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Friday, February 11, 2011

Mine Fields and Waves Galore

18 If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. 
(Proverbs 29:18  The Message Bible)

This same passage can be translated: "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction."  (NIV)  The idea is that we are often people that seem to require being "in the know" as it applies to what is coming next in our lives.  As we well know, this seldom happens.  We plan and prepare, but often the best of plans becomes nonsensical when dealing with the things that present themselves at our doorstep demanding our attention and energies.  This passage considers the idea of "revelation".  For us to understand the passage, we must understand that word.

First, revelation carries the idea of disclosing something that had otherwise or previously been hidden.  It is common in church circles to say that we don't know what God is doing, but that we will just trust him with the outcome.  That is certainly commendable, but we fail to admit just how much we are struggling with "not knowing" what God is doing!  We find ourselves stumbling around in the dark and hoping that we are going to come into a place of light sometime soon.  This is not the way God wants to have us proceeding through life.  He wants to give us opportunities for disclosure - times when he brings us into the knowledge of what he is about to do.

Second, revelation brings the idea of communication.  For communication to be effective, it must be two-way.  Much of our communication with God is simply one-way....we pray and expect him to listen, answer, and reveal.  There are times when God may be asking us to do the listening, answering, and revealing - in hopes that true communication will occur.  There is something powerful in "good" communication - it cements relationship, building strong foundations.

Last, but not least, it carries the idea of inspiration.  When we are brought to a place where vision is created, there is an internal igniting of passion to pursue what we are seeing clearly.  A good leader will first create the vision around what he is desiring to accomplish, then will assist those around him to lay hold of that vision, its possibilities, and its challenges.  Together, they tackle the challenges - through the innovation of the whole, there is an ability to overcome what challenges the one.

Without revelation (disclosure, communication, and inspiration), we cast off restraint.  In other words, there is nothing to restrain us from taking one course of action over another.  We are aimless.  Aimless people accomplish absolutely random things.  There is no order to what is created.  Good may come out of this type of effort, but it is certainly not as good as if we understood what we were doing, its purpose, and how it fits into a bigger plan.

Attending to what God discloses is the key within this passage.  There is a song I have come to love.  Some of the lyrics of this song present the idea that we are going through life "dancing through the mine-fields" and "sailing through the storms".  Now, most of you will admit that you rarely see mine-fields as places to dance!  In fact, you'd avoid them at all costs.  Putting to sail in the midst of a storm is also another treacherous venture that none undertake too willingly.  The thing is, we can dance through the mine-fields and sail through the storms if there is "disclosure" about how to navigate them! 

Mine-fields are nothing to God!  Neither is the storm!  Where there is revelation, there is the ability to navigate safely.  Not just picking through them a little step here or there, but dancing through them!  Not just taking one wave at a time, but riding high upon the peaks of white-water and propelled forward by the winds of adversity!  Revelation is the key to dancing and sailing!  Have you stopped long enough today to seek some revelation (disclosure, communication, and inspiration) from the one who knows where the mines are or when the next wave will come?