Sometimes, I have to ask myself if I would have believed that Jesus was the son of God if I was alive in bible times? Would I just have shouted, “Blasphemy!” just like the Pharisees did?
It’s so easy to condemn Bible characters because that’s all we see them as, characters in a story. We tend to forget that they were real people with real lives and that we probably share certain similar characteristics with them. Whenever I ask myself this question I thank God for allowing me to be born many years later because if I had been a Jew born in that time I probably would have been so stuck on my own already-formed principles that I wouldn’t have noticed that the promise of the Messiah which I had been waiting for was being fulfilled right before my eyes.
From generation to generation, the promise of the Messiah had been passed down through the Jews, the custodians of the law. A king that would save them and redeem them. Sure enough, God fulfilled His promise and the Messiah was born but Jesus did not come the way they expected Him to come. So they immediately wrote it off as blasphemy. I wonder if they ever bothered to check their “law” to see that when it came to Jesus all the prophecies converged. Perhaps they expected the Messiah to make more of a glorious entrance rather than just a mere baby born to a lowly family in a manger. Perhaps they couldn’t accept that their “special promise” which they paraded so gallantly in the face of every other nation would come as an ordinary man and this infuriated them.
They would not hear it, they would not verify it, and it just could not be. God had to do it their way!
Recently God had been prompting me to start an initiative for empowering ladies to overcome insecurity, after much resistance I prayed to meet someone who would benefit from such an initiative the following week as a confirmation that this was the right time to start it. Sure enough, God answered my prayer but I almost missed it. I almost missed it for two reasons. Firstly, the answer did not come how I expected it to and I wasn’t actively watching for the answer.
God doesn’t always move the way we expect him to. The God we serve is creative he doesn’t do things the same way each time. He is the same God who fed Elijah through ravens during a famine (1 Kings 17: 5-6) and then, later on, told Elijah to get food from a widow’s house (1 Kings 17:9). God is unpredictable, that’s the plain truth.
So it falls to us to remain sensitive and watchful for what God is doing in our lives daily and in the world at large. It is not for God to dance to our tune but for us to dance to God’s sweet music. The importance of watchfulness and sensitivity to the Word of God cannot be overemphasised. The beauty of Christianity is that it’s a two-way street.
For every word we speak to our dear Lord, there is a response. The question is, are we listening?
For every prayer made in line with the will of God there is an answer, the question is, are we watching?
Let’s take a look at Mary, the amazing mother of Jesus Christ. She had been given the opportunity to birth and raise a special child and from these two verses, we see that to carry out this duty appropriately, she adopted a posture of watchfulness.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. [Luke 2:17-19]
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. [Luke 2:49-52]
Mary was constantly watching and listening out for the things that were said about Jesus and pondering about them. I presume she probably compared them alongside the word that the angel gave her before Jesus was born.
As Christians, we need to adopt a posture of watchfulness, so that we don’t miss what God is doing in our lives, in the lives of those around us and in the world at large. We must not be so quick to write off or condemn when we see a new thing happening but instead, we should go into the Word of God and see what it says because that is our only true standard. We must be in constant fellowship with God through the Word and Prayer to be able to adopt this posture. I am not saying this to sound cliche, it is the truth. We are only able to hear God better as we spend more time with Him.
Always watching (what is going on around) Always discerning (what God is doing) Always falling in line (with the plan as a Solider of Christ).
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Written By: Ayowade Adeleye (through the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit).