You know how you are just kind of going along in life thinking that you have just about everything figured out, and then BAM you read something and it causes you to rethink everything.
Lately, I have prayerfully operated out of the mindset that God does not give us a Spirit of confusion, that in reality He desires to give us clarity. Sounds pretty good right. I have often prayed lately for clarity for me and for others.
I’m reading a book entitled, “Living the Lord’s Prayer” by David Timms. Check out what he writes in Chapter 6:
“Our pursuit of clarity has become one of our greatest idolatries.”
Now, how do you think I felt after reading that sentence? How about HORRIBLE! How about I wanted to try to find scripture to defend myself, and how about I failed to do so. I hate being wrong, and I have been wrong about this one.
In reality God doesn’t give us clarity…He gives us FAITH, and it is the FAITH that He gives that eventually produces a clearer view of things. He did not give Abram much in the way of clarity when he called him out of Ur. There was very little detail involved in God’s command. Hebrews 11:8 says that Abram, “went without knowing where he was going.”
Timms recounts a story told by Brennan Manning about John Kavanaugh who he describes as a “brilliant ethicist.” Mr Kavanaugh went to Calcutta to see Mother Teresa and when asked what she might do for him he asked her to pray for him. When asked what she might pray for Kavanaugh responded, “Pray that I have clarity.” To which Mother Teresa firmly responded, “No, I will not do that.” When probed by Kavanaugh, who probably felt like he had just gotten coal in his stocking at Christmas, Mother Teressa said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” Kavanaugh challenged that Mother Teresa always seemed to have clarity, a clarity that he longed for, to which she responded laughingly, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So, I will pray that you trust God.”
If we live a life that prays, “Your will be done” then we must trust in His will, His commands, His teachings, His authority, His leadership. We want a sure thing. We want to have our fears washed away by certainty. But if God is who He says He is, then how much more certainty can we have? I mean, He’s God!
My prayer for several decisions has now changed. It has become evident that some decisions just weren’t being made out of a desire for clarity, which really means that there is a shortfall in trust. So, now I pray that I trust, and that others trust.
It’s not just trusting God, but trusting those God has gifted with leadership that becomes the issue. A lack of trust in God will always raise up as a lack of trust in those whom God has gifted.