Pursuing Clarity in 2020

It seems the buzz word for 2020 is “CLARITY,” no doubt inspired by 20/20 perfect vision.

I don’t think I’m alone in craving what this word gives. In our increasingly divided culture, fast-paced lives, and internet-cluttered brains, clarity sounds so life-giving. I can’t even tell you how many times in the past I’ve told my husband, “I feel like I’m in a fog.” Life pulls hard and fast, and it seems, more than ever, it’s a fight to see straight.  But there is a LOT that gets in the way. My affection for the Lord is forever being challenged, and in the fight for the clarity that matters, the next five fronts are my most critical battlegrounds. Maybe you can relate.

1. Scrolling 
Isn’t it ironic that the Bible was originally written on scrolls and that same word might be the single greatest threat to us actually reading what was written on those precious scrolls? The Lord is convicting me hard on this one: “Are you going to pick up your phone or your Bible first?” If we have minutes to mindlessly scroll away, then we have minutes to read intentionally. These minutes develop us and give us the focus we need for each day.

2. Commentaries
I’m way too quick to Google the meaning of a passage of scripture instead of wrestling with it before the Lord and letting the Holy Spirit guide me to truth. Hear me clearly: there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with commentaries or looking to solid Biblical teachers for answers. Those are helpful and wonderful tools. (Well, unless I get sucked into the comment section of a website—therein lies a whole different story!)  But I know there are lessons I miss when I rush to understanding instead of waiting on the Lord for clarity. Job 32:8 says, “But it is the Spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.”

3. Politics
My husband doesn’t care about political debate. Lucky him. There isn’t much that will elevate blood pressure and cause confusion faster than politics. For those of us that tend to care more deeply about politics, memorize or tape this to your car radio: Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.”   Breathe deeply, remember this truth, and say, “Thank you, Jesus!” All government happenings in 2020 are under His sovereign authority.

4. Comparison 
We’ve heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison if left unchecked leads to bitterness, discontentment, and a host of other issues. But an additional side effect of comparison is lack of clarity for my own, very specific heavenly calling. There is just no way to navigate the route Jesus has planned, without looking to the author and perfecter of our faith first and most often.  Each day, each moment even, there is someone to reach out to, some verse to meditate on, and some lesson God is teaching. I absolutely love Jesus’s liberating words to Peter after he was told how he would die. Peter wanted to know how John would die also. Jesus bluntly replied: “What is that to you? You follow me!” John 21:22 We really do over-complicate our lives. Jesus tells us to just follow him in the lane he made for each of us—not someone else’s.

5. Lack of Rest
I almost didn’t add this one because, if I’m honest, it’s the truth pill I don’t want to swallow. I run the constant struggle of “not enough hours in the day.” But truly that is a lie. God made the days, therefore the days are exactly enough for what we need to work and to rest. Stealing from the hours that should be for sleep or rest really does send me into a physical and mental fog where I find myself relying on coffee and not Jesus. And excuse me for a minute while I read between the lines— but since Jesus lived an active life and couldn’t hit up the drive-thru for that afternoon caffeine boost, we can only conclude that Jesus did in fact give his body the rest it actually needed. WWJD? Rest.

Life with all its mess can at times be so crippling and confusing. But praise the Lord there will always be a place where clarity prevails: in the presence of the Lord. It’s there that the mess and clutter fades. The veil lifted. Purpose made clear. Living water. Bread of life. It’s all there. What I need to flourish, to understand, to cut through the muck of life.

Here are some guideposts to clarity in 2020:
  • Acts 2:28, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”
  • Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”
  • 1 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

About the Author:
Amy Foster and husband, Zach, have three kiddos with a baby from India on the way, although only God knows the exact date of arrival. Amy is passionate about foster care/adoption, not living the Christian life in a bubble, and understanding what it means to walk in the Spirit. She loves being part of local outreach events, serving at the Connecting Point, and leading Gospel’s newly formed Foster Care Ministry.

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