Over the last eighteen months I have gone through more changes than ever before in my life. These changes deal with every aspect of my life: personal, spiritual, ministry, etc. And yet, I know I am currently right where I need to be but in many ways uncertain about the future. For sometime I thought this to be a bad thing and felt unnecessary pressure from others to commit to something that perhaps God was not leading me to or to make a hasty decision based off what they wanted instead of what God wanted to do through me.
Most of us deal with uncertainty at some point in our lives, but most of us are unaware that "certainty is the mark of a commonsense life, whereas gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life." I came across a breathe of fresh air this week in reading from Oswald Chambers in 'My Utmost for His Highest:
. . . it has not yet been revealed what we shall be . . . —1 John 3:2
Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.
Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3 ). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1 ), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.
It is encouraging to be reminded that I am currently where God wants me to be, but that I need to become certain of my uncertainty. We often times put God in a box, especially those from my SBC background. We like to create our programs that are neat and tidy in attempts to make everything certain. This often times leads to neglecting the role of God through the Holy Spirit in our lives. So be certain in the place that God has called you but be open to the uncertainty of where God may be moving you.