Archive for the ‘Certainty’ Category

I remember being in a car traveling through one of Europe’s larger cities. It was confusing as we turned right here, left there, straight for two or three blocks and then made a u turn. I had no idea where we were at all. The narrow European streets added to my confusion. Then we were in the open and I saw our destination.

Sometimes God’s way of bringing us to a place of certainty seems confusing from our perspective. Take Job for example. You may know that he went through the most bizarre, scary and probably very confusing time during his life. He asked God for answers-see Job 42 as Job recounts his trip through confusion to certainty. There was no way he could figure God out. God was not confused at all but Job, well he didn’t have a clue. The result of going through this was certainty. Job plainly now says in 42:5 “I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand-from my own eyes and ears!” The Message

Psalm 23 is known by many but understood by a few.Confusion can seem like the valley of the shadow of death at times but this Psalm is one of certainty. We often want the outcome without the process.

Don’t doubt during confusing times. Put anger in the closet and lock the door. Make sure fear knows where the exit is. We can ruthlessly abandon these tendencies and remember that God knows what he is doing and never makes mistakes.

Trust

Trust (Photo credit: thorinside)

Isn’t it easy to plan a trip of any kind and get all the details taken care off and then pray and ask God to lead you on this trip? You’ve made all the reservations for the rooms, the raft trip, where you are going to eat and most of the details. Should be a great trip you tell yourself because you’ve got it under control. Somewhere along the way we never seem to have gotten the memo about trusting God and releasing control. Oh, but wait, I believe we do have that one. Just think about what Jesus says in Luke 9:57-62. These are the people who say they want to trust God but also want to hang on to some control.

In 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 Paul lists the hardships he and others encountered on the “non’cruise line” trip. This and other trips like it tested everything in these guys. Could they really trust God to meet their needs and take care of them? They could have thought about their funerals, but they knew God would take care of them. They had released their control.

When we get to a place where it seems beyond our ability to endure or we have despaired of life or anything we can control, then  and only then does trust mean anything. God’s strong and unending purpose is to get us to where we are not in control; that is where we do not rely on ourselves but on Him.

What’s the hardest thing for you to not control? What are you afraid of and what does this teach you about yourself?

Some of us want a clear understanding of what we should do before we jump. The only explanation of what lies ahead for us is the guarantee that Jesus will be there every step of the way. Jesus is not obligated to explain anything to us unless we need to know. Check John 1:35-39.

Thousands show up at a popular concert because the only things required to attend are minimal. And really when you think about it, after the concert you just leave. The real Jesus concert is radically different. You don’t show up and then leave feeling tingly because as he walks away he says to you “lets go.” And you are thinking “my ticket price didn’t include anything but listening to the music and some rhetoric that is easily forgotten.”

So, my wife and I are moving from Northern Colorado to Boise, Idaho in 2 months. We know a few people there and know a little about a few ministries, but we are going with a blank sheet of paper. Only God knows what will be written on it and that is the most exciting part of the whole deal. It’s considered wise in America to really think through your future and make plans that will help you accomplish your goals. It’s sort of like mapping out your trip: Interstate 25 to Interstate 80 to Interstate 84 and you are in Boise (pronounced without a Z). But what if God has something up his sleeve near mile marker 247 on Interstate 80 that means you are going to have to take a different route? Personally, I believe this is where it gets exciting.

What’s keeping you from experiencing the unbelievable joy of allowing Jesus to call the shots? Proverbs 19:21 in the Message says it “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” And then there is the always scary James 4:13-16 “…you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow…” You can thrive on uncertainty and certainty at the same time if you are completely following Jesus.

follow me

follow me (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)