Specificity

“The LORD told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.'” (Acts 9:11, NIV)

“You should come over to the house sometime!” means so very little.  It means something along the line of “It was mildly enjoyable to run into you, but I’m leaving now and would like a comfortable end to the conversation with no required follow up.”  If you were to respond, “Oh, I would love that!  I have Thurs. and Sat. evenings open next week, which one would you prefer?”  You may get put off politely, or have successfully trapped yourself into being invited somewhere you’re not really wanted.

We so frequently tell God that we are just wanting to know what He wants us to do so that we can be faithful and at peace, but the truth is that whenever God was specific in His revelation, it wasn’t really wanted.  There are lots of general commands of God that we should be following on an ongoing basis: love your neighbor, bless those that persecute you, do not forsake the fellowship of believers, etc.; but nothing bites quite so deeply as God specifically telling you to do something.

From Adam & Eve (don’t eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) to Moses and the burning bush (go to Pharaoh and tell him to let my people go) to Jesus (die on the cross and be resurrected on the third day) to Ananias (go to Straight St.) the reason God seems to tell us specifically is because He knows we don’t want to do it.  Ananias knew that Saul had been sent to capture/kill people professing Christ – people just like him!

“Be careful what you ask for…you may just get it” seems to apply to this sort of situation.  Do you really want God to reveal His will to you?  The three times He has done so to me, they weren’t welcome, they cost me greatly, some of my dreams died, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He has called me into ministry, convicted me of a besetting sin, and told me to give up the family farm.  Each time I was forced into choosing Him as God of my life all over again.  Each time I became more His.  Each time through loss, I have gained more.

Remember, “our God is a consuming fire” not a cozy campfire.  If He speaks to you, it will cost you everything…and it will be worth it.

 

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