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The princess called Curdie to carry out a mission for her but she hadnít given him a lot of information so he asked, "But where am I to go, maíam, and what am I to do? You have given me no message to carry, neither have you said what I am wanted for. I go without a notion whether I am to walk this way or that, or what I am to do when I get I donít know where." But the princess was having none of it and in a tone that clearly implied he needed to listen well she said, "Curdie! Did I not tell you to tell your father and mother that you were to set out for the court? And you know that lies to the north. You must learn to use far less directions than that. You must not be like a dull servant that needs to be told again and again before he will understand. You have orders enough to start with, and you will find, as you go on, and as you need to know, what you have to do...I have one idea of you and your work, and you have another. I do not blame you for thatóyou cannot help it yet; but you must be ready to let my idea, which sets you working, set your ideas right."
George McDonaldís princess (in Curdie and the Princess) teaches us what the Bible everywhere teaches usógood and sensitive servants donít need exhaustive blueprints. (It's people that aren't trusted that--for one reason or another--need a galaxy-full of instructions.) Certainly Godís servants havenít been given an exhaustive blueprint and there are a host of obvious reasons why that would be so. But even if we didnít know the why and wherefore of Godís keeping from us such a blueprint, the fact of the matter is that he hasnít given us one. And if he hasnít given us one then, obviously, we have no need for one.
The way to go is to embrace and live in the light of the truth God has given us. If we side step and quibble about the plain truth, what makes us think that our problem is that we donít have enough truth? It isnít for us to quarrel with what God has clearly told us but neither is it for us to whine about not getting sufficient specific information. But thatís part of the problem, isnít it? A lot of people want to tell us that if God hasnít exhaustively instructed us in every area of life that he hasnít been "sufficiently explicit". But God would tell us what the princess told Curdie. We have orders enough to go on with!
Iím one of the millions that believe that God doesnít need to add another word to Scripture. He has been explicit enough. Some think that "explicit enough" has to mean that he has given exhaustive instructions on this, that and the other. They miss the point! In Romans 12:1-3 Paul insists that as we are transformed by presenting ourselves to God as we say no to the world that we will know what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. We have enough orders to go on with. Obey without haggling what he has plainly taught us and by his grace live out holy obedience and we will know as much as we need to know.
The real problem isnít a lack of informationóitís a lack of formation.