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Uncharted Territory (a Timeless Truths blog post)

Are you the type of person who has to have a plan before venturing out into the unknown? Do you try to figure everything out down to the last detail to avoid any potential problem from occurring and catching you off guard? If so, it may take not only a step of faith but, rather, a leap of faith to go forward into uncharted territory … the area where you don’t know exactly what is going to happen or how things are going to turn out. You may feel like it’s safer to just keep things the way they are … perhaps, even, the way they’ve always been. However, the danger in doing that is that you aren’t really living life to the full, and, in fact, if you never dare to take any risks you are, in reality, in danger of hurting yourself … hurting yourself by not living up to your full potential, not “getting out there” to interact with others God may want you to interact with to share the gospel message, and, actually, in danger of hurting your own spiritual walk with God if you’re not daring to trust Him to lead you and guide you in the way He, alone, knows is best for you. According to dictionary.com “uncharted territory” literally refers to anything that isn’t plotted or planned and is often figuratively used to express a wider unknown. So in both the physical and nonphysical senses, it can mean “not yet mapped, surveyed, or investigated.” Most likely, Abram (later renamed Abraham) felt a little nervous (to say the least) when God directed him to leave his familiar world and travel to an unknown land (an unknown territory, if you will). So, too, with us. If we feel God directing us to “get out of our comfort zone” into the realm of the unknown, we, too, may feel a little nervous (or a lot!) However, it’s always better to face our fears than run and hide from them (think of Jonah and the whale!) We need to trust that – with God on our side – nothing we face is too hard, too difficult, or too unbelievable for us to overcome … as long as it really is God directing our path and not us directing our own path. Proverbs 3:5-8 The Message (MSG) says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God!  Run from evil!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!” So, the timeless truth for today is this – whether you are facing the everyday, mundane events of life or whether you are facing uncharted territory – about to take a leap of faith – in either case, remember that you can trust God in any and every situation. He already knows the end from the beginning. He already knows what’s going to happen next. He has proven Himself faithful time and time again (not only to you, but also to all the people in the Bible who have lived before you). He is absolutely trustworthy, faithful, and true. He will never let you down. And, to top it all off, we have this promise we can hold on to from Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

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Revisions (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Are you the stubborn type? Do you like to have everything go a certain way (your way) and do you easily get upset when your plans get changed? Well, there’s good news … you’re not alone! It’s quite common for people to think their way is the best way (perhaps the only way) to get things done, and get them done efficiently! The up side of that mentality is that you generally have a good work ethic; the down side is that you may not realize there’s a problem until someone else points it out (hopefully gently) … and that’s when humility needs to come into play. You need to be willing to accept there really are other ways of doing things … and some ways just could be better than what you imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that God’s plan for our lives is good (period). Even when it may not look that way on the surface, God’s plan is always good … the problem often comes when we may not see things the way God sees them. We may have a vision of how our lives ought to go … how one thing will lead to another, and another, and another so that eventually our vision comes to pass. However, as we quickly learn (as in all of life) our plans often undergo several “revisions” before the “final draft” is completed … and even then, it’s still not over until it’s over (meaning even more revisions will most likely be needed before all is said and done). The key is being open and willing to allow Jesus to be Lord (not just Savior) of our lives. Think of the word revisions as re-visions … being willing to change and get a new vision … being willing to change course (as the Lord leads). Suppose you had gone through the process of applying for several new jobs and had started to think maybe there was one other job you might be willing to apply for as well and you had started to open yourself up to that possibility but had not yet actually gone and done it. Then suppose you get a phone call out of the blue from a company in the same business as the one you had been thinking about (but had not applied to yet). This company got your resume online when you filled out all the information for the job bank and you had no clue until you got that phone call that you “just so happened” to answer without knowing who it was. What would you do? Would you be open and willing to at least talk to the person on the other end … even though it wasn’t in your plan? Would you be willing to “change course” and see what they had to say/what they had to offer you? Would you realize perhaps this was a blessing from God you hadn’t fully considered receiving yet? Would you revise your own plan and be open to a new plan – a new vision? Hopefully (and prayerfully) you would … otherwise, it’s possible you may miss making the change that could be needed … the change that could lead to a new destiny for you … a new blessing for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of God … into the knowledge of how much of a loving and gracious God we have the privilege of knowing personally. Remember, when God tells us a revision is needed to our original plan, we can trust that His plans are always good and always better than anything we could have dreamed up ourselves!

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