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Messy Uncertainty

Posted by Andrew Knight on

Okay, can I be honest? It takes time to write these devotionals. It would be much easier if the church staff would just tell me exactly what to write. They could give me the devotional, already written, and I could just sign my name to it. Or else they could give me an outline that I could fill in with a story or two, add some scripture, and be done.

But it doesn’t work that way.

In reality, I don’t mind writing these devotionals. In fact, they’re good for me. It’s usually the writing more than the finished product that God uses to teach me, help me think about his Word, and grow me in ways that I never could if these devotionals just suddenly appeared in my inbox.

The story of my life is no different. While I may yearn for the Sparks Notes version to know exactly where the plotline is heading, God is no spoiler when it comes to giving away the ending. The truth is that I’m not just an actor delivering the lines of a pre-developed script. I’m working with the Director to create them as I go.

For some, this is a bit unsettling. We typically think of God’s will as black-and-white, but often the application of that will to our specific life circumstances can seem a bit gray. The uncertainty, though, is not necessarily an indicator of spiritual immaturity or a lack of understanding — it’s simply the reality of the messy, undefined world in which we live.

Paul experienced life in a similar fashion but did not seem to be bothered by this messy uncertainty.

And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
— Acts 20:22–24

Paul was not bothered by the uncertainty of life, because he was not consumed with his life. He was consumed with his Lord. To him, the specific twists and turns and bumps — and even the potholes — of life’s road were not nearly as important as what he did along the way. Living for Jesus was far superior than life itself.

And this leads us to perhaps the most important question of all: Why do we even want to know God’s will? Is it simply to make our lives better or to make him better known? The answer to that question might just be the key to leveraging all that God’s will is ultimately intended for in our lives.

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