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The Gift of Today

"When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out" (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17).

The future is exciting. There's something about the thought of what hasn't happened yet but will happen soon that both inspires and terrifies. It provokes a question we all want the answer to: What will our lives be like next?

People try all kinds of ways to predict the future, whether through logic or magic or superstition or any number of methods. Christians like to ask God for insight into the future, disguising it as a desire to know God's will.

To be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking to know God's will--indeed, that's what the majority of the Bible is about! But the issue comes when we mistake knowing God's will as knowing the future.

There are only a few people throughout the Bible who received glimpses into the future. These were the prophets, men whom God had selected to warn His people about the coming judgement and, in a few cases, look forward to His ultimate victory. But nowhere do we see anyone getting a step-by-step plan of his life. These things God keeps secret.

The author of Ecclesiastes understood this. He writes of how he spent his life planning for the future, only to realize he had no idea what the future would look like. He searched for his purpose in what was to be and found it totally lacking.

The only true purpose, he discovered, is in fearing God day by day. If people were made for the glory of God, then we must find our purpose in obeying Him. And if that is our purpose, then we can do that right where we are, living out each moment in the delight of God's presence and rejoicing in the time He has given us right now.

The future is in God's hands. He has given us today.

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