lately, i’ve been having a lot of conversations about the tension between building up security and living in faith that God will provide. i do not plan to get into a huge exegetical assessment of this topic here- as that would take an entire book and more. but i wanted to post a few reflective thoughts that i had on the matter.
i’m currently reading through the book of romans slowly- and today i came across this verse.
But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
though this is in the context of God extending salvation to the nation of israel, it is one of many examples in the bible that show how God is a God that extends His hands out to his people. and this happens far more often than we will ever allow ourselves to believe. He gives and gives- offers and offers- screams, ‘I’m here, I’m here…’ but we don’t respond- why? stubbornness? hardened hearts? covered ears? just normal distraction? the reasons are many for certain.
but far beyond the ways He wants to speak to us now, the bottom line is that God has already given us many promises. the most important of those is His incarnated Spirit. sadly- we confuse His presence and faithfulness in how it directly relates to our happiness and contentment. this is exactly where we then become derailed. we must absolutely understand that God’s promises and faithfulness have nothing to do with our perceived dreams, hopes and security and everything to do with His will, glorification and renown. now, don’t get me wrong- he most definitely births in us dreams and talents and inspiration that align with those things. but if we understand them as means to an end for our satisfaction, we will forfeit the true gain.
as a missionary these days i have to often walk this line. it is the balance of what i perceive is hard and sacrificial, and what is pleasure and blessing. if i were to draw the line between these things in ‘what makes me the most happy or feel most secure,’ i would begin to play a game that interchanges daily realities with eternal ones. with that- it is easy to get into a polarizing type of situation, where you judge things to be ‘holy’ or not based on if they are easy or not; this is the wrong way to conclude. instead, it is about being thoughtful and mindful in all things. there are some situations that are fun and bring joy that are indeed holy- but there are plenty of other things that bring discomfort and strife, which are equally as holy. our culture, a western one, has taught us from our earliest days that comfort, joy and fun are good and to be sought after, sometimes at any cost or expense… as followers of Christ however, that life-mantra has to be altered- revised- renewed- it should go something like this: the will, pleasure, and glorification of God are to be sought after, always at any cost or expense…
so, let us continue to play- knowing that sometimes we will get the grand prize, and sometimes we will get struck down with the sword- (job, philippians 4, hebrews 11) but either way, God is God and is good above all things. i pray daily that i have the faith to endure beyond just my words, if i indeed get the sword.