..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Certainty of A Heart Abandoned to God

Let's face it. Most of us have days when
life's uncertainties press against us
and cause us to feel unrest.

Let's face it some more. We have little
to no idea what will happen next. And
amidst this uncertainty we, as Christians
with good intentions, seem to be
ubiquitously searching for what can
feel like the elusive will of God.
Is this Your will? Is that Your will?

The Moslems simply say "Imshah Allah"
(if God wills) and shrug. Who can
really know or fight against what
God will do? But we, as Christians,
need not be so resigned: we can know
God, and we can see the path we need
to take, even if we be fools (Is.35:8)

A few nights ago, in the midst of
an uncertain time, the Lord spoke to me
about the nature of certainty.

"Certainty," He said, "does not come
from successfully discerning
My will with regard to what
course of action to take."

"Certainty is the spiritual resting
state of a heart abandoned into
the good hands of God."

In this place we are not certain
about a date or a time, or a course
of action, we are certain of our
being held and kept by God. It is
in an inner certainty not connected
to circumstance or plan.

What are the components of this

Abandonment to God does not produce
uncertainty. I think we fear that
if we abandon ourselves to God
we will live constantly in a
state of uncertainty and confusion:
a continual fog of bewilderment.

When Abraham went out, "not knowing
where he was going," he was not
confused. He did not know where
he was going, but he was not
uncertain. His eye was
fixed on God, and his faith
apprehended and trusted Him.
It did not ultimately matter
where he was being led:
he was abandoned to a good God
who was leading him and that
was all that mattered.

But how can we know that
once we have, in our estimation
thrown caution to the wind, that
we are being led by God and not
by our own waywardness?

The answer is through a pure heart
and by obedience. We can have
a certainty in our Father, not
the self-assuredness of fools,
but the clear-eyed vision of the
pure in heart. Jesus tells us
the pure in heart "shall see God."
Nothing muddies their vision,
all the debris is cleared away,
there are no mixed motives, or
agendas, but a unified gaze
upon the fullness of God.

That is certainty. If the heart
is not polluted, the eye can see
clearly, and knows where to step.
Even a fool cannot miss it!
Following this way of obedience
and purity is a road that
leads to holiness. The road will
move you along toward where you
need to be.

Abandonment to God is not a mindless
stagnation. We need not fear
sitting and waiting even when we
need to sit and wait. For in
God there is never inaction.
There is active action when we
are busy doing our Father's outward
business, and there is inward
action, even found in silence,
when God is working deep in the
depths of our spirit.

The world values doubt. It seems
childish to have a faith that
rests in an invisible God.
The world values uncertainty:
to be certain seems naive or
unlearned, it is fashionable
to doubt. The certainty of
faith is something that the
world cannot know or even
fathom, therefore it cannot
know its value.

When we understand that a pure
heart leads us to a certainty
in God, we will value it and
cultivate it all the more. Purity
of heart is the condition,
even the eye, by which we see
and know. When our heart is not
polluted, our eyes can see clearly.

The proverbial log in our eye
that Jesus speaks of does not
come from a tree falling on
our head, it comes from
sin in our hearts. In the
opthamalic field there is
a test called a "visual
field" test. Light is
systematically flashed
over the field of your
vision to see where you
have blind spots and
vision loss.

What of our spiritual
vision? What causes our
sure gaze of God to become
dimmed? For when we lose sight
of Him, I can guarantee you
that uncertainty will immediately

We must guard our hearts, we
must come to God daily asking
Him if there is anything that
is clouding our vision. And
then we must obey what He tells
us. It is no good to go to
the repair shop and find out
what is wrong with your car
if you are not willing to
have it repaired.

How was Jesus so certain? How
did He know just what to say to
people? How did He discern the
thoughts, needs and intents of
their hearts? He could see things
for what they were because His
own heart was pure. He could
speak with certainty because
He could see things in the clear
light of God. In one moment
He is kind to outcasts, in the
next He is dismantling a whole
religious system that had set
itself up against God. How was
He so sure? The certainty that
comes from a pure heart of
obedience was at work in Him.

There are two verses that come
to mind: "He that comes to God
must believe that He is and is
a rewarder of them that diligently
seek Him" (Rom. 1:17). Here is a key to
abandonment: believe that God
exists, and that He rewards those
that seek Him. Here is your first
lesson in certainty: throw
yourself upon Him, believe
that He hears and answers.

The second verse is this: "I know in
whom I have believed and am persuaded
that He is able to keep that which
I have committed to Him until that day"
(2 Tim. 1:12).

You will never be certain through a
mental process, it must be a heart
process of faith, stemming from
a pure and obedient heart.

Believe that He is able to keep you.

Do not be afraid to start the process.
or continue the process, even when
you know that both your purity and
your faith need work. Faith puts
its confidence not in its own
ability or prowess, but in the One
to whom it looks.

In these uncertain days, a sure
certainty of the faithfulness of
God to lead and keep you, can be
a most precious gift. Do not
fail to avail yourself of it!

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