Life with Jesus

I read today in John 8 and it’s Jesus trying to convince the Jews that they aren’t on the right track. They keep insisting that they are children of Abraham. In response, Jesus says, “You’re trying to kill me!!!! How can you be children of Abraham if he wouldn’t have killed me? You’re children of the devil. ‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire (murder). He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is thta you do not belong to God.”

We’ve all had that experience when we were younger of losing our mom in the store. You’re short, so you recognize your mom by her jeans. Follow the jeans. You get sidetracked for one second by the kids hiding in the clothes racks and then keep following the jeans. When you have a question to ask, you look up at the body on top of the jeans and it turns out to be a middle aged man with an eye patch.

It’s not enough to just know that she has jeans. In order to assure that you don’t lose her, you have to be completely focused and not take your eyes off her for a moment.

The Jews had lost sight of God and started to follow someone else, perhaps a large Polish woman with bratwurst in her purse, but they hadn’t recognized it yet. Jesus was saying, “That’s not your father.” and then they said “Yes IT IS!” Unknowingly, the Jews were following the wrong person.

How do we do this today? Personally, my distance from God occurs when I think things are going great and thus, I stop depending on Him. Or, I do something that I think is in God’s will because it’s “okay” but it’s not the best thing for me. Some real life examples:

You start dating this boy. He’s a Christian, president of the Christian club on campus. How could GOd not want this? So you go for it. Then you start mugging down and immediately you realize that this is not the Father’s will.

You go on a mission trip because your friends are going. How could it be a bad thing? It’s a mission trip. You spend most of it socializing and you miss an important opportunity to witness to another friend at home. Didn’t sound bad in the first place, but it wasn’t the best thing for you to do.

We try to get by knowing that God wears jeans. We know that He likes church, mission trips, and Christian boys. But there’s more to it than that! It is so easy to get lost if we only care about the bare minimum about our Lord. He likes church, but which church? which Sunday school class? He likes mission trips. But when? and where? and He likes Christian boys but which ones? We have got to get focused. We have got to stop taking our eyes off of Him, even momentarily, otherwise we end up following the wrong person. God desires us to know Him intimately (and vice versa). We have got to stop just doing the “okay” things and do the BEST things.

And if you realize that you’re following eye patch man, instead of the Lord, remember the story of the Prodigal Son. God’s in the shoe department, go there, He’ll be glad to see you.

5 thoughts on “

  1. I went to the shoe department, with eager anticipation of finally seeing God. There was no God there, Beth. I don’t know whether He heard I was coming for a visit and thought it would be funny to leave, but I don’t think it’s very funny, and I wish you’d stop teasing me with all this talk of where God is. It’s preposterous. Why would God even need shoes, for crying out loud?

  2. That’s an interesting analogy and certainly not one I would ever come up with. Beth, you have a gift for taking something that might be difficult to understand and putting it in the simplest terms possible. Maybe that’s why you enjoy junior high ministry so much.
    But something I would like to add is that sometimes we outright lie to ourselves. To use your examples….how about the boy who is not a Christian but is searching for the truth. He is highly incapable of forming close relationships but seems to really connect with you. Then you rationalize that it is God’s will for you to get involved with him because he can’t relate to anyone else. That’s no good. Then there’s the mission trip you go on so that you can skip out on your responsibilities at home or, worse, because you believe the need for ministry only exists overseas. I think I’ve strayed from the point a little. Basically, what I am trying to say is that sometimes we tell ourselves we are following God because it makes us feel better. Putting it in your analogy, you know exactly where the stain is on your mom’s jeans where you spilled ketchup earlier that day, and you know that you are following a pair of jeans which very obviously do not have that stain. But at least you are following a pair of jeans and not a skirt or a pair of khaki pants. I hope that makes sense.
    Take care, Beth.

  3. thank you? yeah. i’m thinking “thank you.” i’d bathe in yours too. than i could be in my mom’s alps class…if i could also go back in time.

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