Not half so sure

scenic path

When I was young I was sure of everything;
in a few years, having been mistaken
a thousand times, I was not half so sure
of most things as I was before;
at present, I am hardly sure of anything
but what God has revealed to me.

–John Wesley
(1703 – 1791)

Published in: on 07/13/2013 at 16:42  Leave a Comment  
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On the Rock

When someone has something of which he can be entirely sure, he can afford to be humble. He doesn’t need to react to every contrary opinion. He can relax. It is those who are uncertain at the center who are always defensive and intolerant. They must shore up their position, because it can’t stand on its own. They must attack opposing views, because otherwise the weakness of their own position is likely to be noticed. Their ideas need to be propped up by a noisy campaign, because otherwise they are likely to topple.

The one who has his feet firmly planted
on the Rock of Ages does not worry about
every little approaching wave.

He stands at a place of unmovable certainty. He will not be moved.

-Jurgen Schulz
(with due respect to E. Stanley Jones)


Published in: on 03/14/2011 at 12:22  Leave a Comment  
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Gracious uncertainty

The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty… Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life— gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God — it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3 ). The spiritual life is the life of a child.

We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next.

If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1 ), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in— but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

–Oswald Chambers

Published in: on 08/21/2010 at 17:15  Leave a Comment  
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