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God, the Author of Confusion

What did I just put as this title? Yes, you read it clearly. God, in my eyes, is the author of confusion. I say that respectfully and also half-jokingly, but I'll be sure to explain. But I wanted to write about this for one reason in particular: I often hear people misquote 1 Corinthians 14:33. It reads, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." If someone is unclear about a path to take, a relationship, a decision, or if there's conflict, etc, there's always that one believer that throws out, "well God isn't the author of confusion, so there's your answer." They always mean well, but they're out of line when stating that. I say that because very few people know what Paul was speaking of in this particular verse. In that passage, the issue at hand was orderly worship. Instructions were being given regarding prophesying and speaking in tongues in the church. His desire isn't that anyone would be confused as to what is going on while in the house of the Lord. Why? Because He's not the author of confusion! Not in the place that people should come for clarity.


What's interesting is that when I take it back, all the way to Genesis 11, I see how God can be a bit confusing. There were a group of people that spoke the same language. They decided to build a city for selfish reasons. The Lord saw what was going on and decided to put an end to it. He even said, "Come, let's go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won't be able to understand each other." (Genesis 11:7, Holy Bible, NLT). Well I'll be. The God that isn't the author of confusion intentionally set out to confuse people. So there goes that theory.


I can recall times I prayed for clarity regarding issues. Even regarding romantic interests. And there were times that God led me to believe certain things because He knew how I'd react and respond with the information. For instance, there was a male I encountered who was active in the church and he was all that I desired. Signs pointed to yes, often after my prayers. But here's what God knew in His infinite wisdom. That I'd then go deeper in my walk with Him in order to connect with this man I was interested in. Another time, I prayed and was led to believe I was to connect with a certain person verses another regarding a matter. Why? Because God knew that the other person would have led me astray and things wouldn't have gone well for me. And I can tell you the signs were clear as day after I prayed and I could sense God in the midst. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows how we'll respond.


8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

(Isaiah 55:8-9, Holy Bible, NIV)


Something I know about God is that He thinks on a level that is incomprehensible to us. In John 13:7, Jesus says "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 2 Peter 3:16 reads, "He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." We will not understand everything. We're to simply trust the Author, no matter how confused we are. Never should we get too comfortable with His ways.


Now, let me add. I don't think God is ever out to intentionally confuse His children. Ephesians 1:18 speaks of us being enlightened to understand the hope to which He has called us. Jeremiah 29:13 says we'll find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart. Often we allow ourselves to be confused or in the midst of confusion. By no means does it mean that God's not in it, though. Or that He won't still rectify or show Himself. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for our good.


There are different scriptures that say different things. Some that seem to completely contradict what another scripture may say. For example...

  • Numbers 23:19 vs Exodus 32:14 say something different regarding God and His need to repent.

  • Matthew 5:16 vs Matthew 6:3-4 makes me question whether I should broadcast my good deeds or do them privately.

  • Proverbs 24:17 vs Psalms 58:10 leaves me in the dark on how to treat my enemies.


See? Confusion! To eliminate it all, hold on to this: Seek first the kingdom of God, live righteously, and all these things will be given unto you. Matthew 6:33. No confusion there!

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