To Know Jesus or to Know Your Future?
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NLT)
We all wonder about the future. Whether that be what you’re going to eat in thirty minutes, the extensive amount of things you have to do tomorrow, or where your life will be in ten years. There are numerous questions that linger in our heads left unanswered, and sometimes it feels as if we have to actively do something to get these answers. It can so easily feel like we are doing something wrong.
This is a daily struggle for me. Being a freshman in college all I can think about is how– hopefully– I have so much life ahead of me full of decisions, adventures, life events, and changes. To me, the future is exciting, but also scary. Even though our lives here on Earth are short compared to eternity, they are jam-packed so it’s easy to get ourselves caught up in the constant rush we live in.
We have strong desires to know what the future holds, yet we should be embracing the very moment that God has us in. Ironically, once we get to that moment we’ve been so anxiously awaiting, we hardly give ourselves a moment to enjoy it before we start desiring the next step of our future. It’s this vicious cycle that the world is caught up in: the need to know. As human beings, we naturally find our worth and the worth of others in job statuses, yearly salary, relationships, the cars we drive, the neighborhoods we live in, and so on. We put so much stock into these frivolous ideas or possessions because we are obsessed with the future.
… How much money we might make one day.
… Who we might fall in love and start a family with down the line.
… Whether or not we’ll be happy to look back on our lives when we stand at our very last day.
We live for immediate satisfaction, and because that isn’t always an option, we’re willing to take fate into our own hands to try and speed our timelines along so that they serve us. That thought process is dangerous in and of itself, let alone the repercussions of striving to live that way. Not only does it show we don’t trust in and rely on God, but it kind of makes us out to think that we can play God
If God gave you the whole roadmap to your life, there would be no need for faith. You would already know everything that’s coming your way, which is scarier by far because we don’t have the emotional capacity to cope with all that we are going to face in this life at one time. We would be living in complete and utter fear of the bad things and anticipating relief in the good moments. Life would be a collection of cycles with no other meaning than to just make it through.
God chooses not to reveal our futures to us because He loves us and knows what pain we would feel if we knew it all. Knowing the future isn’t the key to a seamless, Spirit-filled life. It is knowing God and investing in your relationship with Him that will lead to true satisfaction and fulfillment. What a blessing it is that we get to communicate with and be loved by the Maker of the universe, rather than trying to piece it all out by ourselves. There is no instruction manual that would be able to help us manage the stress of knowing every trial coming, even when paired with knowing every good day.
Now here’s the blessing we blind ourselves to: You are in the know. God doesn’t leave you in the dark. You don’t have to do anything to navigate this life other than trusting Him with all your heart. He walks before you, encouraging and guiding you through the ways you pursuing Him in everything. The fact that we have open communication with the God of this universe will never fail to blow my mind, but that’s the key to the peace we need.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
As Moses and Joshua are desperately trying to get the Israelites to the Promised Land, God continually changes their plan. In this chapter, as God hands down His newest round of instructions, He reassures them that there is no reason to be afraid because His footsteps hit the ground before ours do. What a relief that knowledge is: God has walked through my future already, and works everything together for my good!
In a world that constantly desires immediate answers, take hold of the fact that your future isn't in your hands at all. Trust me, there are some days that I so badly want to know the roads I will be walking on in two, five, or twenty years, but I am learning to be content with not knowing. We don’t need the detailed itinerary for the rest of our lives. We already have the One who orchestrates our every step, and He’s already promised that He will never fail us.
I can’t help but think about my future, but I have got in this process of wanting answers more than I want you. Rather than challenging myself and growing my faith, I have been exposing myself to the unnecessary stress of trying to map things out on my own. Bring my heart to a place where my trust in you is stronger than my lingering mind– where I am so in love with you that I can’t give my attention to the unfulfilling things of this world. Give me your wisdom, O God, and stretch my boundaries. May my number one desire be to pursue you with all I have and leave each part of my future on the table, for you to do with it what you want. There’s no answer this world could give me that even compares to your guidance and comforting spirit. I love you, God. Challenge me today.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen