At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder.
We get caught up in the folly of self-effort. We think our provision is up to us, so we struggle. We think our righteousness is up to us, so we strain. We think our spirituality is a work of human willpower, so we press on even harder. All the while, Jesus says to us: “Come to ME.” He will give us rest. Faith and complete dependence on Jesus are to PRECEDE obedience. When we strive for obedience first, we are overwhelmed with our inabilities. That’s why He only told us to come to Him with everything, and He would fill us with Himself. WHAT HE DEMANDED OF US, HE HIMSELF WILL FULFILL.
God’s will for our lives is to see us transformed into the likeness of Jesus—to become people who walk more and love more like Jesus Himself. Elsewhere, Paul says God predestined us to be adopted as sons through Christ and chose us to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1). God’s will for us is transformation.
Maybe God cares about who we are becoming more than what we are specifically doing.
The transformation that Jesus brings about makes us more fully alive. It makes us more human. When we are more fully alive, becoming all that God envisions we can be, suddenly we start walking through life lock-step with God and His will. It is precisely when we focus on God’s desire to transform us that He teaches us how to walk through the uncertainty of where we are going. The result is the temporary uncertainty of this life becomes far less important in light of the eternal trajectory we are now focused on. We walk toward Christ through doubt, through struggles, through confusion, through unanswered prayers and through our relentless desire to simply know where every moment of our lives will end up. We don’t know everything—we don’t know the specific job, home, spouse, school, friends, challenges or callings our lives may entail—but we know the one thing necessary.
“God doesn’t give us clarity, son.”
God certainly gives us glimmers of clarity and an assurance that we are where He wants us to be—but that doesn’t mean we suddenly become omniscient. Our knowing always remains in part, leaving us weak and dependent. In other words, embracing our finitude and limited understanding is exactly where God wants us to be so that our strength is in Him and not ourselves.
But this wanting to know how things will play out lingers in the recesses of my mind. Perhaps it’s because I am easily fixated on what I’m doing rather than on who I’m becoming. Without a doubt, when someone asks what God’s will is for their lives, they really mean, “What does God want me to do with my life?” They assume there is some direct Batline to the Holy Spirit to answer that question or that there’s a trick to knowing God’s will.
You see, there are two different types of hope in the world. One is hoping for something, and the other is hoping in someone.
One day, everything we hope for will eventually disappoint us. Every circumstance, every situation, every relationship, we put our hope in is going to wear out, give out, fall apart, melt down, and go away.
That’s the problem with hoping in something. That’s why the only dependable hope is hope in someone. Or rather, Someone. The entirety of Scripture points to one cross, one man, one God—not because He gives us everything we’re hoping for but because He is the One in whom we put our hope.