Saturday, 18 December 2021

Where Jesus is.

Jesus is encouraging us to daily bring ourselves before God and seek His presence
During my readings over the last few days The Holy Spirit highlighted a few words Jesus spoke to his disciples that are both simple and profound.  The sentence is found in John's Gospel chapter 12:26 and in the NLT it reads “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am and the Father will honour anyone who serves me”.

Jesus was preparing His disciples for what to do after He had died and He was no longer with them, and explaining that those who loved their lives in this world would lose it, but those who do not put value on their lives by this world`s standards will keep it for all eternity. Because their values and perspective are different. Jesus was saying clearly you my servants must be `where I am!`

This got me thinking, how often am I where Jesus is? In this statement Jesus didn’t mean His servants needed to be physically where He was, as He was just about to be crucified, raised and ascend to Heaven. No, He meant spiritually `where He is`. We have heard a number of times recently how we are to not rely upon or own thoughts and wisdom but seek the Lord for His understanding in reverence and respect (fear). This is so true, in other words we need to be `where Jesus is`; aligned with Him, on the same wavelength, walking in step whatever you want to call it, and the Lord has continually been showing me that this comes from seeking His presence. Psalm 42:5 says in the NASB translation `Why are you in despair my soul? And why are you restless within me? Wait for God, for I will again praise Him. For the help of His presence.` Jesus is encouraging us to daily bring ourselves before God and seek His presence, for that is where we will be `where Jesus is` and be able to receive His guidance, comfort, instruction, strength, direction etc. for whatever we need, or for whatever He is asking us to do. He knows that we find it just too easy to go running off in the wrong direction by ourselves.
I was struck by this while listening to some Christmas songs recently. I can only imagine the questions, doubts and fears that must have run through Mary`s mind while the Angel was telling her what was about to happen to her, what would her life be now, how would she cope, how could this actually happen to her to conceive a baby as a virgin. Would she lose Joseph, all her friends, family and would she become an outcast. But Mary didn’t allow herself to focus only on these things , in the midst of all the questions, fear and confusion she chose to `be where God was` to align herself with His plan and honour His will and replied `I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.' Luke 1:38 NLT. This thought was prompted by a song I was listening to by Steven Curtis Chapman (it’s the song at the end of the blog) which highlights Mary`s thoughts at the prospect facing her and how she submits to the presence of the Lord and how she receives strength from His presence and His perspective. 

`Oh what a precious promise Oh what a gift of love

The angel tells a virgin that she’s going to have a son

And though it’s a precious promise, she wonders how can this be

What will the people say, and what if Joseph can`t believe.

And her questions and her fears are met with an overwhelming joy

That God has chosen her!

Oh what a precious promise, Mary waits as heaven comes to Earth`

It makes me question how much of the plan and purpose of God in my life do I miss because I don’t choose to see God’s perspective for what is happening to me. I only see the problems, the difficulties, the inconvenience, the negatives. I sometimes only see the giants to be overcome and not the milk and honey of the promises of God. I think that is why the Lord is so insistent that at the moment that we make sure we get His wisdom, His understanding of whatever is happening to us. And the only way is to “be where Jesus is” to wait in His presence, to seek His understanding and perspective, and to ask the Holy Spirit to expand our tiny thinking so we can in some small way know the mind of Christ.  

The second part of the sentence Jesus speaks is so reassuring, `And the Father will honour anyone who serves me`. It is wonderful to know that Jesus wants us to be `where He is` so the Father can reward us with His presence, strengthen us with His presence, honour us not with great accolades, riches or status, but with the amazing knowledge that we are serving the Lord in the way He wants us to.

I often wonder what would have happened if Mary had only concentrated on all the negatives and had spent too much time trying to work it all out and look for the `reason` behind it all, rather than just align herself with God's will, lay down all the questions, fear, doubt and go on trust and dependency…  Or was it that she was already used to dwelling in the presence of the Lord in her daily living, so that when faced with the enormity of the task, she could simply answer `I am the Lord’s servant` Was that why she was chosen? 

Lord, today help me to always `be where you are` so I can dwell in the strength of your presence and be in the right place to be obedient to whatever you ask me to do, because my Spirit is aligned with yours. Amen.

Author: Jan Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

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