Friday, December 30, 2011

Happiness from Revelation

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.  
Proverbs 29:18

For some reason we have been tricked into believing that if we get our way or things go “right” in our life that we will find happiness.  Unfortunately, I often hear my children, my husband, and even myself at times praying at dinnertime that we were just thankful the day went by without any adversity.  But the verse today teaches that true happiness does not come from everything going the way we wanted them to go, but rather it comes from staying within the bounds of God’s law.  The verse goes on to teach, that what is going to hold our resolve to stay in the law, is God’s consistent revelations to us. 

On our own we can find out many things about the word of God and we can seek and seek until we find something that suits the way we want to look at life.  We can do research about the time period the scripture passage was written in or we can find out more regarding the customs and lifestyles of the people who were receiving the message.  We can even talk to others or read what others have written about God’s word to gain more insight into the scriptures.  But the passage here does not talk about human gained insight, rather the Hebrew word used for revelation means an uncovering or revealing of something God chooses to make known. 

God’s revelation is meant to direct and center a person who wants to stay in the will of God, not just to provide more information to add to your base knowledge of the bible or to write down in your journal.  In essence, God’s revelation is not about making us feel good about what we can do on our own to maintain our preset ideas about happiness.  Rather, God’s revealed word is intended to give direction, to show sin, to increase passion, and to bring comfort.  God alone knows what each person needs at each point in life and He is faithful to provide for those needs through His great provisions and His divine revelations.  Those provisions and revelations make us dependent upon God and increase our faith, while at the same time teach us that happiness is found alone in one pursuit, the pursuit of God.

If you are seeking happiness today I urge you not to look for life to go as you desire for it to go, but instead be open for God to reveal to you His insight into your life.  With God’s revelation you more than likely will be pleasantly surprised to find happiness within what you have been trying to escape.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Knowing Where You Are Going

…he went out, not knowing where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8b

I love to know where I am going and have a handle on all that life has in store, yet when considering a life lived by faith I am left to reconsider how much knowledge of what is to come in the future I should be resting in.  Faith as defined in the bible “is the substance of things hoped for [and] the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Trying to figure life out and have all my ducks in a row, so to speak, is therefore not living in faith – it is not trusting in God that He has all of what lies ahead already prepared for me.  The reason living in faith is so important though has even more to do than just finding peace in the journey.  The ultimate reason God asks us to live in faith is because He wants to lead our lives for their greatest good, a future none of us could conjure up on our own or seek from the best human resources.

Oswald Chambers states, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.  It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us ‘go.’  The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.  The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character.  There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enwrapping us and for the time we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes.  The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting.  It is not a question of sanctification; but something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test.

Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the test.  Each day we need to ask ourselves if we really trust that God will use our particular life circumstances.  Each day we need to decide to rest in what God has allowed into our lives.  Each day we need to rest in His ability to “work all things out for good.”  Each day we need seek to see our lives as God sees them and not as the world does.  Then, in living in faith, we will be prepared for the more glorious future God has waiting for us than we could ever imagine on our own – a much more beautiful and peaceful future walking in His presence.

Could it be that God is calling you to take a step out in faith?  Don’t just stay with what you are comfortable with because you are afraid of what may happen.  Remember that fear is only a guess about what may happen in the future – a guess from your own worldly perspective.  But faith in contrast is instead based on trust in the One who already knows the future and who has promised you a future and a hope in Him because He loves you more than you can ever imagine.