Where Are You Taking Me?

IMG_2206 RedRockCanyon_smqt

“God will take you where you haven’t chosen to go, in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own.” —Paul Tripp in his sermon “The Difference Between Amazement and Faith

About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

17 responses to “Where Are You Taking Me?

  • Tienny

    Rene, thank you for this timely message 🙂 this is what I have been wondering


  • Randell Bell

    Great thought in the caption and the sermon from Mars Hill. Thanks Rene I really needed to hear that. 🙂

  • Scott

    The Lord will take you from your comfort zone, sometimes forcefully, and place you in an environment and under circumstances forcing you to depend entirely on Him for everything – sometimes even your own existence. This is not done by a heartless Heavenly Father nor is it the act of a cosmic practical joker. It is the act of a awesomely loving, PERFECT Heavenly Father who knows precisely what we need in order to mature as persons and as Believers. He has promised by divine fiat that we WILL be conformed to the image of His Son and He will accomplish that goal. I am humbled with a lumpy throat by both the photo and remark.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you, Scott! Although I’m sure we all have wondered where God is taking us and why, I have no doubt that you, more than many, resonate with this quote. Yes, He did promise to mold us into the image of His Son. Although an inferior analogy, I am reminded of a scene in the recent movie Divergent in which Tris asks to see the tattoo on Four’s back. She notices that the tattoo symbolizes all the factions and asks why. He says:

      “I don’t want to be just one thing. I can’t be. I want to be brave, and I want to be selfless, intelligent, and honest and kind. Well, I’m still working on kind.”

      Jesus, God’s Son, embodied all virtue and power. That God would be so gracious, not only to save a wretch like me, but to train me to be like His Son is truly amazing!

  • Liberty of Thinking

    Hi René,
    I will not initiate a discussion questioning the scriptural basis of Tripp’s quote, having to mention nevertheless, that “if” the quote would be true, it would plainly mean that God has absolutely no regard of mankind’s freedom of choice.
    I know that some would object that since a christian has “surrendered” their life to Christ, God can do with them as he pleases. Unfortunately that is not supported by any scripture whatsoever, nor does it do justice to the “freedom” Christ has bestowed upon the reborn.
    Such quotes are nothing but attempts to justify both the sometimes horrendous, unjustified sufferings christians are facing, and provide some “reason” for God allowing it, and according to the quote, causing it.
    Suffering never works out anything good, having to be maintained within bearable limits in order to provide some endurance to stress needed by high performance sport, or professional military, none of these being normal, whatsoever…
    And regardless of how much the problem of suffering has been debated by christians, it is the one important issue which one day shall decide christianity’s viability in an era of free inquiry. Because while the self sacrifice of christ could be justified from an altruistic pov, infliction of suffering for the sole “purpose” of glorifying anyone or anything, is abject. If christians have been truly made free, they should be asked/consulted by a their personal god if they are willing or not to have changes worked out in their lives, by having their families butchered by other religious zealots, or suffering terminal illnesses making them morphine dependents for long years…

    • Rene Yoshi

      Hi Moshe,
      Yes, some Christians would say that since they have surrendered their lives to Christ, He can do with them as He pleases, but that does not negate free will or responsibility, i.e. the ability to respond. And when it comes right down to it, it also doesn’t mean we won’t grumble and complain when He takes us to a place we have not chosen. The following is a poor example regarding God doing something without my choosing it and is positive instead of ‘negative’, but it’s what immediately comes to mind, and why should we not consider the blessings and not only the sufferings. I hope, too, that it doesn’t offend or minimize great suffering. That is not the focus. Anyway, one day while taking a long walk on the beach, I had chosen not to take my sunglasses, because it was overcast when I started out. I was walking to see the ‘end’ of the beach, and by the time I got 3/4 of the way, the glare was almost unbearable. Although I did not ask God for anything, a pair of women’s sunglasses washed up onto that isolated section of the beach. Had God enticed me the previous day to plan the walk for that day, so He could produce something in me that I could not conjure up myself? I think so. And it was not an isolated incident that week in which I had taken the time to be alone, nor another time in a different location in which I had taken the time to be alone. In both cases, other people provided the means for me to take those opportunities… and they were life-changing.

      I have also had times of intense physical and emotional suffering. I even asked God to take my life. I was done. And although I would not ask to go through those experiences again, I am grateful for what I learned and how they changed me. Although in some instances I still have a difficult time asking God for something I want, yet at the same time saying as Jesus said, “but Your will be done,” it is what is in my heart… because I trust Him to do things, not only for my ultimate good, but for the ultimate good of others, even if it means suffering on my part. But believe me, I still struggle sometimes to say it. I can be quite selfish at times.

      I do not believe the sole purpose of anything God does is to glorify Himself. I once heard an illustration that helped me understand. If God is good and being reconciled with Him is in my best interest, and I believe that to be the case, then isn’t it also in my best interest to see His glory or worth? Here’s the illustration: Two people go to a museum to see a famous piece of work about which others have raved. But as they are walking along they become engaged in conversation and walk past several beautiful works of art. They are almost about to walk past the work they had gone to see, when all of a sudden, the piece calls out, “Hey! Hey! Look at me! Am I not what you have come to see?”

      The two people turn their attention toward the work of art and stand in awe of what they see. They are blessed beyond their expectations. It is magnificent! The work of art is blessed as well, because as Jesus Himself said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

      The number one question that people raise stems from the question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” The quote only partially answers that question… at least, that’s what I believe.

      • Liberty of Thinking

        Hi René,
        And thank you for your coherent reply.
        I do understand your pov which is determined by your assumptions/beliefs, but I do have a few questions:
        1.Since your reply did not touch the core of my point, which is the right of anyone to inflict unrequested sufferings upon a free being, aiming at working through unrequested changes in their lives, could you please elaborate on that, if that’s OK with you?
        2.Do you realise that according to the scriptures, the sole purpose of existence IS the glory of God, statement stated all over it? And if so, your pov contradicts the scriptures and therefore God?
        3.If you were god with your child preparing to go out on a walk without sunglasses, and you’d know the sun is going to cause suffering to your child, would you just gently remind them gently to take them, or you would run/fly at the end of the beach in order to put some glasses in the sand, or worse, you’d cause/allow another human being loss, in order to help your child?
        4.If God has legally reconciled himself through christ, why would any sinner need to still be damned should they not “believe” in jesus? Please remember, christianity claims jesus has fulfilled the law as high priest, and sacrifice, which means absolution is provided for ALL, regardless of believing or not, as it was the case in Israel. There can be no doctrinal flip-flop as done by theologians, meaning they portray jesus as the lamb before the Exodus, and expect forgiveness according to Yom Kippur as in Leviticus!?
        4.And finally, there’s a big difference between allowing bad things to happen, and causing them as in Tripp’s statement, isn’t it?

      • Rene Yoshi

        Hi Moshe,
        I think we may have to agree to disagree since our points of view are, indeed, determined by our assumptions/beliefs, but I will try to answer your questions, if I can.

        1. Since I believe that God is the Creator, I also believe that although He has given us a certain level of responsibility, He is still sovereign. The tension between God’s sovereignty and the free agency of man is possibly the second most asked question. Since I also believe He is good and wise, and since I believe the account regarding the fall of man as found in Genesis, as well as other accounts and evidences even today that man continually tends toward being egocentric rather than evolving into beings full of peace and love for one another, then I, as one of those afflicted by the same egocentricity, gladly give up my right if it means ‘evolving’ into a better person for the benefit of others. Putting the theological aspect aside for a moment, let me give a personal illustration. Shortly after my second son was born, the doctors wanted to do a spinal tap on him. I had to hold him down firmly such that his body was almost curled into a ball and his back was stretched in order for the doctor to do the procedure efficiently. My newborn son screamed, and it was/is my understanding that the procedure is painful. The doctor looked me in the eyes and asked if I was willing and able to do it. I felt a strength and love rise up within me that said, “Yes, I would rather be the one to hold him.” Although I knew it would cause him physical pain and me emotional pain, I also knew it was in his best interest. Would he, had he been able to chose, have chosen to be taken to that place? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Did it aim at working a change in his life? Yes, literally.

        2. Yes, I do realize that according to Scripture the primary purpose of our existence is to glorify God. But then the question is why? I think the illustration I gave in my previous answer could be a valid answer… at least in part.

        3. Actually, I believe He may have gently reminded me to take them. I debated and made a conscience decision/choice not to take them. As far as causing/allowing another human being loss at my expense, might not human responsibility come into play? What if the person who lost them had done so out of neglect or disregard? Or what if that person would have willingly given them to me had s(he) known I would need them, and God merely acted as the agent of exchange?

        4. While absolution is provided for all despite Calvinist belief in limited atonement only for the elect, the point is not being rewarded with heaven versus being condemned to hell. The point is reconciliation, and reconciliation requires that both parties wish to reconcile, which again involves the free will or man’s ability to respond. Since I do believe the New Testament unlocks some of the mysteries and symbolism found in the Old Testament, I do believe the Levitical sacrifices and Yom Kippur were shadows of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb that provides propitiation or atonement for sin. But I also understand your aversion to the twisting of scripture and flip-flopping done by theologians. As I said in the beginning, we may have to agree to disagree since our points of view are determined by our assumptions/beliefs.

        4(b). Yes, there is a big difference between allowing bad things to happen and causing them. Scripture itself reveals that God sometimes causes bad things to happen, because He is not only a loving and merciful Creator/Father, but He is also a just Judge. Although He is patient and sometimes allows us to hurt each other before stepping in, Scripture does reveal that He also metes out justice/judgment after rendering a verdict. Why He sometimes waits so long before stepping in remains a mystery.

      • Liberty of Thinking

        Hi René,
        Your reply is typical, seemingly conflicting your beliefs with your sense of right and wrong…
        Even if I have thought and acted similarly for 20 years, it’s still a mystery for me to understand how people with any sense of justice can tolerate within themselves such an absolute of double standards in regard of justice, one allegedly from god for humans, and the other one for god alone, which is actually blatantly unjust, but called “sovereignty”?
        This is how we are supposed to be “perfect” like our heavenly father?
        A just judge? Against his own children for whom his son paid in full already?
        René, I truly believe you, and many others reading my thoughts, are better that this!
        And just to make sure no one would think I am here to start a “debate”, please be informed that my comments are intended for René alone.
        If you wish to debate, please read the “About me” section of my blog at least, before you proceed…

      • Rene Yoshi

        Moshe, I don’t know what else to say, except to make a general statement that is not directed at you or anyone in particular. So often when something is done to or against us or someone we love, we want justice, but when we do something to or against someone else, we want mercy. Like I said, I don’t know why God waits as long as He sometimes does to mete out justice when we hurt one another or even Him, but I am grateful for His long-suffering and mercy toward me.

  • Dilip

    Beautiful and inspiring quote!
    And so listen to your inner voice and go forth in implicit faith! Even if it is off the beaten track 🙂

    Thanks and best wishes always!

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