26 July 2011

Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite entries in "My Utmost for His Highest" this week, so I thought I'd share:

"He went out, not knowing whither he went." - Hebrews 11:8

"Have you been 'out' in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question- 'What do you expect to do?' You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doig. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder- you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a 'going out,' building in confidence on God. 'Take no thought for your life, ...nor for your body'- take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you 'went out.'

"Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised at atom at anything He does?

"Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him- what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual 'going out' in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God."

No matter how many times I've read through this book, I continue to be challenged by Oswald Chamber's writing. My favorite line in this entry (January 2nd) is, "God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is." I wrote that on a post-it and tapped it above my desk at home a couple years ago when I was in a difficult season and really struggling with waiting on God and trying to understand His will. I was desperate for God to open doors, reveal His will, show me the purpose of that season and where He was leading. He didn't, not then, anyway. Instead, He showed me Himself. He brought me into a better understanding of Who He is and into a closer fellowship with Him than I had ever known. <--When I reread that sentence, it sounds so simple, and I don't want to give the wrong impression, because it wasn't. Maybe it should have been, but for me it was a struggle. A real battle to get my heart and mind to be content in Christ, a real battle to trust. It was a lonely frustrating season, but I am so thankful for the byproducts of it. I came across a Beth Moore quote during that time that sums it up so perfectly:

"Solitude is not so much the place we find the answers as the place we decide if we're going on, -possibly alone- without them. Many of us will. Why? Because the privilege of wrestling with such a holy and majestic God still beats the numbness and pitiful mediocrity of life otherwise. Sometimes we don't realize how real He is until we've experienced the awesomeness of His answerless presence. He knows that what we crave far more than explanations is the unshakable conviction that He is utterly and supremely God."

I didn't know where God was leading in that difficult period, and as much as I fought it, I eventually learned to praise Him for teaching me to rest in His "answerless presence." I wish that was a lesson that could be learned simply once and for all, but from time to time I still find myself beginning to worry, beginning to question. Wanting to know what the rest of His plan looks like. Starting to panic because I don't have it figured out. So at those times I try to stop and reflect on His faithfulness and remember the peace that comes from simply abiding in Him. This was one of my grandpa's favorite hymns and one of mine too:
"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
I don't know about tomorrow;

I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know Who holds tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know Who holds tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment