As If It Were

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“Shall I, for fear of feeble man, the Spirit’s course in me restrain? Or, undismayed in deed and word, be a true witness of my Lord?” From the Moravian Daily Texts

In my years as a golf professional, working at a facility that does not take tee times, I have learned to prepare for the unseen and unknown. There are two truisms in play under this circumstance—golfers want to play at 10 a.m. and staff must adhere to the fundamentals of preparation. Knowing this does not change the unknown of who will come. We must prepare for brisk business because every day is like the proverbial box of chocolates.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans 4, verses 16 and 17: “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

And isn’t this the faith with which we are called to live? To believe God has gone before us, has enlightened our mind and lighted and prepared the path ahead is a trust too often and too great to grasp. The unseen perceived is an untrustworthy companion. Better to live by sight than by faith underlies our actions even when our words say otherwise.

Living by sight imparts a false sense of strength. The more we know, the more we can control. And isn’t control the last vestige of human will retained before God reveals our weakness? Fear fills the heart facing such an abyss. But for those who know they do not know, God always provides. Learning, possessing, living such a faith is not so easy.

My time in devotion and worship and study feeds me with assurance. If I am to learn, not learn but know God provides and calls those things which do not exist as though they did, the time I spend in study is of utmost importance. It is of no importance if I leave that time with an intent to live in the world unchanged by what God reveals to me. I am called to prepare for the unseen and the unknown, for what God does see and know. This is belief and trust. To paraphrase Bryan McIntosh ever so slightly, I am to live that which is not yet seen as though it were. To ask, “what if?” is not an act of faith.

Sometimes you have to live life for a truth to surface, to walk through not knowing until understanding comes. Like a good novel, the reader cannot know the ending until he reads the story, but the author has already written the ending according to the truth the story promises.

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).

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