Sunday, February 04, 2007

mirror mirror

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

After Saturday night I needed to edit some of the message and emphasize other parts. But there was a slant on a particular scripture that I had never really considered before as it relates to vision and the will—or plan—of God in our lives. I had to cut it out to make room for other points that were made, but here’s what I said:

“The apostle Paul wrote that we see the plans of God in our lives like we’re looking through a dark glass. I want you to think about how profound that is. I think Americans—because we have thousands of options and choices and live incredibly wealthy lives compared to the vast majority of the world—believe that “clarity” and “measured outcomes” are an inalienable right. Perhaps some of us even carry that entitlement into our spiritual walk. But Paul infers that not everything is clear now. Someday Jesus will come and we’ll see and know God and His will plainly. But now the window is a little foggy. We know a few things about God’s plan for our lives now…we get a prophetic word here…a little word of knowledge there…and we do our best to piece it together. It’s often on the other side of a move of God that we really see the beauty and power of God’s plan.”

In his book Ruthless Trust, author Brennan Manning writes:

“When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at ‘the house of the dying’ in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, ‘And what can I do for you?’ Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

‘What do you want me to pray for?’ she asked.

… ‘Pray that I have clarity.’

She said firmly, ‘No, I will not do that.’ When he asked her why, she said, ‘Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.’ When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, ‘I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.’”

I believe God has given us a vision. How it will turn out is His business. My job is to love God, love others, listen to His whispers, inspire action and pray to get out of the way. I wish I could say everything is perfectly clear, but that would be arrogant. But sometimes I wonder if the times I worried the most whether something would be successful or not were the moments nothing was achieved.

But honestly, I’ve never been more sure. Our city, our future, our world. I think God is offering us an invitation to an innovative supernatural opportunity.

I say let’s take it.


  1. Workman jokingly previewed his tombstone and commented around the time of the preview, "I can honestly say I want to look back at life and realize I wasn't afraid." When I'm old and wise, I'll relax. Now that I'm young, I have to work hard so that I can be wise and relax. I'll tell others that I wasn't afraid and tell others to not be afraid. With God I can do that.

  2. "I think God is offering us an invitation to an innovative supernatural opportunity.

    I say let’s take it."

    I'm game.

  3. I'm game too, Cindy. Let's get this party started...

  4. As I am working my way through the Bible, today was my day to start in 2 Corinthians 9. I think you all should take a look. I think this message was talking me/us.

  5. I'm in! Just need to find a place to start selling 'stuff.' Beth Moore's study of Daniel (thanks Anita) is also challenging us to do the same! Love it when God nudges you from all sides!!

  6. I can't wait to get back to Cincy (I'm currently in St Louis for a month or two of training for a new job) to be part of the action. I am excited about the wonderful things God can do through us to reach the lost and hurting people around us.

    I have also experienced that fogginess you referred to (and Manning as well). There are many times I feel He is showing me the next one or two right steps without showing me the whole picture. And yet, somehow I know if I will take those next couple right steps, He will bless the obedience, no matter where it takes me. Good stuff :)

  7. Interesting post. Andy Stanley just gave a talk at catalyst conference in Atlanta and the theme was "clarity" of vision.

    I'm all about faith, but I'm more about order and coherence (our God is a God of order, not chaos)