You’ll know it when you see it. Have you ever been told that? Have you ever come to discover that that’s actually a bold-faced lie?
I don’t know about you, but oftentimes I don’t know it when I see it.
“It’s in the left drawer, you’ll know it when you see it.”
“Yeah, just head down the road, it’s like 15 minutes, you’ll see it.”
“Don’t worry about who you’ll marry, you’ll know she’s the one when you see her.”
All things I’ve been told, all things that have proven false.
I can never find anything in a drawer I didn’t jam stuff into.
I’ve learned “down the road” does not actually mean down a singular, actual road in Berks County (you’re reading words from a Michigander). I’ve also learned 15 minutes more than likely means 30 minutes when used as a measure for distance.
I didn’t even talk to my now wife until about a year after I met her.
We take it for granted that we’ll recognize what we need to recognize when we need to recognize it. That life won’t pass us by. That things will hopefully work out.
That we’ll find the thing we need in the drawer. That we’ll get where we need to go. That we’ll eventually know the one when we see him or her. It’s not like we don’t pay attention, or don’t work hard. We have common sense. We’ll know it when we see it, right?
And oftentimes we not only carry this mindset throughout day to day life, we also carry it into our faith.
You’ll know what God wants when you see it
If you think that couldn’t possibly be you, that you are always in tune with where God is leading; consider that one of the great heroes of faith, the apostle Paul, missed what was right in front of him for many, many years of his life.
Paul (at the time known as Saul), believing he was faithfully following the God of Abraham, that he was being obedient to the word of God, killed countless followers of Jesus.
Saul was an intelligent man, well-studied, devout. He knew the letter of the law of God. He daily practiced the prayers & disciplines of the people of God.
He spent his whole life believing he knew what he was seeing. That he knew what God wanted. That everything he did was faithful to the way of the one true God, the God of endless love, justice, & mercy.
He thought he saw people who were blaspheming the God of his people. He saw people who were making a mockery of his faith. He saw the law and what he thought it said to do to people like this.
He knew it when he saw it. Until one day, he realized, he hadn’t seen anything yet.
Blinded by the Light
Wrapped up in his own head, Saul thought he knew he was seeing the will of God unfold before him. He was on his way to carry out his mission when he was blinded by IT.
That’s right. He finally saw it. And he didn’t see it.
He saw Jesus. And he was blinded by the encounter.
He finally saw what God was like. WHO God was like. And he suddenly no longer saw the God he thought he knew.
He finally realized that even though he thought he knew what he was seeing, that he had actually been blind this whole time. Saul finally realized he had been encountering God-and he was killing Him every time he did. That the kingdom of God was at hand-and he had been dismantling it every chance he got.
That Jesus truly was the culmination of the one true God’s purposes. The fulfillment of the God Saul was striving to faithfully serve.
How could he be so blind? How could he not be blinded by the horrors he now recognized?
Saul’s eyes were opened to Jesus. And finally, the God of his people became more real, more alive to him than ever before.
Saul didn’t just encounter Jesus. He was exposed to truth. And from then on, everything Saul did flowed from that truth.
What about us?
It’s so easy to miss truth even when it’s sitting right in front of us. It can be so easy to believe we’re following the way of Jesus when really, He needs to get a hold of us in a new way. It can be so easy to think we’re building the kingdom when really, we’re building our own kingdoms.
So what should we do? In light of Saul’s encounter with Jesus, perhaps at least these 2 things:
- Realize we won’t always know it when we see it.
- Open ourselves to Jesus giving us eyes to see.
You won’t always know it when you see it. But you could.
As we head into 2019, let’s open ourselves to the work of the Spirit. We don’t have everything figured out. What worked in 2018 might not work in 2019. What God did in 2018 may not be what he wants to do in 2019.
Instead of just assuming we’ll know it when we see it, let’s instead continually surrender everything to Jesus. Don’t just settle for what’s gotten you by so far. Ask Jesus for something new, something fresh, something exceedingly more.
May Jesus blind us of our blindness. May 2019 be a year of learning & kingdom building.