“The reason many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.” ~ A. W. Tozer.
Every Christmas Eve for the past five years, I have picked one of the four Gospels and read the story of Christ’s death – from Judas’ betrayal to Christ’s resurrection.
*SIDE NOTE* In fact, ever since I was a little girl, every single book that I would try to read, I would start with the final chapter rather than starting from the beginning – I just loved and still love to know how the story ends or how the victory was won because it, in some ways, grew/grows my appreciation for the story as it progresses and the struggles that take place!
Reading Christ’s defeat over sin and how He lavished His love and grace so relentlessly on the cross grows my excitement and my awe of the story of His birth and just trying to wrap my mind around the utter mystery of His sovereignty wrapped in the tiny body of a baby. However, this year God shared a revelation with me during my reading time and also through confirmation during our Christmas Eve service.
Specifically the Jews had awaited since the beginning of creation for coming of mankind’s salvation – the Messiah who would save the world from the curse of sin and death. During the time that Christ walked the earth, the Messiah, based on which religious group you might have spoke with, looked different in some ways than what was prophesied years and years before. The Jews desired and expected a Savior who deliver them from the bondage and authority of the Romans, and who would establish an unshakeable kingdom here on earth; He was to come in glory and splendor and He was to be Lord of all. However, as we know now with scripture, The Christ didn’t come in the expected style as planned or wanted. He came in the humblest of forms, secretive in entrance to most, and the few that knew were specifically told (an exclusive and personal invite from God, you could say).
As He grew, most hated Him and even those who loved and followed Him ended up deserting Him. And as I was reading Mark 14, these last few verses struck a different accord with me…
Mark 14:60-65 – And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But He remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need?You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.
Why was this Messianic declaration seen as blasphemy to the Jewish religious leaders?
Man’s expectations and fantasies of the Messiah that they had created and idolized in their hearts blinded them from the very one that they had been seeking for their entire lives and before! Man was so blind to their expectations of what they thought the Messiah was and would be, that when He stood before them as one of them, they despised the truth and nailed God’s gift sent to them to a tree!
- Have you been praying for something for some time and it seems unanswered?
- Is it possible that you have erected an idol formed of your own expectations of how you think God is to answer you or who you think He is?
- Has your expectations, desires, and standards blinded you from the blessing standing before you?
There is but ONE solution to the tearing down of those idolized expectations and strongholds…LOVE
True love creates no exceptions, no boundaries, or barriers. When you love God and grow more not only in knowing more about Him but more of who He is, you will be able to…”see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
To learn more of who Jesus is, you will then be able to experience Him according to His will! These expectations could include many things; one of which that I’m trusting God through is relationships- family, friends, etc. Even when we place expectations on ourselves, this can and does hinder God’s will because our will is in the way and in His perfect love, God doesn’t force or fight for His spot on the throne of the heart – that come from complete surrender.
Lay down your need for control and knowledge and sacrifice to God His rightful place as Lord! Do not allow your will to be a hindrance or blind you to God’s will.
~ God’s Little Pencil…