(Wednesday, January 9, 2013) I sit in the airport writing this, awaiting the departure of my flight to India. I’ve seen numerous signs offering guarantees: of cell phone reception if you purchase a certain company’s product, of ease of flying if you travel with their airline, of satisfaction if you purchase this produce, and on and on. What I’m looking for is a guarantee, not from a phone company, an airline or a merchant, but a guarantee from God. I’d like a guarantee I’ll make it safe and sound to India, that I’ll be healthy while there, that my ministry will impact lives, that I’ll be able to endure being away from family and loved ones, that the time will go quickly and I’ll soon be home safe and sound. I’d feel much better if that was guaranteed.
But there are no guarantees from God, are there? Certainly if anyone could offer a guarantee about the future it would be He holds the whole world and all that happens in the palm of His hand. When one signs on to serve and follow Him there are no guarantees. Of course there are none for those who don’t serve Him, either, are there? But they wouldn’t expect any.
The problem is that when I sacrifice for His sake I expect something in return. I feel that He owes me. I am doing this for Him. The least He can do is guarantee success, safety and an enjoyable time, right?
No, there are no guarantees with God. Or are there? Does living for Him and serving Him offer any securities? Do we have any assurances from Him when we live for Him? We may not be able to write our own list of benefits, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. There are many, and they are out of this world. We may not call them guarantees but we call them promises. Same thing.
God makes many promises for me when I follow Him. He promises (guarantees) that He will never leave me or forsake me, never give me more than I can handle with His help, always be with me, use whatever happens for my growth and His glory and fill me with His Spirit and Presence. Pastor Tim in the Mitford series talks often about “praying the prayer that God always answers.” What is that prayer? “Your will be done” is the prayer He always answers. He doesn’t guarantee that my will be done but that His will be done.
What could be better than that? While I’d like guarantees that assure my safety and comfort, His promises focus on His will being done. And as I think of it, who am I doing this for, me or Him? If I want safety and security I should stay home. If I want His will to be done I need to trust Him as He leads and guides whatever may happen. If I truly want to live for Him and serve Him then I just report for duty and let Him give the orders, trusting He knows best and He will be glorified in all of it. That’s what it means to be a servant.
No guarantees? Maybe not the kind I want, but I need to put my faith in His promises to be with me no matter what, not in promises to keep me from any difficulty that may come up. No guarantees? No, but yes, the best kind – that His purpose will be done and He will be glorified, and that He will be with me helping me no matter what happens. No guarantees? I think that’s the best guarantee anyone could ever want!
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Is God calling you to do something, or has He put you in a place in your life, where you would like some guarantees from Him before moving ahead? What assurances are you expecting from Him to make it easier for you to trust Him? What promises has He given that you can rest on instead?
Blogs can be found at: http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/
Past blogs can be found at http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/page/2/ I
Pictures of this trip can be found http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/photos/?wppa-album=8&wppa-cover=0&wppa-occur=1
Pictures from past years can be found at http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/photos
Please feel free to email me whenever you want. I may not always be able to respond, but hearing from friends back home can be very, very encouraging when I am so far away for so long! I look forward to checking my email when possible at the end of a long day.