Hello, and welcome to the first post of 2022!
My social media feeds have been flooded with messages of good wishes for a new year, suggestions to make intentions rather than resolutions, and encouragements to be more mindful, to name but a few of the types of posts I’ve seen. I am not one for resolutions myself. I was recently at a retreat and heard someone say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan.” I don’t believe God is the type of being seeking to amuse Himself by throwing a wrench into our best laid plans but neither can I deny there is some truth to that statement. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps” (KJV). That’s the scripture that keeps coming to mind during this time of resolutions and seeking change and so I do not seek to deviseth my own path, but to be aware of the Lord’s direction and to walk where He would have me go.
This very decision implies relationship. I cannot walk by the direction of the Lord without being aware of Him: His presence, His thoughts, and His voice. And, I am. He is always with me and I seek to always obey His promptings and corrections. I have to admit I don’t perfectly obey but it’s more of I didn’t recognize a prompting until afterward rather than deliberate disobedience. Moving into a new year, I ask The Holy Spirit to continue to guide me into greater understanding and discernment. May I recognize the sound of His voice every moment.
I have been thinking about asking questions of God. I do it all the time. If The Holy Spirit is my teacher, as the scriptures say He is, how do I learn except I ask questions? I do not know any teachers who do not want their students to ask questions. Why would we expect The Holy Spirit to be different? I already shared how I wondered about the Elder Brother in the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15 and how within a few weeks I had Malcolm Smith’s sermons on just that subject. This has happened many times. There is so much I don’t understand (Ha! Understatement) and there has never been a time where I have posed a question to The Holy Spirit and he has not answered it. Sometimes it’s through another teacher, sometimes it’s through the scriptures, sometimes it’s a book placed on the right shelf at the right time…there are many and varied ways in which He answers me and, the more He answers me, the bolder my questions get.
I ask The Holy Spirit, “why?” Two teachers I have learned a great deal from, two men I admire and respect, have both at various times said “don’t ask God why”. I understand why they say this. Consider the mind of God. If you are a believer in God and believed He created everything that is; then you believe the vastness of creation with its infinite variety, its precision, and its intricacy originated in His mind. He imagined it and spoke it into being. How can my finite mind begin to comprehend the infiniteness of God? It cannot and neither can I ask “why?” because as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than my ways and His thoughts than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9, paraphrased) and I cannot possible comprehend the answer.
And yet-I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in me (Romans 8:11). This same Spirit is the Spirit Jesus promised would guide me into all truth, show me things to come, and take all the things of the Father that were given to Jesus and give them to me (John 16:13-15). This is massive. It’s beyond words. It’s definitely a time to Selah until the reality of it saturates us to our cores. This is the life that Jesus has made available for us, I boldly ask Him “why?” and I trust He will answer me.
I do believe the way of asking is important. I do not demand to know “why?” like I am putting God on trial and expect Him to defend Himself to me. I do not spit my “whys” at Him and use them as an excuse to go my own way. I ask as His child and I ask within the parameters of that relationship.
I’m sure all of you who are parents have experienced your child asking “why?” You do not shut down that precious curiosity nor do you ignore a question that has been asked in pain. I do not believe our Heavenly Father does so either. But then, neither does a loving and concerned parent force information on a child who is too young and inexperienced to understand. Sometimes answers to a child’s “why’s” are only partial answers and sometimes they can only be answered with, “I cannot tell you that yet: you are not yet old enough to understand.”
There have been many times where that is the answer I have received and it is an answer I am okay with. When I receive that particular answer, I expect something to happen. I don’t expect anything specific but I know that an opportunity will come where I can learn something. Sometimes I recognize the opportunity as part of the answer to the question I have asked. Other times, it’s an answer to something I didn’t think to ask. Whatever happens, I know that I can trust my Father is not mad at me for asking and will, in His perfect wisdom and timing, give me the answer I desire.
To those of you who have stuck with me over the last year, thank you for reading! I don’t expect the content of the posts to change much in the upcoming year. I do hope each post will reflect growth in understanding, discernment, obedience, and delight in this life I live in Jesus Christ. My prayer for myself and each one of you in this new year is that Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation will expand our knowledge of Jesus Christ, that the eyes of our hearts will be shed with light that we may come to fully know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us, and that we would know the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.