I’m reading a book by Shawn Bolz right now called “God Secrets” in which God has highlighted a message to me that is deeply touching my heart. Discernment…we all have it in some way or another. It is, according to Merriam-Webster, the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend something that is obscure. It is a gift God has given us so that we might navigate through what is good and bad in life, and it is an invaluable tool. However, having discernment and following it doesn’t mean that we are necessarily in tune with God’s heart. Feeling things out and following our gut, or clearly discerning things correctly, shouldn’t be the goal of our lives. Our goal should be to have a deeper connection with God and to seek His heart in all things! Wow. That really switches things up, doesn’t it? I can’t rely on my own thoughts on a subject, or my natural tendency to want to understand, even though, in His great loving-kindness, God has given me discernment as a gift. If I really want to know and do what’s right, I must rely on Him.
Here’s the thing though: as much as I want to know and do His will for my life, I’m not always assured a completely clear answer from God immediately. What I am assured of is Psalm 119:105 – His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light my path! In Bible times, there was no outside light at night except for the moon and stars, so whoever wrote Psalm 119 used the analogy of God’s Word as a lamp to help people visualize what following God is really like: using a small oil lamp in the pitch black night that literally only lights the next few steps!
When God speaks to us, He doesn’t give us the entire game plan all at once because He wants us to seek Him instead of running past Him with the words He still so kindly gives. I do believe we can hear from God clearly and confidently – way into the future, and in the here and now. However, I don’t believe that He is always going to speak the exact same way to us. That’s kind of the fun of getting to know Him – what He does is unpredictable, but who He is never changes. His character and His love stays the same, but the ways in which He speaks are endless. I used to think that the clarity of His guidance for me was the proof of His love, meaning how clearly I could hear Him for myself proved that He loved me enough to leave me with no questions – absolute clarity. However, when I realized that I could get a word wrong, or many words wrong, I could no longer rely on my ability to simply understand or discern clearly everything that God was doing. I simply had to rely on Him – His unfailing, and unchanging character and nature. The funny thing is: sometimes, because He loves us, He hides His Word. He hides Himself. It may seem He is far away, but He is closer than we can comprehend. Bill Johnson says: He hides Himself so we can find Him.
I am learning that family is more important than clarity to God, meaning that being close to Him is more important than completely understanding everything because we actually don’t have the capacity to! It is so much more important to be close to God than to just know His words – to just follow His words and do everything correctly like a robot. He surely desires us to follow His Word, but He did not die to make us unfeeling, religious, and legalistic – to follow His Word without following Him. He wants us to know Him intimately, to know His heart – the meaning behind His words. That doesn’t mean to seek Him for the words (simple direction, prophetic words, encouraging words, etc.), but what amazes me is that so many people in the world, including I, do just that every single day…AND HE STILL SPEAKS AND STAYS THE SAME TOWARD US! If I could fully comprehend the love of God. Seriously, who is like that? He knows our weaknesses, insecurities, and shortcomings, and yet He doesn’t hold them against us, He still loves us, and He treats us with the utmost respect and kindness.
I have heard it said that we will never have perfect theology on this earth – that is, we obviously can’t know it all, but Jesus, the Son of God, is perfect theology. He is the One who represents God, and as we truly live for Him, washed clean by His blood, and carefully keep a clean conscience by staying connected to His heart, we can’t help but grow in clarity – understanding His Word, will, and direction. 1 John 2:20 (AMP) says that, as Christians, we have an anointing from God that teaches us about all things:
“But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy One, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things.”
This means that being rightly connected to God is truly the only way we can ultimately learn about all things! We don’t have to go around figuring things out for ourselves, but can dive into His Word and entrust ourselves to our Creator to teach us. I am not called to try and achieve clarity in life, or even about God’s Word, on my own. I’m called to know God, love God, seek God, hear God, and follow God – to truly have communion with Him like I would a friend…and a friendship goes both ways. If a deeper connection with God like this is something you want, why don’t you try it out? Ask Him questions and genuinely wait on Him. He’s not always going to give you the answers for everything that happens in life, but you will find that knowing Him means more than having all the answers.
To compare knowing God to talking in a telephone booth, I’d rather have a connection to the person on the other end with only a little bit of clarity than have no connection with perfect clarity. Connection to a loving God who is trustworthy and true is all the clarity I need.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)