Tuesday, March 15, 2005


No sure things(?)

Just like every member of Adam's fallen race, I have my weaknesses, and I don't mean just one or two little ones. Nope, I've got some whoppers, and one of the biggest has been a desire for The Sure Thing. Before undertaking a course of action, I want to know that I have a excellent chance of success. Otherwise, I figure, why bother making the effort if it's not going to work out? If my name had been Christopher Columbus, I never would have got on that boat to the Indies: "What if I run into a storm? What if I run aground on some uncharted isle? What if I die of disease on the way?" Left to my own druthers, I sincerely doubt whether I would have taken the risk.

However, I'm happy to report that by God's grace I've been learning a clue or two these last few years. One clue is that God gives me only one thing of which I can be certain: his infallable Word, the Scriptures. It is in the Scriptures that he has revealed everything that I need to know for my pilgrim journey here on earth. The other clue is that within the bounds of Scripture, he leaves me free. This means that when I go shopping for a car, I'm free to choose between a Ferrari, Porsche, or even a Toyota. :-) On one hand I am bound to obey his Law (summarized in the 10 Commandments), but on the other hand I am free to do whatever is lawful: whatever will not lead me or my neighbor into sin.

This insight is extraordinarily liberating in a way, but it's also rather scary, because it introduces a substantial amount of uncertainty to my day-to-day life. As a young Christian, to alleviate this uncertainty I sought after prophetic "words" from God to give me specific guidance regarding this or that. Regrettably, many of these "words" contradicted one another, and the only ones that came to pass served to draw me deeper into seeking to know what I am not to know, and thus further away from the Scriptures. Since I've come to understand that our sole source of God-given revelation is the Scriptures alone, I also see that seeking after additional revelation is an affront to God, not least because it reveals a heart that doesn't trust him to do what is best for me.

So, what shall I do? How shall I make decisions and plans in a way that honors God? In this way: by undertaking, in faith and with prayer, any course of action that I wish so long as it is Biblical. As for whether or not I will accomplish what I wish to accomplish, I must leave that up to the Lord, trusting him to work all things together for my ultimate good, for the only sure thing I've got is his good and precious promises. People and circumstances will disappoint me, but I can be assured that God will always honor and keep his Word.

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