The Unsafe Will of God
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Matthew 11:4-6
The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. I remember hearing this statement on occasion in my church as a child. And, at the time, it made sense. It seemed logical. And based on my early understanding of who God was and how He worked, it actually seemed right. The only problem with this statement is that it simply does not align with scripture. One quick perusing of Paul’s statements in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 tell of the heartaches and troubles he encountered in his pursuit of Jesus. His journey to know Christ was far from a safe place. The hall of faith in Hebrews 11 further opens our eyes to the fallacy of such a statement. That early Christian men and women were sawn in two for their faith hardly communicates a safe life, does it?
In Matthew 11, for example, we see John in prison facing a sure death; he knows he is about to die. John sends two of his own disciples out to ask Jesus what seems to be a very curious question: “Are you the One, Jesus?” The man who was the forerunner of the Messiah, the man who was privileged to baptize Jesus Himself, the man who saw the Christ perform miracle after miracle is now questioning Jesus at the end. In desperation John makes an attempt to see if Jesus would come to the rescue. Jesus’ response is unlike what anyone probably expects. He sends word back to John and basically communicates this: “I’m sorry, John. My plan is not to save you but for your life and your death to honor me.” John was exactly where he needed to be, fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Why would Jesus save John from that?
As Christ followers, we are called to live for Him, serving Him and His purposes, making much of Jesus while trusting Him and His plan for our lives. Often times, however, we choose the life of comfort, the path of least resistance, the life that is actually more centered on ourselves than on Him. We need to be reminded that God’s desire is not for us to live in an insulated bubble where we sacrifice nothing, risk nothing and lose nothing. Jesus’ death was not to free us from dying but to free us from the fear of dying. He came to liberate us so that we actually do die in order that we can freely live. Then we may fall at His feet and say, “Whatever Your desire is, whatever Your plan, I’m with You, God! I’ll risk it all for Your glory. I’ll live for You and make a difference for You all the days of my life.” May we be reminded today of His sovereignty in our lives and rest in the assurance that He is working His perfect plan for our good and His glory.
Today’s Prayer: Thank you, Father, for Your involvement in every detail of my life. As difficult as it may be at times, I acknowledge that I trust in You. I ask You to increase my faith and belief in Your plan and the goodness it no matter my past, current, or future circumstances. In Jesus name, Amen.