“It was by faith Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went out without knowing where he was going. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.” Hebrews 11:8,10 New Living Translation
The new year, 2016, has finally arrived. Looking back at my elementary school days, the year 2000 seemed impossibly far away. Who knew we would be celebrating another year beginning with the number 2000! By the time the millennial arrived, I could imagine myself living into the future. However, I had anticipated a much different life experience than the one I find myself caught up in.
But how do we predict the future, especially when it doesn’t exist? This isn’t a new theme in my writing or of those writers God inspired to reveal the words and encouragement we all need. What do we do to keep ourselves focused on what God has for us in the here and now?
“Have you been ‘out’ in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when someone asks you what you are doing.” (Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest, January 2)
This quote is directed to believers as they consider the call Abraham received and obeyed. Is it possible in this new century “to go out” as Abraham did? I don’t mean you need to pack up and head out to someplace that remains a secret until God tells you your journey has finally ended! But are you ready to “go out” in your daily life with no expectations other than trusting your Creator knows what He is doing?
As I face another year, I find myself asking God, “Just exactly what is it you want me to do?” I find myself with more questions than answers, more challenges than peace, more of what is difficult than easy. Do I continue to “go out” in my daily life as I struggle with the unknowns?
One commitment I made when responding to the call of God was to be transparent, honest, and to be as open as possible. So here is my experience at this moment in time. It is 8:45 on this January morning and I see before me an endless road where I keep crashing off into the nonessentials. You know what I mean, those things we never worry about or even consider as important such as a secure income, how to pay the bills that can stack up on our desks, and the hundred other things we never think about. (Of course, you know I’m speaking of things we actually do struggle with.)
This is exactly what Oswald Chambers termed a list of nonessentials in the life of a disciple of Jesus. Simply because he knew asking God what was next or asking Him how all these hundred little things were to be accomplished was without purpose. Especially since Jesus had already given the answer to any question we might possibly conceive to ask God. Look around and consider how God provides for the world He created. Then consider how much more He will meet our needs as His disciples.
“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who He is.” (ibid)
Once more God asks us to “go out” in our daily lives knowing Him, not concerned with what happens next. Who knew this was what God meant when He asked us if we would be willing to trust in Him, not knowing what He would do next or even what He is doing at this very moment! God simply asks if we will go out not knowing anything except that He is in everything—no matter what we think or see or feel.
At this moment, I face life having arrived in a place that leaves me questioning everything. How does one continue to go out into the unknown of daily living with the unwavering belief there is a purpose to one’s existence?
God says it’s by faith, the faith that comes from knowing Him. By faith Abraham, by faith Ron, or by faith (fill in with your name) went out to a life that would be defined by God. By faith one arrives at the purpose God has planned. This is the answer God offers. Know Him and His love; know His Grace is sufficient for everything we face as His disciples.
“Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom by anything He does?” (ibid)
“Let the attitude of the life be a continual ‘going out’ in dependence on God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus.” (Ibid)
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible