I sure do! And I am sure that you do too.
In fact, at times, an endless stream of questions torments our hearts and souls, doesn’t it?
• How do I stop being attracted to men? To women?
• Is it wrong to feel like this?
• If it is, am I saved?
• How do I conquer temptation?
• Does God want me to stop being myself?
• How do I stop being angry with God?
• What do I say to my parents?
• Is not being “myself” right or wrong?
• How do I tell my spouse? Or should I?
• Should I stop going to church?
• What is going to happen to me if I give in to the temptation?
• Why me? Is it because God has given up on me?
So many questions? So many seemingly conflicting feelings and beliefs?
And I know that when one enters into recovery, the questions only multiply. They steal our energy. They consume us.
But into our chaos, God speaks.
In love, He gives us ‘bread’…
And if on some point you think differently
[you’re unsure, it’s not clear, you’re doubtful]
that too God will make clear to you.
Only live up to what you have already attained.
Philippians 3: 15 & 16 (NIV)
In His Word, He reveals His character to us. First, He knows our overwhelming questions that have no clear answers, now. He sympathizes. He knows all about our questions…that we want to do the right things…and therefore want answers now.
He Gives Us Room
We have in our hearts the reality of what Paul speaks of in the verses prior to those quoted above: In Jesus we have experienced, and are experiencing, His death and resurrection. To the Corinthians Paul says, “We who are alive are always being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life might be revealed in our mortal bodies.” (II Cor. 4:11)
With that truth in place, God gives us the room—that is, the grace—to journey toward more in and through Him! What about all those tormenting questions? God is aware of our questions, our fears, our doubts and our every thought. He promises to answer our questions. In Christ He provides everything necessary to relinquish your fears, to erase your doubts, and to purify our thoughts.
But He doesn’t say when or how. You just have to hang-on to Him for that. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12b).
So, “take hold of Him” into the future where he says things “will be made clear to you.”
But, what about now!? I have all these questions! I ‘need’ them answered now. God gives us plenty of directions to occupy our “now”!
He Gives Us What to Do
“Live up to what you have already attained” (v. 16). You want answers. But God says, “Just do what I have already told you to do.”
• Love God.
• Hate sin.
• Love your neighbors.
• Partake of the Sacraments.
• Go to church.
• Study the Bible. We must be informed by His Word to be transformed by the power of His Spirit.
• Confess sin.
• Repent of sin.
• Receive prayer, and pray.
• Work toward purity in thought and deed.
• Do not envy.
• Know who you are in Christ.
• Integrate Fruits of the Spirit in your life.
• Grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus.
And the list goes on…
Do what you already know to do, what God has already told you, and the rest He will make clear to you in time.
It’s like standing at the bottom of a dark staircase symbolizing unanswered questions: What’s up ahead? What’s next? You only have a flash light. That flashlight only illuminates a few steps at a time. You cannot see beyond the few steps. You must take the first seen/known step, then the next step comes into clarity.
Let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Philippians 3: 15 & 16 (MSG)