Sunday, October 25, 2009

Faith Enough to Follow

You see them every time you go to the mall. Brightly lit kiosks heavy-laden with their wares. They're like little mini-stores with pizzazzy products, usually lending themselves to a hype-filled demonstration. The gizmos and gadgets all have some kind of "wow factor" that the proprietor hopes is significant enough to get shoppers to stop and say "Oooh . . . Ahhh . . . Wow! I want one!" Lots of people don't stop. Others stop and watch, only to walk away empty-handed. The prized few stop . . . watch . . . and believe in the product enough to make the purchase. No one in the history of earth had more of a genuine wow factor than Jesus did as He went around the countryside doing miracle after miracle. He had a timeless message and could back up all His claims. He gave none of His energy to hype, but He caused a stir nonetheless. Crowds gathered, and people everywhere were talking about who He was and what He could do! The question is, how would they respond?
" . . . many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and believed in His name. But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men." John 2:23-24 NIV
Wouldn't it be awful to be someone who actually was in that very crowd, a few feet from Jesus, watching Him do miracles with your own eyes, say, "Wow!" . . . and then walk away? How could they believe in the miracles they witnessed, even believe in His name, believe that He was Who He said He was, and still walk away, unchanged, in pursuit of their own way. What a tragic indictment to have it recorded for all time, that because of what Jesus knew about their hearts, He would not entrust Himself to them. So what was the difference between these people who believed but could not be trusted by Jesus, and the disciples, to whom Jesus increasingly entrusted Himself during the few years He had with them? What was it about the disciples?
They believed in Him enough to make the purchase. They desired to know Him. They hungered to be near Him. They wanted to understand what He said. They had faith enough to follow Him, to pursue Him and His ways.
What if Jesus sometimes can't entrust Himself to a deeper walk with us because of what He knows is in our hearts? What if He sees that we only want to "ooh" and "ahh" over His "signs and wonders" power, ask Him for miracles of our own, and then like shoppers at the mall, walk on by, leaving the Miracle-Worker behind as we pursue our own way. He wouldn't be able to entrust Himself to us any more than He already has, and we would miss the increasingly intimate relationship He wants to have with us. A. W. Tozer wrote, "Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted." (The Pursuit of God)
Ever the Gentleman, my gentle Jesus never barges in where He hasn't been invited, never gets in your face like a salesman with a quota to meet or a boss breathing down His neck for results. For some unfathomable reason, the all-powerful King of Kings waits for us to want His Presence. He patiently, softly prays for us to ask to see His glory, to eagerly desire a closer walk with Him! We are what HE WANTS!! Does. That. Not. Blow. Your. Mind?!!! It does mine.
"My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:8 (AMP)
Join me in following hard after Jesus this week! Share with me your ideas of what that looks like and how you demonstrate a following heart!


Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Shaunie, just taking some time tonight to read some of your blog posts. I love your thots here, they reminded me of Isaiah 30, "the LORD longs, waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him." Also, another Tozer quote: "Enthusiasm for God is a lot more common than obedience to God"
Thanks for sharing your thots with us!

Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam said...

Thank you for your encouragement Marji, and for your additional insight--I needed to read this post again tonight. You are such a blessing to me!!

Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam said...
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