Despite many people’s attempts to go their own way and do their own thing, God in His global purposes has a current moving at His determined strength moving to the very destination that he has determined.
A friend of mine in missions recently shared this extended illustration. I share it here with his permission. I found it helpful in situating our individual lives in view of the broader promises and purposes of God for the world. I share it using largely the concept and picture my friend shared, but much of the actual phrasing and application here is my own.
Imagine your life in terms of traveling on a huge river, a river as far as the eye can see. And there in the river you find yourself riding on a boat. This boat is a place of security, stability, provision.
The boat represents God’s personal promises for your life, the promises we know and love as Christians. In the boat, you hear God’s promises of comfort in suffering (2 Cor. 12:7-10), blessing or power in witness (Luke 12:8-12), or care over your work or your studies (see Psalm 90:21-17).
We love these individual promises. Often, our Christian experience focuses on this private blessed “boat experience”, in which we know God’s individual comfort on the waters of life.
But as Christians, we must see the boat – and the river. In other words, we must constantly see the broader movement of God’s world and its story.
For the sake of illustration, everyone else in the world is in this huge river. Some, fellow believers experiencing God’s personal promises, are in boats as well.
But so many people in the river are drowning. They either don’t know the promises of God or they reject the promises of God. These are those who don’t have a boat. They are just swimming on their own, struggling to survive in the current surrounding them.
But this river is guided, not by the boat-riders or the swimmers, but by it’s current, the movement of the river. The current represents God’s global promises. The current pictures God’s purposes for history, the direction in which the whole world is moving.
You see, despite many people’s attempts to go their own way and do their own thing, God in His global purposes has a current moving at His determined strength moving to the very destination that he has determined.
God is Lord over history. And he is at work in world history getting us to a particular and inevitable direction and destination.
If we know the destination, if we understand the current, our life in the boat will be strengthened with purpose and power.