Even When You Don’t Understand, Continue Following God
Even when you don’t understand, continue following God. One of the pastors at my church (thecrossing.cc) reminded me this in a conversation. We were discussing how people don’t always follow through on commitments, despite saying they heard from the Lord to do it. I confided in him the feeling that I didn’t understand something I felt God had confirmed for me to do. I told him every time I asked God if I should be doing it, I heard yes. His response was simple, and couldn’t have been better. He said, “If you’ve heard from God, what more do you need? Many people don’t get to hear even that.”
God has directed me somewhere, at least for a season, but it’s uncomfortable. I wouldn’t choose it for myself, and I don’t completely understand His purposes in it. My pastor didn’t try to confirm that I heard from God or offer an explanation from his perspective. His encouragement was brief and pointed me back to the simple truth of faith. When you don’t have all the answers, you can trust God and obey Him.
When God told Abram to go to the land that He would show him (Genesis 12:1), God didn’t give him all the details. He didn’t tell Abram why he needed to be in that land, or even where that land was specifically before he set out for it. Still, Abram followed the Lord. This is amazing to me.
Abram’s initial act of faith and following God is impressive. But he didn’t just do that, he continued even when he didn’t understand. He obeyed and remembered what God had said even during confusing times. Not everything went perfectly for Abram along the way. When Abram arrived, the land was inhabited by future enemies of his descendants. But he continued believing the Lord had good plans for him.
Even when you don’t understand, continue following God.
Think back to the last thing you feel like you heard from God. How’s that going now? When I don’t understand something I’m going through, I go back to the last thing I felt like I heard from God. Sometimes He reveals a different perspective to me or another layer of understanding. There are times I recognize I assumed God meant something that wasn’t exactly what He said. Sometimes I don’t have any better answer or information, but I must continue to trust and pursue Jesus.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would’ve had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
— Hebrews 11:13–16 (NKJV)
Our acts of faith, are not for us alone. The effects of following God ripple through this life and into eternity. We don’t always see or understand their impact, but it is nevertheless true. Our obedience to God, changes lives around us although we may not recognize it. Often acts of faith are not rational, what’s most important, is our relationship with God as we obey.
What more do you need?
Whether you’ve heard hints of God’s love, or out right commands from His still small voice, what more do you need? Each impression from God petitions our faith. The enemy would have you question God’s motives and goodness. Even your relationship with God may be called into question. Do not fall for these deceptions. If you are struggling in faith, tell the Lord, “I believe. Help my unbelief.” But, as best as you can, don’t stop following Him. He is worthy of your obedience, even when you don’t understand.