When a teacher gives you and assignment, be it in grade school or graduate work, you know he or she will answer any questions you might have. When you get stuck on a math problem, you raise your hand, and Mrs. Expert walks you through the details. If you can't figure out how to dissect your frog, no worries, let Mr. Genius get you headed in the right direction. It just kinda goes with territory, if they tell you to do something, they will walk you through it, instruct you at the very least.
Sometimes I wish God were more like that. I know I've followed the call of God. He's called me to pick up my family, move to another state and start a new contemporary church. "Um, check... check... and... I'm working on it." The thing is, I'm not sure how all the details are going to work out. We continue to meet people and have lunches and dinners with some really cool individuals, but I wish I could just raise my hand and say, "OK Mr. God, come show me the right answer. I need help with this one!"
I wonder if Abram felt the same way. This is a passage from Genesis 12, "The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation . . . So Abram left as the Lord told him; and Lot went with him.' "
It goes on to say that he took his wife, some of his family and all the people he'd acquired in Haran. He just packed them all up and left. I wonder what that process was like. I wonder if any of them ever said, "Are you sure this is your calling?" or at least once I'm sure someone commented, "Where exactly are we gong?" Abram handled all that pressure and did exactly what God had called him to do. Here's the point though, God leaves a lot of the details up to us. Granted there is some inner guidance, but much of the time we do what seems right. We're just doing the best we can with what we have.
And maybe there's a deeper lesson in that. There are tons of instances in the Bible when God gave people specific instructions, but there are just as many where some of those same people made their own choices. Abraham, for instance, (yah, same guy - God had just changed his name at this point) lied to the ruler of Egypt. He also took his wife Sarah's advice to have a kid with her maidservant - not the best of choices - even worse for the outcomes. So, did God simply not have an opinion on those calls? Or was it something else? Did Abraham just take matters into his own hands?
What if every new struggle came with all the answers? Would we grow much? What if each day's challenges arrived with a full-color, neatly bound instruction manual? Would we really NEED God? Would he get glory in our lives?
I'm confident in the outcome of Connections. I know God will continue to bless, and in the not-too-distant future we'll have a Godly community reaching the lost in Treasure Valley. Until then, while we figure out where we're going, I'll just keep raising my hand and asking God for a few more tips!
"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). "Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it' " (Isaiah 30:21.)