I want to walk with Him everyday, but I find I keep looking ahead, trying to make sure where we appear to be going is where I want to finally end up. Yes, I’m excited about heaven, and feel I can finally trust Him with that, but with what goes on in the here and now I’m not so sure.
I once thought it was the opposite: I could trust God with everything that goes on in this world, but having such faith for the next was largely impossible. But my estimation of my might in faith was just a little off kilter!
I think the thing is that I can trust Him with the immediate, the short-term, and now even the far away, but the unknown climate of six months from now — what might He do with me by then? Where might I find myself, feeling like it all just came out of nowhere?
What crazy fears I casually coexist with! Tolerance of sin in my heart is an illegitimate dream, in light of all that I am to have and enjoy of holiness as I grow in intimacy with God. The measure of where I’m able to go with Him on this “walk” is very much contingent upon where I insist my boundaries are. If I insist that I will go “no further than here,” or “anything beyond that point is too far,” I limit God and grieve His heart.
With all that He has planned for me, how else should He react when, out of fear (and not of love) I tell Him, “I will not allow You to do what is best. You may think You have the right idea for me, but I know what I can handle a lot better than You.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I won’t be needing Your services. I like my own a lot more. Go find someone else who is a little more willing to ruin their lives with what You are going to do.”
Ugh! How can I speak to Him this way?
Yet, what better motivation do I have to let Him operate on my heart and make me new — more reflective of what He wishes? Because, when it comes right down to it, my thoughts of Him are not just filled with unbelief, they are brutal — laced with hate and bitter antagonism.
This might sound a little over the top, but what else can we legitimately call what is so far from love? Jesus called anger — often an expression of hate — the same as murder. And to Him, all sin is really the same. If we can believe murder to be possible for very angry people, why not for the rest of us — who let anger decide so much of what we do and who we become?
As such needy people, we cannot treat the gospel as a fairy-tale description of ourselves; the horrors and the sorrows of sin are real. We are our own worst enemy, and yet so adept at clothing ourselves in sheep’s clothing. Our only hope is in our Shepherd-Savior, who separates the true sheep from the false, and is able to lead all of us in sensible dependence.
A lot of us look down on sheep, “they’re just followers,” we say, or “they are so dumb they would follow the next guy off the side of a cliff before they even knew it.” But, aren’t we the same way? We will follow unqualified philosophers, psychologists and politicians, even reputable playwrights, but we will not give the Prince of Peace a second thought.
He says, “My sheep know my voice,” but are we listening? Or are we too enthralled with the fancy rhetoric we hear from men who claim to know something we ought to pay attention to? What should demand more of our attention than the words that come from Wisdom’s Voice, the comfort that only the Spirit possesses, the authority that only Love commands?
I want to only have have ears for that Voice; content to dwell on His precepts to the disesteem of other jargon. Only His words can change my heart, only His ways would make me what I hope to one day become.
So, let it be, dear Lord, that I come to You with eager ears; content to listen and cease from my advising. Let me stop and wonder, at the wisdom of Your ways — so much of it still hidden, yet there to hope in all the same.