Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 27: Purpose Stealers - Fear of the Unknown



This weekend, my husband Anthony and I rented the action-drama Unknown. This new release stars Liam Neeson, and has a record fast pace from beginning to end. Scientist Dr. Martin Harris travels to Berlin with his wife Liz to attend a biotechnology summit, and by all appearances, they are a happily-married couple.

After a series of peculiar events, Martin succumbs to a cab wreck. When he awakens from a four-day coma, Martin frantically sets off to reunite with his wife. However, when he finally reconnects with her, he's stunned to find she doesn't know him. Baffled, he questions his own sanity. He resolves to recapture his old life, convinced that there's an evil plot against him and his wife. Throughout the film, he wages a battle against the unidentified person that has devised this plot.

His larger battle is against the unknown.

This is a battle we too must face. When we set out on the road to God-given purpose, we seldom know the end result. Sure, we formulate a plan. Of course God gives us vision. But how many of us fulfill our purposes in a way that looks exactly the way we thought it would?

When Anthony and I left Tennessee to begin a new multi-ethnic church plant, we set out to plant in Northern Virginia. But God had another plan. He wanted us to help build a multi-ethnic church plant in Conway, Arkansas, a town we had never heard of!

God will often set us on a course to pursue His purposes, then change our course as He wills. Anthony and I aren't the first to experience what I call a "flipping of the script."

Abram, who later became Abraham, was living amongst his family and his people in Ur of the Chaldeans when God called him to go to a land that He would show him. Though God promised to make him into a great nation and bless him, He set Abram on a course to a land that He didn't reveal until he got moving.

Ruth, from the pagan country Moab, lost her Hebrew husband at a young age. Instead of returning to her parents' home in Moab, as her mother-in-law Naomi insisted, she allowed God to change the course of her life. She chose to follow Naomi back to her home of Bethlehem, turned her back on the pagan gods and practices of her people and chose to follow Naomi's God.

Saul, who had persecuted Christians for their faith, set out for Damascus to find believers to imprison. During his journey, God interrupted him, calling Saul to follow Him. God changes his name to Paul and completely changes the course of his life. Instead of persecuting Christians, Paul became one of the most persecuted Christians in history.

Mary, while a mere teenager, listened to the angel Gabriel tell of a calling she'd never dreamed of. While pledged to be married to Joseph, she would become impregnated by the Holy Spirit, resulting in the birth of the Savior of the world. God had set her life on an amazing course, and her heart responded in humility and obedience.

Did Abraham know that he would one day be asked to sacrifice the son of promise that he had waited the majority of his life for? Did Ruth know that she would live the difficult life of a widow in Bethlehem, laboring in the fields until her marriage to Boaz? Did Paul know that following Christ would instantly make him a marked man? Did Mary know that her sweet baby boy would be brutally beaten and crucified on a cross like a common criminal?

On the other hand...
Abraham couldn't have fully understood that through him, people of every tribe and nation would receive the offer of eternal salvation. Ruth didn't know that through her marriage to Boaz, she would be planted into the family tree of the Messiah. Paul didn't know that his life and his letters would be read and studied for millenniums to come. Mary didn't know her son's death would pave a way to the true and living God. She didn't know his death would mean her very own salvation.

They didn't have a clue. And I'd venture to say that on this side of the cross, none of them would change one iota of God's amazing plan. Thank God none of them allowed fear of the unknown to keep them from accepting God's plan, no matter how much it differed from their own plans.

And we mustn't allow fear of the unknown to keep us from God's plan for us. No matter how much it differs from our own plans.

So how do we do this? We walk in FAITH.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Faith is believing that if I'm following in God's will, He is there for me. He will climb with me to the peaks of the mountains of my life. He will walk with me through the depths of the valleys of my life. He even walks with me through the dry desert places, when I feel all alone. He will never leave nor forsake me. He loves me. He has a plan and a purpose, even in the pain. Even when I can't see the plan, I believe He still has one for me. And His plan is always greater than mine, even if I can't see it on this side of heaven.

I love the song "Mary Did You Know?" It speaks to the mother's heart deep inside of me. I can only imagine the pain of watching the son that I carried in my womb be beaten mercilessly and hung on a cross to die. I can only imagine how every ounce of Mary's being wanted to take her promise back from God. How much she wanted to renege on the plan. How she wanted to beg God to use someone else's son to die for the world.

But, I'm so glad for a heavenly Father's heart. A heart that stuck with the plan, no matter how much pain it caused. A heart that considered your life and my life over His own Son's life. A heart that went the distance and stayed the course.

I'm committed to follow God's plan, even when it includes pain and fear of the unknown. Will you?

Purposed For Him,

Carla

* To watch the video "Mary Did You Know," click here. Please be advised that this video contains graphic and violent footage from The Passion of the Christ.

5 comments:

  1. Amen and amen! "Mary Did You Know," oh, that is my favorite song!!! Great post friend, great indeed.

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  2. Love it! Great biblical example you gave. Puts things into perspective.

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  3. Fear of the unknown is one of the most difficult to overcome - trusting a God we cannot see and believing in things unseen and hoped for. Thanks!

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  4. love this! great examples from "Hollywood to the Bible! love it! There is always HOPE!

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