Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Need to Know Basis

Several years ago I took a group of students to the Bahamas on a mission trip. We were doing some construction work during the day and concerts in local churches and parks in the evening. It was a great time and traveling to the Bahamas to serve God is not a bad thing. Someone needs to go tell others about Jesus, so we suffered for a week!!

That trip is filled with both great memories and some incredibly painful ones. I am at the same time reminded of students who truly moved forward in their faith and I see clearly those who have walked away. The trip was both an ending to one season of ministry in my life and the beginning of another. Two weeks after that trip I had left the church I was serving to become the pastor at LifeQuest.

Early this morning I was reading my bible when I came across a note that I had written in it on my trip to the Bahamas. A local pastor was speaking after one of our concerts and made the following statement: “God gives information on a need to know basis.”

As I think about it I realize a pattern of this is found throughout scripture. Noah had no idea what a boat was until God told him to build an ark. Abraham was a man of a pagan land until God pulled him away and started the nation of Israel. Moses had no idea what the instruction of the burning bush would lead to in his life. Job never knew why all his life was filled with trouble. The list of biblical people who lived under this concept is endless.

Today we tend to think of ourselves as sophisticated, educated and connected. We have information at our finger tips of incidents that happen around the world. We process more information than any society in history. And yet we still can’t explain some daily events, relationships or circumstances in our lives.

We may never know the specific reasons or plans that God has for our lives. We may never see the “big picture” and have an “aha” moment. But God has not left us without clues or guidelines of how life is to be spent. In fact, he has laid out his plan exactly for us.

Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the best thing we can do with our lives is to love God and love our neighbor. Seems that God is in to vague outlines instead of strict detail. But think about it in this way; God has given us the basics and we fill in the blanks.

Maybe we don’t understand life at times. Love God and love others. Maybe we feel depressed and stressed out over life. Love God and love others. Maybe we come to our senses and realize we can’t buy happiness. Love God and love others. When it comes right down to it, God has given us more detail than we thought. If we love God and love others, most issues in our lives will be resolved. Maybe that’s what we need to know.

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