Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. –Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
The story has been told of John Kavanaugh who spent three months in Calcutta, India serving the poor and trying to get a handle on how best to spend his life. He met Mother Teresa and she asked him if there was anything she could do for him. He requested that she pray for him. When she asked what she could pray for specifically, Kavanaugh asked that she pray that he would have clarity. Mother Teresa rejected his request. She told him, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” Kavanaugh replied that he longed to have the same kind of clarity that Mother Teresa seemed to have. Hearing this, Mother Teresa laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
Many of us have made seeking clarity a higher priority than simply trusting God. In issues of faith, when we only seek the safe; and when we only live on the basis of what we know and understand, we end up walking the Christian life by sight, not by faith. And this pathway is dangerous to our spiritual health.
Trust is faith in action. I love the example of Abraham. God called Abraham to move from his own country to another. God told Abraham that He would make him into a great nation. That was pretty much the extent of the direction that Abraham was given. Talk about lack of clarity. If I were in Abraham’s shoes, I would have wanted specific details on everything involved before setting out on the journey. I think I would have peppered God with questions like “Where, exactly, am I supposed to go?” and, “What am I supposed to do?” Yet, that wasn’t the way Abraham responded. Instead, trusting God, Abraham went.
He just went.
This is why Abraham is called in the Scriptures, the “father of all who believe”. Yet, taking a closer look into Abraham’s life, found in the Old Testament book of Genesis, we find that Abraham was also an average person who struggled with real life issues. He made risky decisions. And, he made a number of bad decisions along the way. Abraham did not live a safe life. Ignoring any desire for clarity, he pursued God’s calling on his life. He lived a life of trust.
Today, let’s take a step towards following the example of Abraham. Let’s take up the challenge of faith. Let’s begin to live with less clarity and more trust. Remember, the Bible tells us that we are to “live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
1. What areas of life are you more likely to “live by sight” instead of “living by faith”?
2. Invite God into those areas of your life, asking Him to give you both wisdom and the courage to “live by faith, not by sight.”
Psalm 40:4; Hebrews 11:8-10; Genesis 12