September 07, 2016

Sanctified—and Clueless

1 Corinthians 4:1-7

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.

—  1 Corinthians 4:4

Only now, over 20 years later, do I realize how clueless I was as a young pastor. I didn’t really know what I was doing with the little church we were starting. I had been to seminary, had read books, and had been to conferences. I also prayed my heart out and worked very hard. It all made so much sense at the time. Yet, looking back, I would do a lot of things differently today.

In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul is pointing, at least partly, to the mystery of not totally knowing what we are doing. I might know more now than I did, but today I will not get my life and faith 100 percent right. And if I live another ten years, I will look back to this time and real­ize how much I didn’t know, and I’ll probably wish I’d had deeper, stronger wisdom.

But God knows exactly what he is doing. He is weaving all of our “not knowing” together as our story, which is part of his story.

This calls for deep humility and total openness with God, from the heart. It calls for daily confession, repentance, and surrender—asking God for wisdom and direction.

Sanctification requires “a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17). That’s what I have strived for—to seek God and wrestle with God, all in a humble and honest way.

Are you doing that too?

Lord, I rest in the knowledge that you see me and know me, and that you accept my imperfect efforts! Thank you for your mercies, and lead me on, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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