I remember a time, when we lived in Mabelvale, Arkansas, that our trash-picker-uppers wouldn’t pick up something I put on the curb. We had bunch of old paint cans that I wanted to get rid of, so I stacked them on the curb. When I got home they were still there. I was so frustrated! The next week, I put them down in the trash can thinking that might take care of it. When I came back that afternoon, there they were, still on the curb. I became aware of something new that day. Apparently paint cans are toxic, flammable, and harmful to the environment, so my trash guys weren’t allowed to pick them up. It was something that I wasn’t aware of, so I had to either find another way to get rid of them or continue in my frustration! The trash was gone (grace & forgiveness), but the paint cans had to stay until I dealt with them (sanctification.) Pretty cool thought huh?
Check this verse out...
"[Now] before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree." (John 13:1 Amp)
"Uncertainty doesn’t always have to be so uncertain."
As Jesus was hanging out with His Disciples before the Passover feast began, the Bible says that Jesus "KNEW (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father." He KNEW it! He was SURE of it! He was completely AWARE of it. He had arrived at a precise place, at a precise moment, to fulfill a precise call upon His life, and He was ready to accomplish God's perfect will for His life. What was the result? Fully aware of God’s will, He loved all mankind “to the highest degree” and freely offered His life, by choice, resulting in salvation & forgiveness for everyone that would simply believe in Him. That’s why Jesus was able to declare in that same conversation, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
When we think about the idea of being “fully aware” of God’s will for our lives it seems impossible at times doesn’t it? I am learning, on this walk of faith Donna and I have been called to travel, that uncertainty doesn’t always have to be so uncertain. We have the same ability to KNOW and be FULLY AWARE of God’s will & purpose for our lives just like Jesus. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:12, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” Meditate on that verse for a while in the context it was spoken. It is absolutely amazing what is available to those who will believe! We can KNOW and be AWARE too, because when Jesus went to the Father He sent His presence, the Holy Spirit, to all of us that would believe.
If I’m honest, I’ve put paint cans on the curb in my life over and over again. Instead of "Knowing" and being "Fully Aware," I often have struggled with confusion & doubt when I didn’t have to. I have a hard time simply buying things at a store. Why? Because I'm concerned that I am buying the wrong thing, at the wrong place, and that there is something out there that is a better deal or better quality. Why do I struggle? I'm not aware and sure of what I need to know before I enter the situation.
Whether it is a store, family issue, temptation, struggle, job change, tough decision, or circumstance, whenever I enter that moment with fear & doubt, not KNOWING and FULLY AWARE of God's direction and purpose for my life, it will always create confusion. Not just for me, but for my wife, my children, and those that I am supposed to be leading around me. That mindset, when we don't make adjustments, can even lead us into a lifestyle of unawareness. We become stuck & even comfortable with that type of thinking. When we choose to only be aware of who or what is around us rather than WHO is IN us, we will sadly find more peace and comfort ability with not knowing. The paint cans remain on the curb, and we refuse to understand why they are still there.
If you go on to read the words of Jesus in John chapters 14-17, you will see how Jesus never intended for His Disciples, or us, to live life unaware and directionless. It was the exact opposite! His Words reassure and instruct all of His struggling, confused, and doubting disciples to realize they CAN be aware and know His will for their lives. Jesus was completely aware and obedient to the Father, and that was going to make things much different for all of us from that point forward. It would now be possible for all of us to have the Father's presence IN us, and to KNOW and be AWARE just like Jesus was that Passover evening.
The problem comes when we keep trying over and over again to handle things on our own. You see, It was obvious there was a reason the trash company wasn’t going to pick up the paint cans. It then became my responsibility to seek the answer as to why they wouldn’t, and what my options were to dispose of them properly. My trash-picker-uppers obviously knew it wasn’t what was best, and so I had to seek alternatives. Jesus said in Matthew 6:32-33, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
God told His people in Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
When we seek the Lord daily by reading His Word & praying, the Spirit of God, inside of us, will begin to reveal the will of the Father to us daily. That’s how Jesus KNEW and was FULLY AWARE while here on the earth. He was in continual communion and communication with His Father. He was always led by the Spirit of God, and responded to every situation according to the will of the Father and not His own. He never entered a situation with an agenda based on what HE wanted, but rather in complete obedience and surrender to the will of His Father. That’s why on Passover night the Bible says that He KNEW and was FULLY AWARE. He was about to offer up His life through a painful & excruciating death, and He was willingly to do it because it was God’s will. That is what mattered most to Jesus.
When we quit stacking up the paint cans week after week, and start living as Jesus did we can know too. It most often will not look like we think it should look either. Remember, “His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) But when we step into God’s will for our life, by faith, He will always be faithful to guide, provide, and help get rid of the trash in our lives so we can become more like Him. Sometimes there are paint cans left of the curb. It’s those times when He desires for us to seek Him more diligently. The result will be the fulfillment of His will in our lives as He faithfully fulfills the promise He made to all of us before eternity began.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)