Every pause to think about how God goes out of His way for us? It's really kind of baffling--and something I think a lot of us tend to ignore.
I've been reading Acts (in two different ways--both in my daily reading and in my daughter's school reading), and that's been jumping out at me. In the Gospels, people sought out Jesus. But in Acts, Jesus seeks out them.
|Saul on the Road to Damascus|
Seriously--Saul on the Damascus Road. Ananias and Saul. The eunuch and Philip. Peter and the Roman. The list goes on and on. People whose hearts were primed and ready . . . and a message from the Lord telling someone "Go, talk to this guy. He needs to know about Jesus."
Wow, just got goosebumps. I mean, I tend to think in terms of the Lord leading us where we need to go, yes, but in more subtle ways. Ways more easily written off as coincidence by those who don't believe. But there's nothing subtle about this. Time and time and time again in this founding days of the church, God speaks audibly. Visions happen regularly. Jesus himself gives instruction. Angels visit. And why?
Because people were ready and needed to know about Jesus. Because the guards of the prison needed to believe. Because it wasn't time yet for the great preachers to be silenced. And so God went out of His way---He sought those who were seeking Him.
People today tend to teach about this with a disclaimer usually phrased as wishful thinking. Who hasn't heard, "Wouldn't it have been amazing to see those miracles? I sure wish they happened in the modern church...." "Wouldn't it be awe-inspiring to see an angel? Not that I ever expect to...." "Well, the Lord doesn't usually speak that clearly, but you can learn to understand Him...."
|The Ethiopian Eunuch and Philip|
True, we can. But I've undoubtedly said before that we only see what we believe is possible, that our doubt limits the workings of the Spirit. And why should we doubt that the Lord still cares that much about each addition to His church? He hasn't changed. Just because it's spread and grown doesn't mean it matters less. Why should we never believe that dreams can be visions? After all, when can God speak to us better? And why in the world should angels visit all through history then stop now?
My words for the year were "Thirst and Savor," but I'm beginning to think that a big part of that process is "Be Amazed," LOL. Because time and time again, with everything I've been reading, God's been tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Look. See how much I love you? See how much I care about the little things? See how far I'll go to touch the hearts that yearn for me?"
Are we yearning? If so, then don't be surprised when He meets us. In ways we might expect, and in ways that make us, like Peter, think it only a dream until we come-to in the streets outside our prison.
And let's listen. Let's listen for that voice saying, "Rise up, beloved, and go out--I've sent someone to you. They're expecting to hear about Me from your lips." Let's be like Ananias, who may be thinking, "What, him? That guy that has hurt so many of us?" But who says, "Here am I, Lord."
Here am I. Here are you. And here, praise be to Heaven, is He.