Something that’s really been laid on my heart lately is the importance of understanding who Jesus is; I don’t just mean having the ability to list off all of the miracles the Bible mentions, or knowing the exact order of the parables He shared with the multitudes of people, but truly having an understanding of who He is as a God. Ultimately, His character.
I was reading through Mark 14 this morning and read through the story about the woman who came and anointed Jesus with the expensive bottle of perfume, which a lot of people were frustrated and upset by, thinking that she had wasted her money when she could have sold it and given the money away to those who needed it. Jesus rebukes those who questioned her motives, assuring them that they had forever to help the poor, but their time with Him was limited, and her faith was something that would be remembered and spoken of. Immediately following this, Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests in a decision to betray Jesus.
Typically when we hear about Judas, we hear him cast as an ultimate villain, the man who sold out Jesus for his crucifixion. But as I read that, I began to feel pity for him; it’s not that he was this horrible, manipulative person who embarked on a journey with God just to sell Him out, but rather a man who just didn’t understand Jesus. The difference between knowing of God and understanding God are two completely different things. Perhaps Judas didn’t understand why Jesus was so accepting of the woman anointing Him, and viewed Him as being selfish. So often the things Jesus does are so beyond our comprehension or understanding, and rather than just accepting that God is going to do something off-beat, we spend far too long analyzing it, looking for the wrong. Jesus never requires us to have His omniscience, but rather that we just are willing to call out to Him and say, “Here am I, Lord—send me.”
He doesn’t want us to be Judas. He doesn’t want us to walk alongside Him and just act as though we understand Him. He wants us to KNOW Him, to know His character. He wants US. And if we don’t ask questions to godly men and women, and seek Jesus through His word and in prayer, and if we don’t start actively living WITH God, then we’re going to betray Him. He’s died for our sins once, He’s risen again victoriously; Satan has already been defeated. Stop assuming you understand Jesus. He doesn’t want assumption. He wants YOU.
Do you know how hard it is to go and do school and work when all I want to do is go tell people about how amazing Jesus is? Goodness me.
When a man who doesn’t know me, who’s a travelling evangelist, is preaching in church, and in the middle of his sermon feels the Holy Spirit come upon him to come over, single me out, and speaks prophetically over me about things that He couldn’t possibly know about, tells me that I’m moving in the right direction…
oh my gosh, Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is just STRAIGHT UP CRAZY. Today was amazing.
I use Jesus. I try to force His will into being my own, convincing myself that I am so in tune with God that I don’t need to fall at His feet and seek direction. I think I know best for my life.
I know nothing on my own. My “wisdom”, my “insight”, it’s fleeting and in the next moment I realize that I could never understand every perspective, every possible outcome, despite my best efforts at over analyzing. This leads to worrying, to doubt, to anger, to eventually feeling betrayed—not at myself, but rather toward my Creator who is desperately calling for me, reaching out to me with tears, pleading for me to understand that He, and He alone, can heal, and rectify, that I’m not designed to handle everything on my own. I’m a creature that’s designed to rely upon something.
And that’s what we do—we rely on things that fail. On the media, on our friends, our parents, our employers, our countries, our spouses; we put so much of ourselves into things that, while not necessarily bad, aren’t infallible. Everything falters. Everything, except for Jesus. And until you know Him and His character, you will be treading water with weights on your ankles.
There is a peace in handing your life over to the one who formed it. There is a joy in following Him and His will for you. It’s not a matter of following blindly, of giving up “free” will; there is no freedom aside from Jesus. We’re all bound into sin. We’re born into death, and the only escape is God and His love. We’re not following blindly, we’re merely blinded by the light of Jesus, and nothing else matters. What do status and wealth mean when life is over and you’re standing before the Lord and your name isn’t on His book of life? It means eternity separated from Jesus, an eternity of misery after a lifetime of needless worry and struggle.
THAT is why my life is not my own; not because it’s promised to be easy and always happy, but because I don’t want anyone to miss out on the love that was given for them. I can’t force my will, because my fleshly desires are for things that have no eternal merit. My God loves in a way that you’ve never dreamed possible and will never fully comprehend, and God’s will for those who love Him is to share that love, to free the chained, to release the prisoners of sin into His open arms.
So. Ridiculously. Excited.