The Way of Our Father

CC BY-SA, mariachily, Foter
CC BY-SA, mariachily, Foter

God is not as reticent as we think he is.

I’m learning to pray, Lord, help me not to miss crucial little things about my present life and circumstances that will explain lessons later. I’ve come to realize that God is not insensitive to us when we hurt and beg for answers, yet he answers on his own terms. Moreover, he responds in love and with the wisdom of his precise timing.

Think of a book you once read and didn’t comprehend: perhaps you finished it and more than likely you didn’t. A few years later you decided to read it again, especially since everyone except you seemed to love it. This time, however, you read it and couldn’t get enough of it. You were amazed that you never noticed all that was happening the first time.

God is that way with us. Sometimes we feel he’s not explaining himself too well, but it is his will to share with us about the matters we face.  “Call to me,” he says, “and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about” (Jer. 33:3, GNT). Still, some lessons are deeply formative ones to our faith—why something happened, why he didn’t act—and God, perhaps nestled above on the rock, tarries until we’ve climbed to where he’s waiting to speak with us.

Walk with God long enough and you’ll discover that for many lessons he patiently awaits our growth into them. It’s not always that we’re immature or lacking in some way, but rather certain experiences—the ‘crucial little things’—enjoined with our matured faith and his guiding voice cause us to BEHOLD what we never could have understood about his purpose at the time we demanded an explanation of him.

He’s too wise for our own good.

Let’s praise him for taking his time to speak to us about our cares. Let’s endure circumstance and not waste valuable experience. Let’s care to know only what the Father wishes to share because that’s all we’ll need to trust him later. Let’s never forget that what we learn becomes our ministry.

Another post on this topic: Hail the Morning Light

16 thoughts on “The Way of Our Father

    • Hi SingleFocus. I’m learning that the things I learn in the waiting ultimately teach me how to maintain the greater purpose or blessing when it comes and, in that way, is itself a blessing (in disguise). He is for us. Thanks for reading!

  1. Powerful insights! We are so blessed God waits for us to learn lessons and have our character developed before He gives us a particular assignment. He always knows what is best for us and wants to use us to further His kingdom. Be blessed today and bless someone else!

  2. These are great insights, Mike. That’s so true about what you said, “Walk with God long enough and you’ll discover that for many lessons he patiently awaits our growth into them.” I’ve asked for so many of the deeper things when I was young in the Lord and didn’t get an answer so, in my impatience, made something up by faith. 🙂 But later, the answer was something so profoundly different and so transforming that I realized I didn’t have a clue before what He needed me to see. And like you said with the books, I’ve gone back now and re-read some of the classics I read years ago, and they actually make so much more sense now. Imagine that!

    Good stuff!

    • Hey Mel. Thanks for sharing what you said; it actually excited me. This journey with the Lord is the profoundest, richest experience we could ever have! It’s not always fun and light, and only eternity and his very presence will reveal much of its significance.

      By the way, I’ve been wanting to ask your comments on John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference and the subsequent fallout. I’m interested in your perspective. Also, I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! My entry tomorrow will explain it all, so I’ll write and remind you. Thanks for reading.

      • You’re welcome. It is a great journey!

        On John MacArthur’s Strange Fire, I don’t know much of the details on his book or the conference other than a couple of articles and some sound bites, but I do know that whenever we think our particular interpretation of the truth is THE truth, or should even be the basis of fellowship and, especially, that it has anything to do with being saved, we’re being divisive and un-Christ-like. So are we going to say people not believers because they disagree with our doctrinal views? Are we saved by having all the right doctrine or by grace through faith? I would also ask, are we defining “truth” by appealing to the Reformer’s cessationist traditions or what the Bible actually says? I think this is why the early church fathers came up with the Nicene and Apostolic Creed, so there would be a line of fellowship but grace for everything else that we may disagree with. We may need a re-look at that. 🙂

        This is all kind of ironic when you think that MacArthur’s ministry is about grace! So what kind of grace is this then?

        So, actually, my first take is sadness. He sounds so vitriolic and lacking any grace. It comes across like he’s losing it and becoming bitter. I don’t think he’ll get the response he wants, other than causing more confusion and deeper divisiveness in the Church. You know, you can preach on “saving people from the wolves” all you want, but Paul also called divisiveness “carnal” and behaving like mere humans (1 Cor.3:1-3). The “wolves” Paul fought off were the Judaizers and the Gnostics, not those who believed in the finished work of the Cross but also spiritual gifts!

        There’s a major shift going on in the body of Christ, not away from Scripture, but toward our identity as sons in our Father’s Kingdom. Some will see this as a danger rather than the Kingdom advancing.

        Thanks on the nomination. Frankly, being new to the blog world, I have no idea what that is, so I will appreciate any instructions. 🙂

        • You’re so on-point. I discovered Strange Fire just a day or two after it was over…when all the stir was revving up over it, and I was literally hooked for the next week. I grew in faith (in-part) by the ministry of MacArthur. I wasn’t oblivious to his thoughts on the Spirit-filled tradition–he’s always spoken his mind about it–but, ya know, take the good teaching and spit out the bones!

          But when I saw an entire conference on the subject and watched the YouTube videos, I too was saddened; but then I was astonished and angry. How do judge 500 million Christians by TV preachers, align them with Satan and call them unbelievers, and express that they’re reserved for a hotter hell if they don’t repent–and think you’re doing God a favor? He mentioned every name he could possibly deride, lumping all kinds together, including John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Yes, he needs to rethink ‘grace to you’!

          I absolutely love your line: “…so there would be a line of fellowship but grace for everything else that we may disagree with.” Yes! Yes! Yes! Orthodoxy allows our fellowship, but the peripherals are where we may just have to agree to disagree…lovingly. I pray that the Lord will convict him of his error.

          I’ve read a ton of articles in rebuttal on this. MacArthur…well I hope he gets the message. Even folk in his own camp are distancing themselves from his attitude. He should take pointers from one of his own heroes, J.I. Packer, whose words are pretty clear and contrary to him on the matter and realize that God is moving how he cares to move. Thanks for chatting about this with me. I asked someone else about it and got the impression that we might be acting divisively just by discussing it!

        • Yeah, this kind of thing is a hard one to navigate gracefully. God obviously loves diversity, but not divisiveness. It’s one thing to have honest disagreements, it’s quite another to assign people to hell because they have a different view. That is not good. Especially, when the disagreement stands outside the finished work of Jesus and salvation by grace through faith. That’s when we veer off into the ditch of the “accuser of the brethren.” That job is already filled, and we don’t need to be helping him. 🙂

          It was good chatting with you too. Now that you’ve brought this to my attention, I will stay apprised of it, and will pray for a good outcome.

  3. Oh, and I nominated you for a Liebster award! Go see it on my page 🙂 The award not only recognizes your contributions and fine posts, it will also hopefully raise the profile and readership of your blog 🙂

  4. A toddler may find the electrical sockets interesting and try to insert his fingers inside. You grab his hands, tell him not to do it, he does it anyway. You smack his hand, he cries, throws a tantrum and irrationally insists on inserting his fingers into the socket.

    How do you explain to him the concept of electricity, electrocution and death?

    There are some things that our minds just aren’t equipped to understand. And there are things that we are simply not mature enough to grasp.

    I believe that God is witholding the answers until we are ready to process them. Telling us now will only provoke irrational behaviour. We just have to be patient and trust him I guess 🙂

    • I love your last statements. Sometimes answers in the moment don’t make sense or suffer the fate of making situations worse. “What do you mean you did it because…how does that help anything!” I was meditating on the rock illustration this morning thinking, God gives us a voice on the perch to call back to those in the valley below and climbing up their mountains. The encouraging voice is the person’s who has been with God. The old hymn says, “And we’ll understand it better bye-and-bye.” Well some things in our spiritual journey are just that way.

      Good to see you, Stephen. I was wondering about you last night: where is he? Glad you’re still around.

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