Post #TYI2013 Devotional #3

August 22, 2013
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TYI2013_Devo3a

Who is leading you?

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:1-7

(Yes, for those who are aware, “Doubting Thomas” didn’t get his name due to just one incident.)

How often have your expectations in life failed to be a reality? The disciples were probably under the same impression as many Jews during Jesus’ time. The prophesied Messiah was going to free Israel from Roman rule, be the king they had envisioned, and make Israel the nation they had always been promised. Instead, Jesus tells them, “I am the Messiah, and my mission is bigger than you imagined! Not only am I going to renew Israel; I am going to renew the universe. Simply trust the work I am doing.” Thomas’ problem wasn’t that his expectations were necessarily wrong; it was that they were too small.

Thomas’ confusion may indicate a frustration because of a loss of control, because his expectation of who Jesus is doesn’t really matchup with what Jesus is actually doing. Jesus is completely rocking his universe in a way that confuses him, stretches him, but ultimately leads to something way better than Thomas even desired; abundant and eternal life with Jesus.

Whether or not we want to admit it, many of us have serious control issues.

A loss of control can turn into a total meltdown for some people. Think of when you forget your cell phone, can’t find your keys, the TV remote, etc. How do you react when you’re unexpectedly late to work/class or stuck in traffic? When someone disappoints you with something they said or did to you? Is your life filled with grace? Or do you let anger and frustration fill you because that individual didn’t meet an expectation of yours? Do you ever get upset with yourself because of failure?

Maybe we have to face the hard truth. A lot of us like being the center of our own universe, and when things don’t go “our way” or people fail us, our universe can implode.

Ask yourself, who or what is your faith in when your expectations fail you?
Jesus said, “You believe in God. Now believe in me…”
Do you trust what He’s doing in your life, what he desires of you?
Is it possible that Jesus wants to do something bigger in your life than you imagined?

C.S. Lewis describes how Jesus does the unexpected in his book Mere Christianity. He says, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Jesus is going to ravish the internal measures of your heart and breathe new life into you.

Essentially, we must realize that Jesus is not the handy man who only fixes the things we want fixed. He’s going to reveal things you want to hide, possibly areas of shame and guilt, and he’s going to ravish the internal measures of your heart and breathe new life into you. He’s going to make you look like Him! And guess what…

That might be painful.
But as the Apostle Paul writes, we are called to hold onto the grace given to us,
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

We encourage you; allow Him to boast in your weaknesses, for now He resides there!

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