Have you ever wished for a compelling experience with God, whereby you could hear a voice from Heaven with clarity?
I have. There are times when such an encounter would appear to be the perfect solution to the sometimes elusive perfect will of God.
Confession: I have this issue with what we Christians describe as the perfect (individualized) will of God. Sometimes, I don’t recognize it until it has just happened and has come into the rear view mirror of my life.
Abram fell face down on the ground and God spoke directly with him. While lying flat on the ground in humility, our Sovereign provided him with clear instructions that shaped the remainder of his days (see Genesis 17).
What about Moses and his burning bush? God provided him with revelation and instruction, which yielded his destiny (see Exodus 3).
Does God still speak to His people? Can mere mortals hear the voice of God? Yes, unequivocally. Yet, in His sovereignty, He alone chooses how and when He will communicate with His people.
Oh that God would rend the Heavens and speak as directly to us, as He did to Abram and Moses!
On second thought, was it a privilege or a burden to possess such degree of certainty? With each visitation, surely there must have arisen a few dozen questions to satisfy the human heart which craves every detail in certainty.
We crave certainty because, with it, we secretly desire to control the unknown details of our own fate. However, the future can not be controlled. It can only be embraced. Faith embraces Jesus Christ, who is “the beginning and the end” and “the author and finisher of our faith” (Revelation 1:8 & Hebrews 12:2). In contrast, certainty tries to pin down every minutia of detail.
Most often in life, my clarity has come through Holy Spirit illumination arising from the routine of reading Scripture and devotional thoughts. It is in the quietness of such time in His presence that I discern the voice of God.
God’s will, as revealed in the pages of the New Covenant of grace where I dwell is that I am called to follow Christ, by faith. I am only privileged to know with certainty that which He chooses to graciously provide. To insist upon the details that He mercifully withholds only brings me undue stress and the forfeiture of daily peace.
In reality, with the beloved gift of Holy Scripture, we New Testament believers have greater access to the living Word of God than the patriarchs of old. Abiding therein is the first key to discerning the individualized will of God for our lives.
What can I know with certainty without frustrating the grace of God? I know that God desires to use me for His glory (not mine). Like the Sweet Psalmist of Israel, I can say: I trust in You, O Lord. You are my God! My times are in Your hands (see Psalm 31).
Certainty is never satisfied, but faith says, “my times are in Your hands.”
Therein rests my certainty: William’s times are in God’s hands. I can trust Him to lead me through my journey. Psalm 84:5 teaches that God blesses the man “whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.”
As a pilgrim on a journey of faith, I can trust the One whose strength is guiding me. Perhaps, my heart is better stated by songwriters Martin and Gabriel who penned these words circa 1905:
“Let not your heart be troubled” / His tender Word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, / I lose my doubt and fear;
Though by the path He leadeth, / But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow, / And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, / And I know He watches me.”
By faith, I am certain that my best and most insightful years of ministry are ahead.
How good are you at knowing God’s individualized and perfect will for your life? Have you ever wished that God would rend the heavens and speak directly to you? What do you think about this comparison and contrast between faith and certainty?
Comment below and let’s keep the conversation moving forward.