The Privilege of Knowing
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“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter.”1
There’s a reason God’s will in specific situations is so difficult to know sometimes. There’s a reason that not everything is black and white. It can be difficult to discern God’s will for a lot of situations.
Who to date.
Where to go to college.
Who to marry.
Where to move.
What job to take.
And it’s not because you’re not praying. You’re probably praying a lot. It’s not because you don’t want to know His will. You probably aren’t lacking that desire.
But according to this verse in Proverbs, it’s because God conceals.
But why? After all, that seems counterintuitive to God’s purposes and using you in them.
The reason isn’t because God doesn’t want you to know His will. He wants you to know it more than you want to know it. God has something so much greater for you instead.
God’s not up in heaven hiding His will, hoping you’ll never be able to find it. But He does play hide and seek. He doesn’t just want us to find His will, He wants us to find Him in the process. Because if His will was in plain view, we would seek it instead of seeking Him.
That’s why He conceals it. That’s why it’s so hard.
The point isn’t for God to make His will plain. His will isn’t the main objective. He is the main objective. He wants you to discover Him above all else.
As you run after God and His good, pleasing, and perfect will, remember these two truths:
God isn’t the shortcut to your best life. He is your best life.
God doesn’t want to give you the guide for your life. He wants to be your Guide.
The scariest possibility for your life isn’t getting God’s will wrong. It’s getting God’s will right but barely coming to know God in the process.
You could love the right woman but lose your first love.
You could find the right career but then make it your god.
That’s why He doesn’t just write His will for you in the clouds. At the end of the process, He wants you to know something far greater than what you should do next with your life.
He wants you to know who He is.—Pastor Steven Furtick
The deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done. Acceptance of whatever this means is the great victory of faith that overcomes the world.—Elisabeth Elliot
He cannot bless us until He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.—C. S. Lewis2
It would seem impossible that there could be anyone who would want the blessings of the Lord and yet not want the Lord Himself, that anyone would seek His gifts without the desire to find the Giver; yet this sometimes happens.
People do not want to make the full surrender that is necessary to get in touch with Christ Himself. They will read books about His blessings and promises, ask others to pray for them, attend all kinds of meetings; but to get alone with Him in prayer and tarry before Him with open heart until He has a chance to deal directly with them—this they will not do.
They do not want to come to grips with Him, for He might look directly into their face and speak to them about some little matters which they would rather have overlooked. They do not want to have personal dealings with Him, for in the light of His presence there might be some revealings they are not ready for. They are not seeking personal contact, for they are not ready just now to pay the price such contact always demands.
No, better not try to touch Him, for that means an unconditional surrender, an allegiance undivided, a real heart-searching. Better leave the heart out of it entirely and just use head-faith instead of heart-faith.
Thus reasons, perhaps unconsciously, the one who wants the blessing without the Blesser, the gift without the Giver. But head-faith will not bring the blessing and there are no gifts without the Giver, for Christ Himself is the fulfillment of every promise, the solution to every problem, the answer to every need. Without Him, ye can do nothing.
You must get into personal contact with Him. You must have personal dealings with Christ Himself. You must touch Jesus, for there are no gifts without the Giver, no blessings without the Blesser!
It is the quickest, easiest way, after all, to just step right out into the white searchlight of His presence, throw down every defense, put away every subterfuge, and make a complete surrender. You can’t pick the locks of God’s treasure house. You must enter through the door. Christ Himself is the door.
This is the supreme blessing, the greatest benefit of the faith life, the highest reward—that it brings you into personal touch with the Lord Himself—straight into the very presence of the Giver, the King of kings.
This touch is worth more than all the gifts. This personal contact is far more blessed than all the blessing, for it not only brings you the supply of your material need, it also brings the supply of your spiritual need, and throws open to the soul new vistas of glory, heights of attainment, and visions of riches in Christ Jesus never dreamed of.
For you who are seeking for some blessing, wanting to “get things from God,” let me give you this one verse of scripture. Let it sink deep into your heart, and my earnest prayer is that it shall be fulfilled in your life: “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He will give thee the desires of thine heart.”3
Oh, that God would reveal to each one of us now, so that we can get beyond all secondary things quickly, that it is Christ Himself, Jesus only, that is the greatest need of our life, the only source of supply.
Reveal to us, O Lord, that we cannot have the blessings without the Blesser; the victory without the Victor; the light without the Sun of Righteousness; the fragrance without the Rose of Sharon; holiness without the Holy One; healing without the Healer; the life abundant without the Life-Giver … for Jesus is all and in all, the source of supply, the stream that never runs dry!—Virginia Brandt Berg4
Published on Anchor January 2013. Read by Simon Peterson.
1 Proverbs 25:2 NIV.
2 The Weight of Glory.
3 Psalm 37:4.
4 Streams That Never Run Dry, “Gift or Giver,” Anchor edited version.