Have you ever taken a leap of faith based on a word from the Lord you thought you heard, only to fall flat on your face…in the mud? The word it seemed so clear. The path was wide open. But the results, well those were a little muddy.
Take the classic story of Peter confessing that Jesus is indeed the Christ, followed almost immediately by Jesus calling him Satan. Talk about highs and lows! What stands out to me in Peter’s story is the reality that we can have a real and true revelation from God, and immediately screw up right afterwards. I have a bad habit of questioning pretty much everything. What I scrutinize the most heavily though is myself, most particularly my thoughts. I wonder if my thoughts are from the Lord, if decisions made were the right ones etc. It can be so confusing sometimes. I will know something is clear and right and from the Lord, and then three minutes later, all I can hear is the voice of Satan. It’s pretty discouraging. But what I took away from this text (in tears) is that I don’t need to doubt the revelations God has given me. No matter what comes next, I can cling to those truths. Just as with Peter, they don’t find their origin in me anyway, so I have no need to second guess them.
The flip side of the coin of this passage is the understanding that all revelation is partial revelation. Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, and that revelation was right and good and true! But Peter had no idea what that meant. They weren’t able to understand that Jesus was the suffering servant. They still clung to the hope in a kingly victor. Yes, Jesus said it to them, but the light bulb didn’t go off.
All revelation is partial revelation.
We can’t know the whole picture. We likely couldn’t handle it. We would likely turn and run the other way. Just like I can’t make my current exercise goal to prepare for a marathon! The thought of that is so overwhelming I will not run even once. All the best business books will tell you to set attainable goals. A marathon isn’t attainable! Neither is the full understanding of who God is and what He is up to in this world. All wisdom is God’s wisdom, and walking with us one step at a time, that’s God’s wise way. If I knew the path Jesus was leading me on, the whole path, I would likely choose another path. I wouldn’t even take the first step. But He is kind enough to give me just as much as I need to take the next step. I need to trust that voice that I know and that is so familiar. Even when I have no idea where the path is leading. Even when it leads up to a dead end…like a cross, or a Red Sea…just in faith, follow His leading.
Your word O Lord, is a light unto my feet…