Yesterday morning I was sitting in Church reading and praying. I was reading in John and when I read 12:37, something struck me. “But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him.” People witnessed amazing miracles; eyes opened, the deaf hearing again, forgiveness of sin, and the dead rising…how could you not believe when you witness so many miracles. One of the answers is the Jewish leaders had fabricated a picture of what the messiah would look like, the kind of actions he would take when he arrived, and plainly Jesus did not meet their expectations so they chose not to believe. The Messiah had come, He wasn’t what they wanted, so they decided to kill him and wait for the real one. There are a host of other reasons they did not recognize the messiah; pride, sin, self created law, hearts hardened, etc. but this one struck me personally.
How do I protect myself from fabricating a picture in my head about the way things should go and then completely miss God’s blessing because it did not look like what I thought it would?
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.– John 16:33 NLT
Danielle and I made a pretty significant decision in our lives recently, one that many probably do not understand. It was a decision that came from literally 6-7 months of prayer and seeking wisdom. It was a decision that we had to come to agreement apart from one another as to ensure we were both seeking the Lord independently. On the morning of December 15th, the Lord made it plain to Danielle and I independently of one another, that it was the day. So we took action.
Fast forward 3 weeks and we begin a new season, we start a 21 day fast with our church family, and Danielle and I are at the church each morning from 6-8 to pray. rather than try to write this in paragraph form I am just going to give you a quick bullet pointed list.
- Danielle catches a cold, virus or something.
- I bend over and hurt my lower back – I do not have back problems and I do not deal with pain very well.
- Danielle and I are sitting in church praying the next day and I ask the Lord to please heal my back. Literally the feeling of electricity shoots through my lower back and I stand up from my seat with no pain. HOLY CRAP, Praise Jesus!
- Sidney catches a virus – She is never sick and doesn’t do sick well.
- Sidney’s ear is plugged and she is experiencing sharp pain – Danielle prays for her and the pain goes away and hasn’t returned…again, Praise Jesus!
- Danielle flies to Denver for a conference…excited for her, but man I love her and hate being apart.
- I catch the virus and am not feeling well…Yes, I am your typical “man-cold” kind of guy.
- Sidney is still not feeling well and both eyes turn pink…ugh.
- Sidney is completely sick of being sick – how do I know it is bad, because she now doesn’t mind me giving her hugs and praying over her…even though inside she secretly loves these things.
- Riley is healthy, but like me, she struggles when we are not around people. Being homebound is kind of like torture for us.
Thankfully today is now Saturday and Danielle is coming home! Why do I walk you through all of this? This is exactly how I protect myself from missing my Father’s good and perfect plans. I know, because His Word tells me, this walk of faith will always come with trials, it is not a clear and perfect path. Our walk will have many ups and downs and for the very reason I know the trials and frustrations are like lamp posts on the path the Lord is calling us to follow. He is good and faithful and longs for us to rely on Him through this journey. The journey will at times throw more at us than what we can handle, it will seem overwhelming, and as if we made the wrong decisions at times. But, we hold fast to what the Lord has spoken and what He has written, and we take one step at a time. We praise Him in the good and we praise Him in the bad, because we are confident in every situation He will show up!
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.– Romans 8:28 Amp
So my question to you is…How do you ensure you do not miss what the Lord has for you based on a false perception you have created?
It often seems when we make spiritual commitment or determined action, the enemy shows up to derail us. Our human inclination is be in a comfortable place. The point about forming our own personal picture of what will be while comparing it to the Jewish leaders who did truly miss Jesus for their preconceived expectation is well worth pondering. It is us (me).
Thanks for sharing today, Scott!
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