Third look

“…Choose for His Name to be Honored”

Deuteronomy 12:11 “then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His Name abide.”

Jesus put the ball in our court to begin with – He died on the cross making it even more accessible to become grafted into the True Vine.

We have seen that it is our choice “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples”

If you abide in me – we get that it is us making a conscious effort every day, every hour, every minute to remain in Him. Whether it be through prayer for a co-worker, prayer for help, strength, peace or comfort. In English or tongues, it doesn’t matter. We must make the choice – and it isn’t going to be easy.

When Jesus went away from the disciples and the multitudes time after time, it wasn’t easy to get away. He didn’t feel guilt but rather he felt compassion on them when they followed. They were so hungry for someone who taught in a way they could understand but also who taught with authority.

There are many times when I speak with patients who have seen a doctor versus a physician’s assistant. 9/10 the PA will explain things in a way that patients can understand while the doctors get so caught up in the terminology that patients do not understand. Both are correct but the approach is different.

That is how Jesus taught, bringing it in a way that was truth, relatable, understandable, applicable, and he knew what He was talking about.

Have you ever spoken with someone who kept talking about a subject that it was very obvious they didn’t know what they were talking about? They acted like they knew everything and then when the expert comes along they are like “oh yeah that too” or they get very defensive. Sound like anyone from the gospels?

So when Jesus saw they, he understood and knew that they were desperate for the real things of God – they were settling for the lesser versions any longer. They had the real deal, they had tasted meat and were never going back to baby food.

I don’t know about you but I am a carnivore, physically and spiritually. Don’t give me watered down food, give me the steak – raw, don’t sugar coat it. As Christians we have become so used to either watered down Gospel or sugar coated Gospel when really we need a big juicy bleeding steak to show us the truth.

This is due to the spirit of offense we talked about last week, how we fear actually doing what God has called us to do is what is causing this desire for the lesser version. We have become the opposite of those multitudes upon whom Jesus had compassion. He saw their hunger for the real truth, does he even see a little hunger in us? Does He look upon us with compassion because we are so hungry?

Being truly hungry for God is not the easiest choice to make and put into practice. There is no room for compromise, lest you lose well-fought for ground. We are more than overcomers through Christ Jesus, yes but that doesn’t we aren’t still in a battle. Don’t be deceived that we can just sit here in our recliners and comfy chairs expecting the devil to just leave us alone. Don’t give into the comfortable life of not fighting.

Yesterday we were going through our closets to look for clothes and blankets to give to the Ukraine and I went into my room for my stuff. My dog naturally followed me and got all comfortable and was like 75% asleep – the dog can fall asleep like nobody’s business in the day but at night forget it. So she gets all comfy and sleepy and then I bring my stuff to the front room where the pile was. She humpfed and got up and followed me. I said “I know, you get all comfortable and I change things on you” and the Holy Spirit said “I do this to you, you know.” I almost stopped dead in my tracks, like I got slapped in the face by the Holy Spirit and didn’t know how to react.

God is constantly getting us to the place where we are most effective and then we pass the torch onto the next person. He is taking us from glory to glory and He is taking them from glory to glory.

It isn’t a physical transition always, sometimes He does it through your prayer time. Getting you to get into your abiding time, FaceTime with the King of Kings, at a different time. Or a new/different ministerial role for you. A project of blessing for the pastors or leaders, whatever, it’s a transition.

With these transitions it isn’t easy to stay connected to that abiding time because your ministry is always there. I suspect that is why Jesus went at odd hours, because it was the only time he could get away and be with God.

That is not it though, God responds to us. For me, I need a response – a text, phone call, up-nod, I don’t care. Just a response, this can prove to be very frustrating with the Lord because sometimes His responses don’t come right away. They always come, but not always right then.

But Praise God that in this, He shows us His response – His Words abide in us and also Deut. 12:11 “he chooses the place for His Name to abide.”

He himself comes in and abides within us. That is His up-nod, “Hey, I’m just gonna chill here on the sofa in your heart and be here for when you need me, comfort you when you’re crying and point out the ugly things in here so that what comes flowing from your mouth is beautiful. Oh I’m also going to tell you when and what to speak, how to say it and when we need to be alone – to speak as lovers or close friends. Is that cool with you?”

And since He has already said this, we don’t even have to wait! God is like a Chess Master in that He has this move, your move, and each successive move for both parties already figured out and now He is just watching with baited breath for the play out – tears, smiles, shouts of joy, and dances included.

When this all plays out, then He begins to dole out the benefits we saw last week and this is what makes abiding so worth. Sowing these seeds of difficulty, tears so that they become fruits of gladness and joy-filled laughter.

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