Archives for the month of: January, 2016

blind faith

Blind Faith

I like deadlines and punctuality. I like knowing exactly what’s expected of me. I like agendas, and I’m more comfortable with schedules that help me meet all the short term goals that will lead me to the finished product. But I worship the God who is bigger than my schedule and expectations.

God’s timing is so different from ours that sometimes it seems to us that he’s not paying attention because we can’t see evidence of a plan. He doesn’t ask us to create a plan; he wants us to follow his. He doesn’t need our input on a timetable or agenda; he already knows it. He tells his children what their next step should be, and he rarely gives them the map that shows the journey all the way to the end. He told Abraham to take his family and move to a place that he would should him. He told the disciples, “Follow Me”. He never actually mentioned where they would be going. He told Rahab to stay inside her house while the walls of Jericho fall around her. He told Moses to go to Egypt and bring all of Pharaoh’s work force back home to the land God promised them. There was no detailed description of exactly how any of that would work. Daniel saw God’s power inside the lions’s den; Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego saw it inside the furnace. The disciples saw it inside the storm. Gideon saw it during the battle. The women saw it at Jesus’ tomb. God never gave them the details of how their story would end or how the battle would play out. Whether or not we can see the end or suggest a possible happy ending to God doesn’t change his ability to lead us forward in victory. Details are God’s job. All he required is that we obey for the next step, even in blind faith, so that we can trust him for adventures we can’t even imagine. All that separates us from his plan is our courage to take the next step in a direction where we usually don’t know what to expect.

I like predictability, but it is delight that makes life worthwhile. God did not create us to survive and be content; Jesus said he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). The most memorable, glory filled moments of my life are those that brought the thrill of an adventure or awareness of God’s presence amidst what I thought was mundane. While I might find a neatly stacked set of papers tucked away in my file drawer ahead of a deadline more peaceful, the moments that interrupt my day with laughter or awe or just the briefest glimpse of God’s glory are the best part.

Delight cannot be scheduled. In order to find the delight in our relationship with God or in our day, we have to have the kind of blind faith that will allow us to step out and trust the plan of this God who will not be put in a box. If we insist on a secure path based on common sense, we will may arrive at our goals punctually, and never see the delight or know the adventure that God had planned for us.

May my limited understanding of who God is allow me to have the blind faith to follow where he leads me. May I never sacrifice adelight and adventure for predictable and punctual. May my blind faith lead me to have the courage to step past what I can (or can’t!) control and experience the delight and adventure that God has planned for me.

Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of his heart.

success 2Life is messy. We define “success” up front and then don’t know what to call it when the end result doesn’t match our plans. Our best intentions are sometimes sidetracked by pitfalls and interruptions that we don’t see coming and can’t control. The pristine “happily ever after” we envisioned seldom works out as neatly as we planned. But what if your current circumstances are the God ordained preparation for what is to come? What if your plans lead only to more of the same or worse, and God’s plans lead to victory and adventure? What if your ultimate success is based on your response to your current circumstances?

Successful people don’t waste time bemoaning what isn’t or complaining about what should have happened; they make the most of whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Mark Batterson has a book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day (which I HIGHY recommend). In it he shares his life philosophy which is also his admonition to his church.

Do the best you can You were never intended to be the best at everything. You may not like what you are doing; you may not be as qualified as someone else for what you are doing; you may feel like you are wasting your time. But for now, your circumstances are yours. Going through the motions may get you to the end, but it will never feed your soul. Half-hearted efforts usually deliver lackluster results. What if God is waiting for you to invest your best so that He can multiply it into something great or something different?

With what you have Life would be so much easier if we had more money, more talent, more time, more opportunity. I suspect that what we “don’t have” may be intended to help us be dependent on Him. God doesn’t call you to be someone else. He created you on purpose, just as you are. If we trust God with what we have, he can make it enough, even when it doesn’t look like much. Moses gave God his staff, and God defeated Pharaoh and the Egyptian army; David offered God his slingshot, and God gave victory to the army of Israel; a boy offered Jesus his 5 loaves and 2 fish, and Jesus fed the hearts and minds of 5000. What if God wants you to trust Him with what you have so that you can see his power at work in your circumstances?

Where you are Sometimes we waste our lives aiming for what we want and miss the blessing of where we actually are. You could have been born into a different set of circumstances in a different place…but you weren’t. There are people and opportunities where you are that are God ordained. What does God want you to learn from them? What do you have that God wants to use to impact those around you right now?

 Do the best YOU can with what YOU have where YOU are. We don’t get to be someone else. We don’t get to live someone else’s story. For right now, we are who we are, where we are. Perhaps doing the best we can will change us. It might even change our circumstances. God intends that we use what we have wherever we are to the best of our ability to bring our good and His glory. What do you have? Where are you? How big is the gap between what you are doing and your best?