I have a confession to make. Too often I make sweeping statements that on the surface might seem wise, but scratch just below the surface and you’ll find foolishness at the core. This morning I began reading the proverb of the day and God didn’t let me get past verse 1:
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)
While we can make educated guesses about how things may turn out, in the end they are nothing more than guesses, educated or not. In fact, some of the most foolish guesses I’ve ever heard are from the supposed educated. Why do we like to make such guesses? I cannot speak for others, but I become wise in my own eyes. I get to the point where I think I really know the ways of God when actually I know a mere fraction. Solomon explains:
“As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
What is another word for a fortune teller? One most commonly used is seer, which Random House Dictionary defines as “a person who prophesies future events; a person who is reputed to have special powers of divination, as a crystal gazer or palmist.”
It is true that God used prophets to foretell the future, but even I would not presume myself to be a prophet. When it comes down to it, Solomon was right in writing that the future is hidden from us:
“So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:22)
Does this mean I shouldn’t prepare for the future? Of course not; we are expected to be wise stewards of all God has given us and preparing for lean times for example is obviously Biblical. However, to state explicitly how the future is going to turn out is mere speculation. Most people avoid investing in financial speculation, but have become experts in predicting the future. Jesus’ brother warned against such folly:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:13-14)
If I really want to make an impact upon people, then I must focus on the work the Lord lays before me. Christ gives me opportunity daily to show others the way to Him. Yes, He has given me this platform but my focus has to be not my words but His. I must be a conduit for Him. I can never write a devotion with the end result in mind. That is not my business; my part is to share. If I’m doing my part and you are doing your part, then God will bring the increase for His glory:
“Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1 Corinthians 3:8)
Nothing is more important in my walk with Christ than doing what He lays before me. Commenting on Proverbs 27:1, Matthew Henry writes:
“We know not what a day may bring forth. This does not forbid preparing for tomorrow, but presuming upon tomorrow. We must not put off the great work of conversion, that one thing needful.”
For me to become a complete Christian, I need to allow Christ to continue converting me to become more like Him. This is no great revelation to me; it is a grave reminder of the damage my pride and selfishness can wrought.
I know I should strive to know nothing “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Knowing is one thing; doing is quite another.
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers