We do not understand the intricate pattern of the stars in their courses, but we know that He who created them does, and that just as surely as He guides them, He is charting a safe course for us.” – Billy Graham
What would it be like if we were all born with a detailed life map encoded into the little grey cells of our consciousness? Imagine yourself actually perceiving with the mind’s eye every detail of your life from birth to death – in advance! How cool would that be?
Want to know what you will be doing a year from now? Not a problem, consult the life map. Wondering if you will ever get married? Again, just access your life map to find the answer. Talk about the ultimate neural network interface. Nothing will ever take you by surprise. How awesome!
But, not so fast. Here’s the caveat: You would have access to every moment by moment detail of your life, but you would not be able change a thing. Your personal life map would simply chart every triumph, pit fall, joy, pain, success and failure that you will ever experience along life’s way, but it’s read only – knowledge without any control. Are you still keen on that idea?
Many years ago, as a young man in search of the truth, I once prayed, “O’ God, please, show me your will for my whole lifetime.” I thought it was a noble request. Why stumble around, making mistake after mistake, trying to discover and live my Divine purpose? I’ll just ask the Almighty to map it all out for me in advance. With my own personal life map in hand, I’ll simply follow the plan. Have you ever prayed anything like that? Thought about it, maybe?
Deep inside, I think we all would like God to be upfront and spit out the nitty-gritty details of our destiny here on spaceship earth. “I want to follow you Liberator Jesus, but please let me see everything you have planned for my life so I can make an informed decision.” You know what I think? If our Creator ever agreed to show us our life map, and we saw all of its darker moments in advance, we’d opt to take a pass on this journey altogether! “Thank you God, but, I saw some real yucky things in my life so… I’ll just pass on this whole deal.” Like it or not, everyday life is a walk in the unknown. Every step is a revelation. It requires a natural faith to live out each day.
The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life… Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course in that direction… A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder never likely to reach home port.” – Thomas S. Monson
It’s the same when it comes to following the Liberator Jesus. Genuine Christianity is a calling – not a religion. If you hear the Creator’s voice, and he offers you an invitation to come aboard the great ship Redemption, there are only two ways you can respond to that call – yes or no.
“But I want to know all about the voyage first; weigh my options and then decide if I am comfortable with following this Jesus and God’s ways.”
Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. To come aboard this ship, you have to first say “yes” to Captain Jesus. This requires an act of faith on your part as you will now weigh anchor and sail life’s uncharted waters with the Creator Himself.
In the Newer Testament letter to the Hebrews we find this definition of faith:
1-3“Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see. It was this kind of faith that won their reputation for the saints of old. And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God’s command that the world which we can see has come into being through principles which are invisible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 PHILLIPS)
When the ocean fog is rolling in thick and we can hardly see through the gloom, it is by faith that we learn to place our absolute confidence in that which we cannot easily grasp. But remember, even though faith is trusting in what we cannot see, it is never blind. The eyes of faith can look beyond the limitations of the human experience. They fix their gaze upon the Liberator Jesus, “the author and the finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) The Newer Testament writer Paul put it this way,
18 “So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” (2 Cor. 4:18 TLB)
The eyes of faith can peer into the realm of the Almighty. They see things which, at present, may be non-existent here on spaceship earth, and yet they see those nonexistent things as if they already were a reality.
How? Now you ask of mysteries. Grasp this if you can; faith is reality. It gives substance to our hopes and acts as the evidence of what, at least at this moment, cannot be seen with natural eyes.
By faith we enter the regatta (race) that is set before us. And, it is faith which enables us to stay true to the appointed course as we endeavor to finish our race with patient endurance. Swiftly, steadily, the winds of faith move us forward. By faith we avoid obstacles and if necessary, even move mountains. By faith our lives are spent in the service of the Almighty and as a result, we fulfill our destiny.
Seeing that a Divine Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, one who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.” – John Calvin
By the way, that life map we spoke of earlier really does exist, but only the Creator can see every detail in advance. Thankfully, we have an otherworldly pilot living inside of us called the Holy Spirit. He lets us grasp what we need to understand on this amazing voyage of adventure whenever it suits the Divine purpose and serves as our navigator in this life.
And on that note, anchors aweigh my friends; be there glassy seas or squalls on the horizon, steady as she goes. With our life compass set by the indwelling Spirit of our Creator, we’re on our way home. Ahoy mates!
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656