Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Real Reason

We do not have encounters with Jesus so that we have some "feel good moment" to include inside our testimony.  Such may be the apparent goal of some worship services or sermons, but it is not what Jesus is about when He makes Himself known to us.  As we consider the New Testament, we can see how this is true.  While it was not a Jesus encounter which Mary and Joseph had in Nazareth, it was certainly a moment when God made Himself known through Gabriel.  They were both overwhelmed and filled with fear.  Did not the angel say to both, "Do not be afraid..?"   And when would-be-disciples heard Jesus saying, "Follow me.."  it was for a lifetime of service and not a moment of feeling good.
Anyone can do their own browsing and see how it works.  Jesus makes Himself known to us in powerful life changing moments because He has some purpose He wants to accomplish.  And, what is always surprising to us is the fact that the One who can do all things without any help from us almost always (maybe always) calls us to partner with Him the work.  The experiences which lift us up out of the routine of our spiritual life are not random and neither are they designed to make us feel good.  Those moments come as a way of calling us to share in a new thing He is about to do, or maybe to prepare us for some moment in the future which has not yet revealed.  Always remember God does not count time as do we.  What we see as preparation in the present moment may be for something still in the process.
We relish and rejoice in those moments.  It encourages us in our faith to share in them.  But, they are not so much about the now as they are about what is ahead.  Perhaps, some of our encounters with Jesus should rightly bring us to moments of praise or even confession, but never forget about the possibility that it may also be about a hard thing which is in the present unseen by us, but very much in God's view of what is ahead.  There are surely those moments when we should leave the emotion of the moment with the question, "What's next, Lord?  What's ahead?  Help me be ready."

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