Are We Up for Following Jesus Into the Unknown?

Cloud-led by day, fire-led by night in the wilderness. The Israelites were dependent on the Presence to experience God’s lead. With Jesus, what’s unknown to us will likely prove to be a preferred future.

When we first encounter Jesus, he says things like “Learn from me, I will make you free, and follow me."

But the primary thing we hear is “Repent, for the Kingdom of God has drawn near to you."

Jesus deconstructs our familiar thinking

"Repent" means to change the mind, our life outlook. And, of course, all of our life which flows from the Kingdom point of view.

A renewed mindset is key to the transformation Jesus is looking for. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

As we walk with Jesus, we soon discover that Jesus is unpredictable. This is a core part of the renewing of our lives.

Being 'familiar' means something is well-known because we've known it for a long time or have a close connection to it.

Our Lord challenges us to die to what we’ve known—“Take up your cross and follow Me.”

I'm learning that Jesus can seem ambiguous at times as we walk with him in life. At least for a season.

Of course, ambiguity is uncomfortable. Our natural side wants to know just about everything ... as if we’re a god. Wanting to know everything shows where we think our security lies.

Often we're asked to lean away from our natural understanding though and lean into unknown things. The calling of Jesus is to rest in the understanding and counsel of the Lord.

So a vital question we face is, "Are we up for following Jesus into the unknown?" Will we find our security in our Lord. It's a trust issue.

When we first encounter Jesus, he says things like “Learn from me” and “I will make you free.” But the primary thing we hear is “Repent, for the Kingdom of God has drawn near to you.” We soon discover Jesus is wonderfully unpredictable  …

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Secret sauce for living abundantly

Clarity is a high value with God. We often encounter ambiguity in our lives though. Obviously, the sense of ambiguity is on our end, not God’s. It drives us to lean into our Life-Guide.

he will direct your paths

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV). 

From the Hebrew … “in all of your ways (pathways, course of action) acknowledge Him (relationship, know by intimate contact), and He shall direct (smooth, straighten) your paths.”

Following Jesus into the unknown is our secret sauce for the abundant life! If we’re faithful, it will prove to be a preferred future—our promised land.

Jesus always has the best information for us! What’s unknown to us is not unknown to him.

Mystery forces us to depend upon his presence

As post-Enlightenment Westerners, we’re obsessed with truth propositions and principles. Do we worship inductive Bible study? Doctrine? Liturgy?

I’m big on sound doctrine. Yet, it’s vain to think we can follow Jesus with only linear, airtight logic. Even systematic doctrine.

Our best propositional truth falls short. Our knowledge is in part. Even though the Lord knows us fully, we do not know him completely in the same way yet. This is what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13.

So we must continually quest for Jesus in his Word. Prayer. Worship. In community with other believers. In the journey of our lives.

We must seek his presence and not just a Bible study, or Bible reading program. It’s a growing relationship.

Extreme truth—ultimately, truth is a Person

We encounter the Living Word through and beyond the written Word. We come to the Living Word (the Person of Jesus) to find abundant life.

the scriptures bring us to Jesus

You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life (John 5). I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14).

Then Jesus elevates us to a higher plane … “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55).

If we fancy we know everything (we’re omniscient?), we’re not truly experiencing all of Jesus.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2).

The singular way to get into what you desire—what you’re authentically designed for—is to courageously move forward into the unknown with Jesus.

A prayer and affirmation ...

Father, it’s my desire to seek you, to seek your presence. You have given us your Son, Jesus, as the truth, the way, and the life. Jesus, I resolve to journey with you into the unknown. I know that you know more than I do. Much more! So I trust your heart for me. And the plans you have for me. Help me to always be faithful to you, and to the story you are unfolding in my life. Amen.

The Smart

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