I’m sure you have heard the expression, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you?” Most of the time thats true. Sometimes it’s not true. But, one thing is almost always true. Most of us don’t like to be unpleasantly surprised, and many of us want to know how things are going to go before they go.
That seems to be my case most of the time. I have asked God countless times to reveal to me how a particular situation or event is going to unfold. There have been times when He has answered and did indeed reveal specific things. However, most of the time I have to wait and see!
A little while ago I was invited to speak for a church service. I had never been to this church, and didn’t know anything about the people attending. As an evangelist, I always give an altar call for salvation at the end of each service. On this Sunday, a few people responded and I began to pray with some of them. Some of the ladies in the church were praying with a lady that had responded to the altar call, so by the time I got to her, they had already led her to the Lord.
I asked her if she got everything worked out with God and if she felt brand new? She responded that she did. Before she could utter another word, I asked her if she would like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. She gave me a half confused, half stunned look. I asked her if she knew what I was talking about, and she said she wasn’t sure.
I explained to her why we want the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I told her, “It’s not so we can speak in tongues, although tongues is the evidence that we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. But the main reason we want this precious gift is because of the boldness it gives us, and the power to witness.”
I asked her once again if she would like to receive this gift, and she said, “Yes!” I began to pray with her, and in less than a minute she was speaking in a beautiful prayer language. She was so thrilled to have received, and the ladies around her seemed to be even more excited than she was.
After the service had ended, the women’s leader began to tell me about this lady. This sweet lady had been coming to their church for a while, and then suddenly she just stopped coming altogether. She had been out of church for about four weeks, but the week before I got there one of the ladies from the church saw her in a store. She asked her where she had been. This precious lady told her that she had quit coming because she just wasn’t too sure about that speaking in tongues, Holy Ghost stuff!
I had to giggle a little. Isn’t that just like God? Little did I know, this lady had been a little confused about the Holy Spirit. Then, God sends me in to ask her—point blank—if she wanted to be baptized in the Holy Ghost? Looking back now, I’m so glad I didn’t know anything about her. I’m glad that I didn’t have a clue that this lady had quit coming because she was a little bit unsure of the speaking in tongues stuff.
If I had known the prior situation, I would probably never have asked her if she wanted to receive the gift. I would have been afraid that I might scare her off, or push her farther away. But, God knows the plans! He knew exactly when she would return to church. He knew I wouldn’t have a clue what the situation looked like, and He knew I was just bullheaded enough to ask her if she wanted the Holy Spirit!
So many times we think we would be so much better off if we could only see what God is planning to do. But, in my life I have seen repeatedly that I would have probably taken the wrong course of action if I had been given insight or hindsight about a situation. He knows best, and it’s much better for us if we don’t know the whole plan.
I think about the disciples, and how so many times they were absolutely clueless about what Jesus was about to do. We have one example after Jesus’ transfiguration in Mark 9:9-10 “As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what ‘rising from the dead’ meant.”
The disciples had no idea that Jesus their teacher and beloved friend would soon willingly go and die on an old rugged cross. Rising from the dead, He would become much more than just a friend and teacher but, He would become their Savior—the Savior of the world! We can see how much trouble the disciples might have unwittingly caused if they had known the whole plan. Just like we can get in God’s way if we know more than we need to.
We would like to know all the details, but God gives us just the information we need, at just the right time. If He showed us every detail, we would never learn to "walk by faith, not by sight." He knows what He is doing and exactly how He will accomplish it. He doesn’t need our help, He only needs us to listen for His voice, and be obedient when He speaks.
What you don’t know probably won’t hurt you. In fact, it could lead to the most amazing miracle you have seen Him do in and through you. Stop trying to figure out all the details, and just let the Holy Spirit lead you. Walk by faith!
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.