February 1st, '18
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message by Kris Jackson
BE OR NOT TO BE?
may be that I will abide...with you...if the Lord permit" (1 Corinthians 16:6,7)
Shakespeare's question is the question of all
at one time or another. We simply do not always know what is to be or not be.
We can only make plans and lay them in the Lord's lap. This is an interesting
set of verses. Paul first questioned, "If it be meet that I go" (vs 4). Then he
emphatically insisted, "Now I will come unto you" (vs 5). Then he vacillated,
"It may be that I will" (vs 6). Next he said, "I will not see you now" (vs 7),
but then decided he would "if the Lord permit". It is not that Paul was
wishy-washy, scatter-minded or indecisive; he was just at one of those to be
or not to be crossroads for which he didn't have an immediate answer. Guess
what, it is okay, to not always know which way to go.
The great thing about human skin is its
elasticity and living inside that skin also demands us to be a bit elastic, at
least flexible. One time Paul and his team "assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not" (Acts 16:7). He had one plan, God had another.
He claimed he would have come to Thessalonica "once and again; but Satan
hindered us" (1 Thessalonians 2:18). Regarding Bithynia God hindered. As to
Thessalonica Satan hindered. But in the Corinthians passage it appears that
Paul had full control over the schedule but was hindering himself. Don't
cripple yourself just because you don't have a crystal clear word on something.
God seldom speaks in an audible voice. We have an inside stop and go light that
we have to know how to interpret. Paul certainly was in tune to that inner
nudge. He was simply delaying action while the light was sitting on yellow.
Do I turn left or right, drive north or south?
You have made those judgment calls before. We have instincts. What feels right?
Second, we have the word of God. What does the Bible say about it? Plus, we
have the personal leadership of the Holy Spirit. "He will guide you into all
truth..." (John 16:13) Have you checked which way the wind is blowing? To be or
not to be? Is this job opening to be, this cross-country move, the purchase of
this house, this call to ministry, this marriage, this whatever? Don't allow
the car to stall, keep your foot on the clutch. Step back and look at the
options, ask God for special guidance. If you feel forced to act it probably
isn't the Lord. As mentioned earlier this week, the enemy drives; the Lord
draws. If you have no will but the Lord's then you can say, "I am open to
whatever He has..." That openness causes good things to come your way. Once in a
lifetime opportunities need to be acted on but faith believes that once in a
lifetime opportunities happen more than once in a lifetime. That flushes out a
lot of anxiety. Either way it will be okay. To be or not to be? I dunno...I'm
just going with the flow.