June 4, 2009

My Determined Purpose

"For my determined purpose is that I may know Him {that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly}, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection {which it exerts over believers}, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed {in spirit into His likeness even} to His death...Philippians 3:10, Amplified Bible

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." --Isaiah 55:8 & 9, Amplified Bible

How can I accept the "higher ways" of God?

Am I pursuing a path I cannot truly know or understand? Doesn't this cause and create frustration, perhaps even a little craziness? Why would God ask me to follow a path beyond my comprehension? If His ways are so different and so distant, how can His ways ever make sense to me? What is the basis for my understanding of what my life is all about?

Perhaps God is asking me to follow Him, not a known or knowable course or pathway.

When I was a little girl, I would sometimes walk with my father to our local bank branch or to our local post office. I held his hand as we walked down the busy streets. I had no idea of how to get to the offices on my own, and would not have attempted the trip alone. I was just walking with him, following him, and I was assured he would get us there and back. In fact, it never occurred to me that he didn't know exactly where we were going.

God knows where I need to be. God knows how to get me there. Do I believe this?

When Jesus reinstated Peter after the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus said "Follow me." His ways may seem strange or uncomfortable to me, but He can be my friend and companion in the middle of it all. In the middle of it all, I can learn something about Him I would never have learned in my self-chosen place or path. In the New Testament passage from Philppians, Paul describes a progression of knowing God: first is perception, second, recognizing, and finally understanding. The perceiving, recognizing, and understanding described here refers to Paul's knowledge of God, not Paul's comprehension of God's long term plans for Paul's life.

Sometimes things make sense and sometimes they don't make sense. Sometimes I can see my way clear to the horizon, and at other times, I have, as one author wrote, "just enough light for the step I'm on." In every circumstance, my determined purpose is that I may know Him.

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