This morning in my reading of Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest the Spirit truly got a hold of me and reminded me that in all of my attempts in the past to plan, create strategy and control the direction of a community of faith there is still the uncertainty of the untraveled journey ahead. Oswald Chambers starts the devotional with a bang as he says,
Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.
Something I am learning about following Jesus, the wild Messiah, is just when I get an idea where we are headed, he takes a left turn into the desert, turns right to cut through the thick forest, or goes straight ahead to push through life’s mountainous obstacles. All of this in spiritual context, of course. In all this I’m discovering that in my, or my fellow leaders’ attempts to create certainty, rules of life, or ways of living there is still only one certain Way, and he is Jesus the Messiah. It is by the Spirit of His resurrection that we are filled, led and poured out.
My dear friend, Seth Reeves, wrote an amazing song titled You’re Not Safe, But You’re Good. The title reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ famous quote of Aslan. When I listen to the song it also reminds me of Abram trusting and believing that God would not only lead and guide him to the distant land, but also walk with him through all uncertainty.
Believe me, I struggle to answer those questions as well. I don’t know that it’s ever easy for us to give Jesus complete control of our lives and our calling, but we must. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a good branch worthy of The Vine to bear fruit, but I must. Nor can I say complete abandon to the Messiah is in my nature, but it must. What I can say is I desire to live an incarnational life, being sent into the world that surrounds me. My desire is to be a servant of the King for the sake of his kingdom. I want to make Jesus famous and not my own belief of him. With that I offer another thought from Oswald Chambers:
When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him.
May the uncertainty of following Jesus push and pull us toward a stronger desire for Him. May we lay down our agendas and carry His way of life as our own. May we not fear, or fail, to walk in the dark places where humanity feels hopeless. May we offer hope and peace that are beyond our own understanding. May we love to the point of death. May we embrace the uncertainty of our journey with Jesus as he unravels the road ahead, because he is a wild Messiah.