As you can see I took more than a few days off from blogging. In my last post, ‘Clearing Some Time’, I concluded by challenging myself to start praying beyond my own needs and actually listen to God and His plan for me. Novel idea isn’t it? In short I needed to shut up. And that’s exactly what I did. I have been quite for five days.
Now I’m ready to start talking, or blogging again and hope that you are ready to jump back in.
As I was writing the last post (and I mean literally as I was writing it) I was faced with some personal challenges that took me back to places that I thought were behind me. It has been a trip back that I haven’t wanted to take. I don’t think that it was coincidental that as I was writing about my need to shut my mouth and open my ears to God I was taken to these dark places. While I have had my ears open and blog turned off for the past five days I have not had any major, earth shattering revelations from God about my life or the world. What I have gained is some clarity of thought at a time when my head has been the foggiest.
During my past few days of listening I have given a lot of consideration to the passages for today’s post. As I listened and listened and listened some more, Matthew 16:13 – 20 have really spoken to me. Jesus and the disciples are in the middle of a whirl wind tour full of signs, wonders, prophesy and teaching. Despite all that they have seen and heard these guys still aren’t completely sure about what is going on in their little world or who this man Jesus really is.
In verse 13 Jesus asks them “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They reply that “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (v. 14). That’s a 21st Century answer if I’ve ever heard one! Even with all the evidence of Christ people still insist that Jesus was a good moral leader, philosopher, or teacher. That Jesus represents nothing more than an important, religious, historical figure. A figure who may be relevant to some but for the majority is nothing more than a man, albeit a famous one. A man not unlike John, Elijah or Jeremiah.
Verses 15 and 16 is when my ears really tuned in. 15“But what about you?” he [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” In my adversity, when others are watching, during the times in my life when it really counts who do I say that he is? In all truth I say that he is the Christ but I behave as if he were someone less. Someone like John or Elijah or Jeremiah. I can fool myself into believing that I have control over my circumstances when I minimize the truth, that he is the Son of the Living God, and begin to limit him by viewing him as a spiritual advisor or a good, moral example. I limit him when he becomes an intellectual figure rather than a relational one.
Shut up and listen. As I struggled through a difficult weekend full of emotional highs and lows I spent a lot of time asking God to fill me with the truth of who he is. That I would begin to experience him for who he is, the Son of Man, the Living God. That he would speak to me in undeniable ways and I would respond by calling him Christ no matter the outcome of my trial.
I love the song ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’ and it has been stuck with me for days. The lyrics are my testimony. He has taken me through the clay, set me on on the rock, didn’t let me go. I love him and need him. Even if my world falls I will hold on and not let go. And when asked “Who do you say that I am?” I will respond “He is the lover of my soul, my Savior, my closest friend, the one I will worship until the end”.
As a footnote: For all of my dear friends who read this blog and have been praying for me these past few days, thank you. I am truly blessed. Thanks for praying and thanks for reading. It’s good to be back!