What’s Not to Know, What’s to Know

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs…’  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’ (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me…’

“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’  Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’” John 21:15,18-19,21-22

“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’” Acts 1:6-11

Peter the impulsive wanted to understand and anticipate everything, so he made everything his business. But Jesus, purveyor of all truth and knowledge, focused him on what was vital to know and next do, and commanded that he trust what he could not know about others or future times. Some things that piqued his curiosity were not important or would detract from his obedience. Others should take center stage.

We too can become busybodies by making business ours that is the Lord’s (and others’) alone. Usually this distracts from the main thing and gets us off the course He has marked for us. He gives clear commands and reveals everything we need to know for the task at hand. When chafed by impatience or struggling to understand, we must remember that it is His wisdom and privilege to hold secret things, yet reveal all He intends us to apply, obey, and teach now. (Deuteronomy 29:29; Hebrews 12:1-2)

On what do we focus when it comes to God’s instructions? Are we prone to delay obedience or nitpick and try to negotiate with the Lord when we don’t comprehend His reasoning? Are they are commands we get hung up on because we want all the details of how and outcomes first? What is the enemy dangling that causes mental confusion and a divided heart?

Lord, grant me an undivided heart and mind to receive, and a whole will to act on all You want me to know, to Your ends and glory. (Psalm 86:11)

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