I love Coca-Cola memorabilia. Especially the old stuff. I love the style, the flared lettering, the nostalgia from a simpler time. In fact, I have a whole room decorated with old coke crates, signs and collectibles. Clif and I even painted our extra freezer red with the classic Coca-Cola logo so it looks like an old style vending machine.
Not too long ago, a friend who knew about my affinity wanted to add to my soda collection by giving me a complicated 1500-piece Coke themed jigsaw puzzle. Now, I’ve never really been one for puzzles of this size, but I eventually took it out and worked with it. For a while anyway. However it wasn’t long until I had to throw in the towel. With so many of the pieces being exactly the same color, the attempt ended up being an exercise in frustration.
Unfortunately that’s a picture of what many believers often experience while attempting to discern God’s will. To them, it seems that they’re given a lot of pieces that look similar, but don’t seem to really connect or relate to each other. Then, using prayer, they search around for related sections, looking for spiritual signs around which to frame their decisions. All too often giving up when they can’t bring order to what seems like an impossibly disjointed jumble.
But that whole premise of finding God’s will is often wrong. The first thing we have to realize is that …
We will never know God’s will apart from knowing God Himself.
So, the most basic step in knowing what to do is to back up and get to know the Lord. While that may seem to be a nebulous target, it’s more concrete than you might think. Here’s what Jesus said. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
Do you see the connection there? Obedience is the the first step on the path to knowing who Jesus is. The reason is because obeying, especially when it conflicts with our desires, is a categorical statement of faith! It says, I may not understand, I may not even like it, but I trust You enough to do what You say. And as we trust Jesus more fully, we won’t have to work so hard to try to “figure out” what to do, what decisions to make, or how to force the parts together into a pleasing final picture. While we may never have the clarity we want about the future, truly knowing and trusting the One who holds the future helps us trust that all the pieces will eventually fit together the way they should.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!” …
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. ~ Psalm 91:1-2, 4