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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's All Fun and Games til Someone Loses an Ear. . .

One of my favorite things is when I hear a message that God uses to show me something new. Last Sunday, at The Summit, Clayton Pruett spoke about John 18. Jesus is in the garden with his disciples when Judas comes with a band of soldiers, Pharisees, and priest's officers to betray Jesus. Verse 10 tells how Peter took his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant.

Peter is my favorite disciple, because I relate so much to him. He is impulsive and impatient and often doesn't understand what the Lord is doing (to give him credit, though, he is the only person besides Jesus who ever walked on water). What was Peter thinking here? There were probably over 200 men present, the majority of them highly trained Roman soldiers. Injuring one man, or even (had his aim been better) killing one would not have changed the situation. In fact, Jesus had already strongly rebuked Peter for not understanding (or agreeing with) God's plan of redemption: 
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. (Matthew 16:21-23)
Peter was, to use words from Sunday's message, trying to "save Jesus." Maybe Peter thought he could fix the situation. Maybe he was just afraid. The sermon point I have been thinking about since last Sunday is that we all have the tendency to use metaphorical swords to fix the things in our life that we don't like. When we are unhappy or hurting or uncomfortable or scared, we use our swords of control or gratification or manipulation to try to remedy the problem.

Sometimes we do this when we don't feel that God is giving us clear directions. However, Peter was standing right next to Jesus. Why didn't he ask Jesus what to do? "Hey, Lord, should I just use this sword and fight for you?" Peter decided he knew what to do and just did it.

As a believer, Jesus is always right next to me. I have the Bible for clear direction. I can pray any time. Yet I also often don't go to God first and ask what to do. Instead, I let my emotions and impatience control my actions and start waving my swords around trying to change the circumstances. Which leads, as with Peter, to people getting hurt and me receiving conviction: "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?" (John 18:11)

This week I have been challenged to put my sword away and seek the Lord's wisdom rather than start hacking away at what (or whom) ever is in front of me.

If you would like to listen to this message, you can hear it here:
God Who Reconciles, Part 13

3 comments:

  1. Many can take away something from this lesson.

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  2. Self will is a diabolical sin. We choose our own way without consulting or humbling ourselves before Jesus. Peter acted boldly and sometimes it put him in good stead when he listened to Christ and just obeyed.

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  3. I like John, the disciple of love. He described himself as the one Jesus loved. I'd like to see myself that way more often. A loved guy, who just naturally loves others in turn.

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