February 22, 2016
I read a thought-provoking quote the other day, which says: “There are two things I’ve learned: There is a God. And, I’m not Him.”
When you start to think about or dissect some of the changes the Lord brings into your life, or the new direction He moves you, you can start to wonder why He’s doing what He’s doing, why He leads you to let go of certain things you may have held to for years, or why He is asking you to adjust the way you’ve always done things.
Sometimes you may feel that you want changes to happen more quickly, while at other times you may feel they should happen more gradually. Sometimes you may be happy that a certain matter or issue is being addressed or changed, while at other times you might prefer things the way they are or dread the thought of something changing in a certain realm. You may feel a bit in the dark initially, or feel like you don’t fully understand the way the Lord is leading and worry about how things are going to turn out.
I was thinking about this, and at the core of it all is the simple principle of trusting that the Lord is in control. The truth, as expressed in this quotation, is that God is God and we are not. Having the spiritual maturity to trust the Lord and flow with Him, even when we don’t understand everything, is central to basic Christianity, discipleship, and faith. As Elisabeth Elliot, who was the wife of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot, wisely said, “True faith goes into operation when there are no answers.”
Having faith doesn’t mean that you are letting go of your intellectuality or reason. Having faith doesn’t mean that you can’t ask the Lord your questions and search for His answers. Having faith doesn’t mean that you can’t make peace with the Lord regarding things that concern you—whether it’s a change that hits you out of left field, or something that you were hoping would change in a certain way, but didn’t. However, when all is said and done, it’s wise to trust, to accept that there are some answers that God knows and we don’t. When you trust the Lord, it bears good fruit in your life, and you find peace and serenity more quickly. It’s also helpful to remember that things usually become clearer with time.
God’s ways are so much higher than ours, and following Him boils down to faith, which is not contingent on understanding. Of course, if the Lord can explain why He is asking us to make certain changes or move in a new direction, that’s very kind of Him, very loving, but He actually doesn’t owe it to us.
It’s good to remind ourselves that, at the end of the day, God is God. He has a plan and He’s in control. It’s nice when He can explain things to our satisfaction, and when our minds can understand the great workings of God, but that’s not a prerequisite for trusting or obeying Him.
There are always going to be some things that we don’t understand. We won’t always be able to rationalize everything to our satisfaction. There’s always going to be the take-it-by-faith element, because that’s at the very core of our lives as Christians.
We’re human; God is divine. And thank God He’s God, and not us.—Peter Amsterdam
One of the best things I learned in seminary was when a professor wrote on the board, “There is a God. You are not Him.” Boy, has that proven true! Over the years, I’ve discovered how unwise, inexperienced, and ignorant I really am. Also, I’ve noticed that God doesn’t consult me with making decisions about running the universe. And, if that isn’t humiliating enough, He doesn’t take any of my suggestions about how things ought to be in my own life. I don’t understand why God doesn’t take my suggestions. But, it comes down to one thing: There is a God. I am not He! …
When I look back on my life and I remember some of the prayers and desires of my heart, I find that I’m quite happy He has not answered most of them. Many times I have reminisced and winced at some of the immature and self-centered requests I have laid before God. The older I get, the more my prayers include thanks to the Lord for not answering my prayers. Now, I find myself praying that God do with me as He wills and that He teach me what He wants.
I am not God. The more I realize that, the more I accept the fact that God knows a lot more than I do and is quite capable of seeing the future. He is perfectly able to weave into my life (and yours) answers and denials to prayer requests. In fact, He is quite good at providing for us in ways that we have never even conceived of. He is so wise and so perfect and so incredibly good that we can trust Him completely to hear our prayers and know what is best for us even if we don’t lift it up to Him.
Now, sometimes this means that we must confess our ignorance before God since we do not understand why He will not answer some prayers, such as healing others or saving others the way we want Him to. But, it is not for us to decide what is and is not answered. It is not our world. It is God’s world. We are His people, and we are to follow Him and seek His will in our lives, no matter what it is. He is to receive the glory, not us. …
It is comforting to know that God is in control and that I am not. It is comforting to know that God loves me more than I can imagine. It is comforting to know that God can see the future and that He has it all mapped out for me. It is comforting to know that I’m trusting in an infinitely good and holy God and that He will provide for me no matter what.—Matt Slick
Published on Anchor February 2016. Read by Debra Lee.
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