Going – yet not knowing
For reading & meditation: Acts 20:17-35
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.” (v.22)
We come now to examine another area into which our Lord, eager to obtain fruit from our lives, may be leading us: that of ambiguity and uncertainty. By ambiguity, I mean those situations we sometimes find ourselves in where the Lord’s purposes are not clear, and by uncertainty, I mean the feelings we get when we dont know which direction to take on the road ahead. Are you the kind of person who likes to see the way ahead as far as you possibly can? Do you find yourself getting irritated and frustrated when the Lord unfolds His purposes just one step at a time? If so, then your irritation is saying something about you. What is it saying? Perhaps it is saying that in this area of your life, you are “a corn of wheat afraid to die”; you are fearful of trusting yourself to the unseen and unknown purposes of God. There isn’t a Christian reading my words now who hasn’t been called to walk this path of uncertainty and ambiguity, and there may be many who are there at this moment. The apostle Paul, in the verse before us today, was in this situation when he said: “I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (v.22, GNB). What an honest admission: going – yet not knowing. Yet there seems to be no anxiety or apprehension in that statement. And why? Because the great apostle had died to all self-interest. Having surrendered to God, he was not at the mercy of circumstances, situations, feelings – anything. Sure of God – the one great Certainty – he needed to fear no uncertainty.
O God, I see that unless my certainty is in You – the divine Certainty – I will be at the mercy of all uncertainties. Forgive my little antics of self-dependence. Help me to live in God-dependence. Amen.
For further study:
1. What should our attitude be?
2. What picture does James give us of life?