I am one who likes to know what’s next. I know it’s a control issue. I hate not knowing where I am going. I hate to be lost. Before GPS, when traveling to an unknown place with directions in hand, landmarks and mile markers were critical to me because they let me know whether I am still on the right road. Long stretches of road without any landmark leaves me anxious.
However, living out our lives are not so simple and direct. We really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We think that we would like to know, but if you could reverse your life back five years and know exactly what was going to happen to you in those five years, would you want to know? Personally, I couldn’t bear knowing ahead of time what took place in my life the past five years.
Yet, there are many who look to astrology, psychics and fortune tellers. When I was a young believer in Christ in my 20s, even 30s, I wanted God to make plain to me the path to take, who to marry. I just did not want to go down the wrong road; although, I often did.
What I have learned, since I’ve been on my journey a little while now is that I can rest in not knowing how something will turn out because ultimately, whether the circumstances be difficult or easy, because I am his, it will work out for my good. The good could be a lesson learned, it could be a door closed that I later thank him for, but ultimately it will be that he uses those circumstances, or trials to conform me or make me more like Christ.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV
This reminds me of my post, Nothing is For Nothing. Learning that takes time and experience.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hears by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5 ESV
I listened to a sermon We Have Not Passed This Way Before by Pastor William Hughes, that perfectly described the journey of not knowing exactly what lies ahead and having to rely and depend on God’s Word.
So now, I look at everything through the lens of the Bible. I know that the Bible is my GPS. So when I am not certain about the direction or a decision, I look for my answers in the Word, and pray.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 KJV
Sometimes, most times – I admit that the way forward is still not clear. There are times when the Bible does not specifically tell me what to do, but what it does do is give me God’s principles. At church this past weekend the question was raised that we all ask at some point in our lives: How do you know God’s will? The response was that there are three things that help one to determine the will of God. The answer was a confirmation to me because although I never articulated, I relied on these three as well. They are:
- God’s Word.
- God’s Providence.
- The burden/burning desire within.
Even then, I must be careful not to presume that what I may want is also God’s will for me. If those three are all lined up, often I will still check in with someone in the faith. For certain, I must be living in obedience to what his Word clearly says. I must make sure the Word of God does not prohibit whatever my desire is, but rather, it promotes it and/or allows it. I also must be prayerful and patient knowing that because of God’s Sovereignty, he is able bring it to pass.
I must rest. I must trust God even though I don’t know how it will happen, when it will happen, or even if it will happen. He knows what is best for me. Because I am his child, I remind myself that all things will work for my good.