“He must, from the outset, discard as irrelevant the two questions… ‘How can I be good?’ and ‘How can I do good?’ and instead of these, he must ask the utterly and totally different question, ‘What is the will of God?’ ~Ethics, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
It is actually the passage I was supposed to ready yesterday, but due to circumstances I was unable to read it until today. And today, it is more relevant than yesterday.
We have been involved in a difficult situation for quite a while. We’ve seen many ups and many downs in this situation, but all of us who are involved in it have been feeling the hand of God and we’ve all grown spiritually.
Today it seems we’re looking at another down; it’s like being on a little boat during a storm. We’re at the top of a gigantic and dangerous wave, the boat is tilted and we’re about to descend in an abyss. We see it, we know it’s coming, but there is little we can do to prevent it. There is one thing we can do that will prepare us for what is coming.
As I prayed this morning, Psalms 46:10 would not let go of me. And it is the key to riding any storm we face.
"Be still and know that I AM God". What does that mean?
Does it mean sitting in a room and waiting for God to act? Maybe.
Does it mean doing what we know to do and leave the rest to the Lord? Maybe.
Does it mean pray and ask for guidance? That is a definite yes.
Will the answer always make sense? That is a definite no.
Sometimes the answer we get makes no sense to us at all. Often it makes no sense to anyone we know, and we may even be doing things that are contrary to what our Christian community thinks. Isaiah 55:9 reminds us that as far as the heaven is above the earth, so God's ways are higher than our ways. We'll never be able to understand God. After all, how can creation understand the complexities of The (one and only) Creator? But I don't want to understand God. If I understood God, God would not be Almighty. One thing we can know for certain, however, and that is that God will never contradict Himself by telling us something that contradicts the Bible, His Word.
Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint are two examples of women who knew the wisdom of Psalms 46:10 and obeyed God's call in spite of what those who loved them might have thought and in spite of what they themselves might have thought. They must have questioned the Lord when he called them to minister to the very ones who had killed Jim Elliot, Elisabeth’s husband and Nate Saint, Rachel’s younger brother. Jim and Nate and the rest of their team were obedient “even unto death” and though it looked like their mission failed, they obeyed God.
In God’s eyes, obedience is the first step toward true success.
Elisabeth and Rachel must have heard many well-meaning Christians question their resolve, but they knew the Lord was calling them to this true mission impossible and they obeyed with amazing results.
Yes, and Dietrich Bonheoffer, the man I started this blog with, also obeyed God, even when it looked like just the opposite of what he was called to do. Although he obeyed God, “even unto death” he was able to save many Jews from extermination. Many Christians in his world and many today questioned whether he was in obedience to God by being involved in a conspiracy to kill Hitler. Although the conspiracy failed, Dietrich was obedient and in God’s eyes, obedience is the first step toward true success.
Is the Lord asking you to do something impossible? Or maybe you know he’s leading you to do something but you don’t know what. Remember Psalms 46, and especially verse 10. Be still and know that he is God. Rest in that and he will give you true success in your life. It might not be what you call success, but if you’re obedient to Him, you will gain the type of success that will be success for all eternity. Who can argue with that?