Friday, September 12, 2008

How Can We Know The Way?

Imagine the audacity or impudence of one who declares that something is or is not God's will! "How can such be possible?" Cries the world with such vehement expression that one should obviously understand that they are an expert on such matters, though they just as strongly declare that they do not believe in nor follow the "God" to which they refer. The roots of such cries that claim faithful believers in Christ are intolerant when they live and voice their faith in God and His purpose, spring forth truly from their own intolerance of those, first of all, who don't agree with their particular mindset, and secondly, because they feel a personal insecurity and lack of purpose when they measure themselves against the honest God seekers!

Well, I do believe we CAN KNOW GOD and HIS WILL! Knowing God is not in my power. The reason is because the very term, the very nature of what is called "God" is of necessity above my human ability to comprehend, much less to "KNOW" as I do another human being. The key to knowing was and is for God's action and initiation. How then can I know Him? He has given to us the whole story of His entrance into the affairs of His created order through that record which He, alone, could have commissioned and inspired to be written and brought together, the Holy Bible! As I read it, I learn what He is like and how I am to personally become acquainted with Him. I learn that His nature is PERFECTLY GOOD and therefore I can trust His will to be PERFECTLY GOOD for His created order, including me. I then learn what this PERFECT GOD says is the way I, too, can seek the GOOD and PERFECT way for my life. Not just a series of "Shalt's" and "Shalt Not's", but a relationship where His love and counsel is "placed" in me and moves through my acceptance and response toward His Goodness.

No one should be in conflict with one who is living and seeking such a life, for it has only goodness, righteousness and justice as its goal, not just for the seeker, but for all, for God has revealed that He wants all to enjoy His love and the life He has given. His plan and purpose is inclusive of all who will seek it.

The question still remains, perhaps, of how I can know the will of God. Let me use this illustration to help in this question. You sit in your car, preparing to move forward into the dark night before you. You've completed the checklist of important functions to move ahead. The motor is running, the lights on, and the shift in the drive position. Now through your mind questions may surface. "What lies out beyond the reach of the headlights? How can I be sure this way is clear and right to proceed? How will I determine the turns and unforeseen obstacles that may block the way?" The answer is simple but profound. When you move forward, the light will move accordingly, giving you adequate illumination to continue the journey mile by mile.

Sometimes the journey of a Christian is made in sheer obedience without a clear vision of where the path leads. Allowing Jesus to lead and following Him faithfully is the right decision to make, in spite of one's logic to the contrary. The question that remains is, "how can we know the way He is leading us, that we may obey it?" The answer rests upon two significant facts of faith. One is the utter dependability of Christ to give a true seeker what is needed, when it is needed. The other is the seeker's willingness to consistently act upon what is given, when it is given. The counsel that well-known Christian missionary Oswald Chambers gives sheds this light. "I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter into my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God." We must learn to trust Christ. And we are not totally blind in doing so, for we also have this confirming fact available. He will not lead us in anyway that is contrary to His word. Hence the imperative to be growing in our understanding and familiarity with it. The Christian life is a journey in His light, not unlike that of driving at night, and moving ahead a mile at a time.

Consider Abraham in Hebrew 11:8. It's recorded: "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whether he went."

Here's a bit of verse I composed on the subject:

It's night and I've such a long way to go,

The road that I travel is one I don't know.

How can I proceed with such limited sight,

Contrasting the journey, I've so little light.

It occurs now so simple, why then should I fear?

When I move the light moves and enough is then clear.

My Christian life journey is made in such light,

A pilgrimage through the unknowns of earth's night,

But I have the true Light that's always before,

And He knows the unknown and, Oh, so much more.

He bids me move forward, His light in the lead,

And He'll never remove it, when I seek and proceed.

1 comment:

Mich said...

I really liked your poem, dad!