Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leading or Following

"When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, "Lord are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom?  "The Father sets those dates", he replied, "and they are not for you to know.  But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8) NLT. 

God never seems to want to get with our program.  He doesn't seem to recognize that we have planned everything out--that we know how things should go so that they work out right for us.  It's easy to forget that life doesn't revolve around us--that God doesn't revolve around us.  When Jesus came back to them, the disciples were probably thinking "Here we go!  Look out Rome!"  Jesus was thinking the same thing.  But his perspective was a little different.  Shortly after this passage, Jesus ascended into heaven and their ministry began--without him.  And, it began without a hostile takeover of Rome, and without an earthly restoration of the kingdom.  The disciples saw things from the perspective of right now and this life.  Jesus saw from an eternal perspective. 

I have tended to get in a hurry or get stressed out over how things are not what I want them to be, whether it's finances, my career, finding a new job, or other life circumstances.  But the wisest thing I could do is trust and believe that God has promised to take care of me and my family.  He knows what we need.  I, on the other hand, can't see the future and don't know how best to navigate the unknown.  Maybe we will have more children.  Maybe we won't.  Maybe we will buy a house in 2-3 years.  Maybe we won't.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  At the end of the day, all we can do is follow and do our best to be wise and be faithful.  Things we want will either be in God's plan for us or they won't.  The disciples learned that lesson.  Their desires were not remotely in God's plan.  And God's plan moved on.  They did the wise thing.  They got on board.

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