“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:12-13a, NIV)
Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t show you all of His will for you? There have been so many times in my life that I wished God would just tell me His whole plan for me! However, in my experience, He typically gives only one or two steps at a time. When I have the faith and courage to take the step He’s shown me, God reveals the next step, and then the next, and so on. One step at a time He leads us along the path He’s laid out for us–but He only shows us the next step.
In John 16, Jesus told His disciples they couldn’t handle knowing God’s full plan. If they’d known the full details about Jesus’ death, resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the persecution they would suffer as followers of Jesus, they probably would’ve abandoned ship right then and there. I don’t think any of us could’ve walked the path the disciples walked if we’d seen where the path was leading. And I’m not convinced we would walk the path laid out for us if we could see all the twists, turns, bumps, roadblocks, and dangers ahead.
Maybe one reason why God only shows us a step at a time is that revealing His full plan to us would be more than we could bear.
Thankfully, He doesn’t have to give us the full download all at once. Instead, He gave us Himself, His Holy Spirit, who guides us one step at a time into the truth and will of God. May the Lord forgive me when I get frustrated because I can’t see more than a step on the path ahead! My prayer for this week is that we will trust God and take whatever step He’s called us to, even though we can’t see what lies beyond it.
Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet…” (John 7:21-22a, NIV).
In the passage I read this morning from John’s Gospel (John 7:14-9:12), the tension between Jesus and the Jewish people is palpable. They simply refused to acknowledge who He was, debating and arguing and reasoning their way out of faith in Jesus–even when He was performing miracles, teaching Scripture, calling them back to God, showing love and compassion without measure, and living without sin in every way. The Jews were amazed by Jesus’s miracles, yet angry with Him for healing a man on the Sabbath, and they were even accusing Him of being demon-possessed.
Jesus was incredulous, and rightly so! In spite of everything He’d done for them, they still refused to believe in Him. He does one miracle and the crowds are amazed by it… yet, not amazed enough to actually follow Jesus and receive Him as Lord.
How many times in my own life have I been amazed by God, but unmoved in my heart? Too many to count! I have often heard others say (and, I’ll confess, sometimes I’ve thought myself) these seven deadly words, “I know what the Bible says, but…” Oh, that those words would never escape our lips! May we never fail to be moved by the wonder, the grace, the Truth, and the beauty of God’s Word and the Savior it reveals to us. Be amazed and be moved this week.
On December 21, I got to preach from the Gospel of John. Both John the Apostle and John the Baptizer testified that Jesus, the Word who became flesh, was the Son of God, God himself who had become a human being. This rather audacious claim that Jesus is God has to be addressed – it cannot be ignored! Jesus will either be received or rejected; there is no middle ground. What will you decide?