When Jesus told the disciples about how His journey to Jerusalem would lead to His death, Peter opposed the Lord’s prediction. “‘Never, Lord!’ He said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” (Matthew 16:22) Peter lacked the perspective of God, and an understanding of what was our Lord’s ultimate mission on earth. Jesus’ death was neither a failure nor a collapse of His ministry, but the original purpose of His coming to earth. Our Lord said, “‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’” (Luke 19:10) The Son of Man had come not to be served, “‘…but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Matthew 20:28)
There are numerous times when I lack the view from above. I may question an experience of being in a traffic jam, only to find that the journey’s arrival placed me at my destination at just the proper time. God knew all along when He wanted me to walk in the door of the hospital or retirement home. A recent experience with a chain of traffic events caused a delay in my visit to a person who was recovering from surgery. After the visit I ran into two different friends on two separate floors in the same hospital. Both encounters led to me experience growth-related conversations that blessed me for the entire week. God’s Word says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
There are important questions I may ask on a regular basis:
- God what is your specific will for my life today?
- God what is your plan for the people with whom I will share this day?
- God how do you intend to use me to accomplish your sovereign will?
- God how can I be faithful to you in the midst of circumstances I find challenging
My view is limited by my human position and earthly location. I do not see things the way God does because He sees things from above, and I see things from below. My view is also filtered by my humanity. In my human condition I see events through the lens of my own needs and my desire to be in control. For these reasons and many others I need to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) In God’s perfect timing I will discover what His plans are. While I do not yet have God’s view of today’s events I may have His Spirit leading me in the way I react to them. For me to practice patience is to demonstrate that I trust the Lord. For me to practice self control is show others that I do not think the world revolves around me. For me to practice faithfulness is to display my own servanthood in the relationship I have with God. I will keep doing the things God asks of me even though I do not yet see the entire picture. He’s the Master! I am the servant.
In a world where people and things cannot always be relied upon, we will never need to be concerned with God’s dependability. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) God is blessing me with good gifts. God is faithful. God never changes. His view of my life is perfect, so I can always trust Him.
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.