Have you ever wondered why God’s people are often clueless? It wasn’t just a New Testament problem with disciples who didn’t get it. It was an issue in the Old Testament too–40 years in the wilderness, the period of the Judges, and the Exile. But before we point our finger at the speck in someone else’s eye, we should look in the mirror at the log in our own.
The truth is that we can be pretty clueless in many of the same ways. But friends, we don’t have to stay there. Let’s take a few minutes to dive into scripture and think about how we can start moving beyond clueless.
How Could They Be So Clueless?
In Deuteronomy 1:19-36, we get an overview of why the Israelites were stuck in the wilderness for 40 years. And it’s a serious accusation.
God rebuked his people for not trusting that he would take care of them. They had witnessed his provision in Egypt and the desert time after time. This was the God who parted the Red Sea and provided water (Exodus 15:22-25).
When they lacked food, they complained, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!” (Exodus 16:2-3). Why wouldn’t they trust the God who went ahead of them by fire at night and cloud in the day?
These people were forgetful. Time and time again, God had cared for them and delivered them from their enemies. He was always faithful. But time and time again they forgot and grumbled about the challenges they faced. They acted like they were clueless.
How Could WE Be So Clueless?
As people who live on this side of the resurrection, we have the benefit of reading the Old and New Testament and the testimony of church history. Yet we’re still prone to forget!
Sometimes we live like we have amnesia. We forget that we have been justified by faith and not works. We are more concerned with the opinions of others than God. We’re quick to speak, prone to judge, and slow to forgive.
Like the men and women in Scripture, we also suffer from “clueless” syndrome. We need regular reminders of God’s truth. That’s why Bible reading, prayer, corporate worship, and the sacraments are so important.
We can walk through life in a stupor, clueless to the truth that God has given us in scripture. Or we can seek to know God and walk in his ways. But how?
Acknowledge and Ask
In our honest moments, we can admit that we miss God’s work all around us. This position of humility is a good place to be. It allows us to repent (1 John 1:9) and boldly pray for wisdom (James 1:5). We can stop pretending that we know everything and trust that God generously gives us wisdom when we ask him.
Furthermore, the struggles we have in this life aren’t against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil (Eph 6:12). As we pray for wisdom, we should ask God to open our eyes to these spiritual realities that are at work around us. Even when it looks like all is lost, the battle is the Lord’s (1 Sam 17:47, 2 Chron 20:15).
This step of praying for wisdom and asking God to open our eyes to the realities around us is a solid foundation for moving beyond our “cluelessness” and growing in understanding. A discerning heart helps us to read scripture better.
Can you think of an area in your faith where you act clueless and forget God’s faithfulness and what he has taught us in Scripture