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Devotional Archives
(June 22, 2005)

It is Not for You to Know

      By Fern Horst

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8)

It's evident in these first several verses in Acts that the disciples still did not completely get what Jesus was all about, even after they had witnessed His death and resurrection. They still expected that Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom.

Jesus responded by telling them that they weren't supposed to know the details about what God has planned for the future. "But," Jesus said, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will tell others about me here in this city, and in the surrounding areas, and throughout the whole world." The disciples had their sights set on their own agendas for the future. But Jesus made that all of non-importance and forced them to focus on what His purpose was for them in the here and now.

I've often heard singles say things like, "If only I knew what God has for me in the future, then I'd know whether to prepare for a career or just wait it out for the man God has for me." Or, "If I knew whether God wanted me to marry or not, I'd know whether I should settle into singleness and forget about marriage, or if I should actively look for a wife."

I think that Jesus is saying the same thing to us that He did to His disciples: "It is not for you to know the details about the future. But " and He would proceed to remind us that we are to focus first and foremost on building His Kingdom. We are to do that right now, right where we are. If God leads us elsewhere, we are to do that there as well. Kingdom building is to be our focus for our whole lives, wherever God leads us and amidst whatever else He brings into our lives.

It's not just singles who wonder about what the future holds. There are so many things that everyone is curious about and may worry over: we may wonder about how we'll have finances to meet our needs, or what we will do when this or that happens. But it's not for us to know those things. Our job is to seek Christ's Kingdom first, and to trust Him to take care of all the rest. He has promised to provide and to lead. Jesus' instructions to His disciples for how to live are also His instructions for us:

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:25-33)

© 2005 Fern Horst

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