While we seek understanding, we should also have the humility to know that we will not understand everything. The Trinity is the prime example of this – that God is One but also Three. There is another prime example of this – that we make responsible for our lives and make freewill choices even though God is primarily responsible. Let me try to demonstrate this by pointing to the fact that the Christian life must be a proactive life.
Here's how Paul represented the Christian life:
· “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
This is a strenuous life - nothing passive about it. Let me give you an example. I am a highly irritable and anxious person. This means that there is a lot of things that set me off. Ugh! Even my beloved wife steps on my elongated toes - my exaggerated sensitivities.
If I don't respond proactively, I will continue to brood - the worst thoughts grasping at my mind. Instead, I've learned that I have to contend strenuously against my responses and for my marriage. Here's how:
1. Pray and forgive!
2. Confess my response and also how my wife triggered it.
3. Embrace her entirely with words of love and appreciation.
4. Proactively go the extra mile and perform an act of love to turn the situation into a victory!
But aren't we supposed to wait on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31)? Not literally! Instead, waiting is our hearts' acknowledgement that deliverance comes from the Lord. Rather, we should be proactive, understanding that God often rescues us through our efforts, which are actually God's provisions, as Paul confessed:
· “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Paul confessed that even his efforts came from God. Well, how can it be both - our efforts and God's provisions to us?
I don't think that we can understand this completely, but this paradox is clearly infused throughout the biblical revelation. We are entirely responsible for our lives, but God is even more responsible (Eph. 2:10). In other words, we have to embrace the entirety of His revelation - that we have to run the race to win the crown of life that our Lord has already bequeathed us.
Make sense? Not completely! But why should we expect to completely understand everything our Heavenly Father reveals to us! So continue to seek understanding, but meanwhile, live proactively.