Monday, May 10, 2010

Remain Sure in Being Unsure

“…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be…” ~1 John 3:2

Isn’t it amazing how perplexing our English language really is and how narrow minded we really are sometimes? There are multiple connotations for so many words which we commonly use. The meaning may completely change depending on our tone, the word usage in a sentence, the subject matter involved or the surrounding circumstances. I have found this to be true with the simple words, “sure” and “unsure.” God has grown me to understand these words with a simple mind rather than a narrow mind. In Him, I now realize that I will always remain sure in being unsure!

In Oswald Chambers’ MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, he writes of “Gracious Uncertainty.” He talks about how “certainty is the mark of the commonsense life---gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life.” Oswald Chambers is always turning on light bulbs for me and rattling my senses! You know those questionnaires where you are asked who you would most like to sit beside on an airplane for a 24-hour flight. Well, you guessed it…I would definitely sit next to Oswald Chambers!

As I have shared before, I have battled with perfectionism in the past. My natural instinct was one of precision…yes, always striving for perfection…to be accurate and remain sure. I now realize those are NOT the characteristics of a spiritual life. Perfectionism possesses an underlying desire to please others, thereby receiving pleasure in the accomplishment of self…otherwise known as pride! And yes, we all know pride is a killer! Being sure was definitely my goal in everything. I wrestled with an unsure state of mind on many occasions only to know in the end, I had the answer and conquered it. Right! My track record in life totally disproves “my conquering” anything except hard lessons. Within my own strength I cleaned up messes, organized situations, sought and determined answers, weighed and made decisions, lead, took action and walked away with pride in having done my best…yes, certain of conquering the ability to present myself pleasing before God, to others, and to myself. You bet!

Needless to say, my interpretation of the following was way off base:

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

“Work as if working for the Master.”

A simple concept of striving for perfection was ingrained in my mind…yes, to the driving point of destruction and separation from God. My misunderstanding of the word, “sure” in being sure of myself was totally working AGAINST me. I realize I am not alone. I have known many Christians who attempt to live in surety or who attempt to control their own destiny without fully realizing it. Sometimes this trait is found in a provider where choices must be made and they are made based on how their own parents did something or according to statistics, someone’s proven track record or what is deemed as sound judgment. I have seen this trait in survivors…those whose circumstances call for immediate action and their decisions sometimes involve the livelihood of dependents as well. This trait also exists in a person of single-mindedness, where in their eyes they know best. They sell it to themselves, their right and correct solution to a given problem or in a particular situation and they take steps toward what they have concluded as the appropriate action. That is what I was doing for so many years. It only proved I was NOT depending on God, NOT walking in faith, NOT leaving tomorrow in God’s hands, and NOT truly expecting His MIRACLES or BLESSINGS in my life. I was, what I perceived, a right-minded Christian, yet I was in charge. Of course, I prayed. Yet without a sincere question to or an intervention of the Holy Spirit, I kept my timeframe in mind and determined what actions to take. When I prayed, it was as though I simply wanted God’s approval for my planned course of action within my own timeframe. I did not involve or turn anything over to the Holy Spirit. I did not wait, listen or receive His insight or His instruction. We DO live in a fast-paced world and we tend to take on the worldly attitude of commonsense actions while living within the realm of our Christianity.


“We totally leave the Holy Spirit out of the equation as we go through the motions of a life we presume is abiding in Christ and Christ in us.”

The questions at hand are:

“How long will we refuse to KEEP our eyes on Jesus?”

“How long will we KEEP making our own decisions without the realization that God is left on the outside of our life while we simply carry the Holy Spirit within us?”

It is no wonder we often hear:

“My prayers don’t seem to go any farther than the ceiling.”

“If God is real, why doesn’t He fix this?”

“If He hears my prayers, why doesn’t He answer?”

“I can’t believe a loving God would let this happen.”

The real question for each of us is:

“Is my relationship with my Father an intimate one and do I really KNOW Him?”

It is not about a religion…going through the motions, quoting scripture and attending the church of our choice. Our Christian walk or our continuing intercession with Him or abiding in Him…yes, truly KNOWING Him is ONLY made possible through the Holy Spirit. God will NOT respond based on the fact that we made a public profession of our faith once or simply because we are praying want-it-now prayers within our circumstantial timeframe. He will, however, respond to fervent and ongoing prayer and intercession through the Holy Spirit and He will answer us within His own timeframe based on our genuine and faithful expectation in Him. YES, WE CAN DEPEND ON GOD. Our God is a God of certainty, of true organization, precision, correctness, and divine order…He is a GOD of SURETY! If we are Christian, that is, if we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior and we have the Holy Spirit inside us, then our life belongs to God and He graciously bestows within us, an unsure state in all other things. He does not do that for us to be confused or for us to make our own choices. He does it for us to be expectant in Him…to seek Him through the Holy Spirit and commune with Him and to keep our eyes continually focused on Jesus. If we have given Him our all, we can rest in His assurance and be sure of Him. Yes, we can be totally sure of God and it is right to be unsure in everything else. We are to cast all our cares and burdens on God and hold all our expectations in God. We are to remain SURE IN ONLY ONE THING…OUR GOD…AND HAVE UNSURETY IN ALL ELSE BECAUSE WE DEPEND TOTALLY UPON HIM.

Captured in His reflection,