We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there—US INVENTOR CHARLES FRANCES KETTERING
When you think about it, the Christian faith is not just wedded to the ancient past or focusing on a successful present. It is helping to prepare people for a glorious future that will never end. Failure to keep our eyes on the future makes us less ready for it.
Consider this: Today’s world is change-filled, increasingly complex, crisis-riddled and chaos-laden. The rise of jihadism, an assertive China in the South China Sea, a temperamental nuclear-armed North Korea, growing western debt, an uncertain European Union, and redefinition of like marriage and family.
Part of the issue is that the situations we face today are unprecedented - we have never been this way before. The best and brightest among us, when pressed on the point, have to admit that they don’t know what to do. That includes leadership. If our leaders do not know what to do, what hope have we?
Thank God, there is a way forward. It comes from the Bible. One of the great practical verses from Scripture is a key to making the most of today while preparing for a bright tomorrow:
I Chronicles 12:32f And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.
When you meditate on this verse, it becomes obvious that there is a simple yet profound insight. ‘Understanding the times’ is the key for direction today and blessing tomorrow. It is important to know what is happening and also why it is happening. The ‘what’ is knowledge,’ the ‘why’ is understanding, and when you add both, you end up with ‘wisdom.’ It is ‘wisdom’ that leads you on what to do. In other words, if you seek knowledge and understanding, as the book of Proverbs exhorts, then God will download to you the wisdom of what to do, also known as divine guidance (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
Where do you get wisdom? Does it come by studying the ancient Greek philosophers? Going to university? Hobnobbing with the intellectual elite? Actually, wisdom is not an ideology, a corpus of knowledge, or even a combination of bright minds. The Bible describes wisdom as a person: Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:30). To put it simply and straight: the wisest thing you can do is to invite this Wise One, the Saviour of the world, into your life (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20). Since He is truly God’s wisdom from above, then ignoring or rejecting Him would be the most foolish thing we can do.
Where do you get ‘understanding?’ Just as the source of wisdom is a Divine Person, so is the source of understanding. The Holy Spirit, the Third Person in the Godhead, is the source of understanding. We learn through John 14:26; 16:13, that He is the instructor, the advocate, who teaches us all things and reminds us of all things that Christ has commanded us. He searches all things, including the deep things of God (I Corinthians 2:10), and is more than able to give us the understanding we need to proceed.
In the coming articles, we will be introduced to seven pillars in understanding the future. When you know and put into practice these things, then you will be in an optimal position to become ‘future-ready.’ Stay tuned for more.