Abandoning our addiction to certainty

driving_winterfogWhat if we abandoned our addiction to certainty for surrender and trust? For if we’re ever going to walk off our maps, we must let go of our need to have everything figured out. We’ll never go beyond what we already understand; we’ll stay bound by our thoughts instead of being liberated by His.

Faith is a funny thing. It’s only faith when you don’t see. Like driving in a dense fog, the path only clears before you as you keep moving forward. Faith is believing the One we say we trust in when we still don’t see where we’re going.

Certainty and faith are about as compatible as codependency and freedom. One precludes the other. We must let go to have faith. And if I can’t let go, I will cling to and control everything and everyone around me…taking what’s not mine to own.

Crowd_NYCWe keep hearing about the growing number of Nones and the Dones in the Western world. The “unchurched” and the “dechurched.”

The “Nones” find no relevance to our Churchianity in their world of certainty and science. The “Dones,” once highly active church members, have been trampled under foot by our world of certainty and religion. Burnt out, beat up, and disenfranchised, they’ve left what they once loved because they could find no other way out of our constrictive constructs.

The point is, whatever we’re doing isn’t working.

But what if G.K. Chesterton was right when he said: “Christianity isn’t a failure, it simply hasn’t been tried yet.

What if these people haven’t left Jesus, they just haven’t seen Him…incarnated in us?

What if instead of our judgmental certainty, they saw our empathetic humility?

What if we’re all still looking for a Savior who can get us through the night?

I really appreciated what Pastor Randy said in his recent blog post, “#1 The Worst One of All” (part of his series, “Top Ten Things That Are Killing the Church”)…

“But those who are not yet in church are not looking for a friendly church.  They are looking for friends, those who will build relationships with them.”

gospel_atmThis is why we must renounce our transactional god, who requires nothing in relationship, who is propositional rather than relational and mysterious, where you don’t have to trust Person, or care for Person. We must leave this idolatrous illusion for the God who came to stay in the deepest and darkest part of us and will never give up on us or abandon us.

We must leave our world of systematic certainty because relationships are never laid out neatly and conveniently. They are messy and murky, but never apart from His healing embrace, for He’s closer than our breath and moves with every beat of our yearning heart.

It’s a worthy surrender because when we finally do make this transition, the God who is love becomes tangible…touchable, knowable…on the earth beneath our feet. He becomes real in that place where we abandon the heavy “yoke” we’ve been carrying for the “unforced rhythms” of His life-giving grace.

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt.11:28-30 MSG)

Beloved, we need to find this Savior because the wandering world around us is still looking…but they’ve lost sight of Him. Instead, they’re reeling under the yoke of living life so frail in a frightening world, hoping things will work out somehow. And the only way they’ll find this tangible Hope is when they find Him walking the earth through us as we abandon our addiction to certainty for surrender and trust in Him.

I abandon my addiction to the certainty of life
and my need to know everything
this illusion cannot speak, it cannot walk with me at night
as I taste life’s fragility
(“Looking For a Savior” – Will Reagan)

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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9 Responses to Abandoning our addiction to certainty

  1. Pastor Randy says:

    Great words here! Your line: “We’ll never go beyond what we already understand; we’ll stay bound by our thoughts instead of being liberated by His.” is what is urgently needed in the western church today. Thanks for your heart and thanks for sharing my thoughts and heart.

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    “Christianity isn’t a failure, it simply hasn’t been tried yet.” Oh my! Never heard that quote before–so good, so true, and pretty sad, too :/ We are nowhere close to walking in all that is available to us. Hopefully being able to recognize that fact is at least a step in the right direction. We really do feel so much better when we at least think we have stuff figured out, but most of the time even that is an illusion. I can so relate to the fog analogy personally in this season as I follow Him, one baby step at a time into a brand new thing (rather than simply into the next thing). It has probably been one of my most challenging seasons as far as the level of trust required–I’ve never had less “systematic certainty” in my life!–but it has also been the most rewarding in terms of the joy and peace I’ve experienced. Still don’t have a clue where a lot of things will end up but I know who I’m walking with! And by the way, I’ve been listening to that song for a bit now–love it! The lyrics are so rich 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Cindy. And what a great testimony of what God is doing in your life right now!

      One thing I’m finding out, God’s not a big fan of keeping us comfortable! And HE has WAY too much confidence that we’ll make through to the other end. Of course, He’s already been there. 🙂 But as scary as that is, there’s nothing more wonderful, memorable, and full of life than being in that place of uncertainty in His embrace. I’m beginning to really appreciate being lost in the ever-unfolding mystery, learning how to trust. What peace, what joy!
      I love this song, too. The music and lyrics speaks so deeply to me.

      Many blessings to you as you sink deeper into that mystery called our life in Christ!

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    “…the God who came to stay in the deepest and darkest part of us and will never give up on us or abandon us.” Learning this one, and how to really apply it. Tough, exciting, freeing, scary….

  4. You wrote, “This is why we must renounce our transactional god, who requires nothing in relationship, who is propositional rather than relational and mysterious, where you don’t have to trust Person, or care for Person.”

    Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons the “Religious,” call us Charismatics the devil. We dare to believe that God can be God and our Heavenly Father at the same time. We dare believe that we can have a relationship with our Father.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Hmmmm…that sounds familiar…didn’t the Pharisees say the same thing to Jesus?
      What you’re describing is the difference between a religious orphan and a son (or daughter). And a son has a Father, not a distant deity.
      I’m with you…let’s dare to believe! 🙂

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