In the epistles of our apostle Paul we are instructed in dealing with uncertainty and enjoying the greatest certainty. In charging us to show all diligence to a full assurance of hope, he was inspired to occupy our attention with the engrossing effect of expecting the fulfillment of God’s promises. He also urges us to draw near unto the Lord in full assurance of faith. He was inspired to pray that God’s people enjoy a close-knit comfort in full assurance of understanding (Col. 2:2). He deeply desired that God’s people have the confidence and freedom of mind that is revealed in Christ Jesus in order to keep us on course. In these epistles Paul writes of uncertain sites, uncertain signals and uncertain supplies.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery in temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so sun, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” – I Cor. 9:24-27.
We must allow the Word of God’s grace to focus our sites on our definite goal. Thank God for visual adjustment. We cannot afford to be distracted and waste energy getting off course. We won’t be running aimlessly if we will keep our eyes on Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. We, Like Paul, should be running straight toward the goal with purpose in every step and hitting our target with every punch. Visual focus and concentration are very important to the success of any athletic competitor, and how much more important are these with eternal values in view (II Cor. 4:16-18). He has promised the victors crowns of glory that fade not away, as well as crown of righteousness and life. We may run haphazardly and be an “also ran” or make sure, like Paul, and finish our course with joy.
“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (I Cor. 14:7-12).
With the instruction of the wise and profitable use of the spiritual gifts, we are urged to excel to the upbuilding of the body of Christ. Paul uses examples from the natural realm to illustrate exercises in spiritual excellence. He speaks of the importance of distinction in sounds. It is most important that that which is spoken be understood. Trumpets signaling preparation for battle must not give an uncertain sound. When we think of all the different kinds of voices in the world today, it behooves us, as we give diligence, to make sure that our lives do not give an uncertain sound. As we prepare for the sounding of that first trumpet, our lives should give off sounds of certainty. As the Word of the Lord is sounded out from us, it should give others much assurance (I Thess. 1:8,5).
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they lay hold of eternal life” (I Tim. 6:17-19).
Therefore, instead of making a god of our wealth, let us realize our wealth in God.