who made us. Because we are God's creation, our place in this world is found under His loving care.
God has designed every person to feel an inherent need to belong—to be the object of someone's love and affection, to experience being known and accepted, to know they are members of a place or group. Why? So that we may find and experience true belonging in God Himself. Although this is one of our greatest needs (to belong), because of sin, we’re prone to seek belonging in everything but God. Many of us may feel more strongly about belonging to our families, our social circle, racial or ethnic group, or other groups than we do about belonging to God.
More so, our culture endorses the lie that we’re "self-made," that we create our own meaning, find our tribe, and shun those who think differently from us. But the truth is, we don’t belong to ourselves or even to the places or people we identify with. We belong to God. In Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) Paul writes, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We are His, created in Him, and created for His purpose.
This profoundly changes our sense of belonging. We must understand we are God's. Therefore, we’re cared for, known, loved, and deeply accepted. And as His creation, He gets the ultimate say in who we are and what we do with the things He’s given us. This means everything in our lives must first submit to the One who gave us life, to begin with. May our lives reflect that we are God's treasured possession.
Pause: Does your life reflect that you belong to God? What areas of your life have you taken ownership of instead of surrendering to God?
Practice: Listen to the song “Known” by Tauren Wells. Then, write down how the lyrics help you find belonging in God.
Pray: Father, I praise You, for You are my maker and God. I’m not my own; I belong to you—and that is both a comfort and a challenge. I’m comforted because, in You, I find the security and acceptance I most need and yet, I’m confronted with the areas in my life I must surrender to Your authority. Help me God to rejoice in the gift of being Your treasured possession. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.