Jan 2, 2010

God's Timing and Temptation -- Thoughts From An Old Journal Entry and Today

"My hour has not yet come." John 2:4

All throughout the book of John, Jesus says to different people, "My time has not yet come." In John 2:4, he said it to his mother before he turned water into wine at the Cana wedding. As I mentioned in other posts about waiting and even in yesterday's, we get all out of sorts when God doesn't operate on our time table. You'd think we'd learn that he seldom if ever does, especially when we are pining after something (even a good thing). Sometimes I imagine myself as an Israelite in the wilderness, having to stop and go according to the cloud by day and fire by night. I imagine that sometimes I'd be irritated or impatient because I am ready to go, but the cloud or pillar just sits there and sits there days on end, barring the nation (and me) from moving forward. I'd want to know what the hold up was and be irritated that I didn't get an answer.

A big temptation for us is to take control and try to manage our lives, to be sovereign over our lives and lives around us. This gets me back to a journal entry from August 26, 2004:

Matthew 4

When Jesus was being tempted--it was not wrong for him to turn stones into bread. The problem was that the devil was trying to get him to assert his power outside of the will of the Father. Jesus knew God had timing for everything. God the Father would provide the manna. Perhaps the devil knew that all the kingdoms of the world would be Christ's, but he was trying to get Jesus to be greedy, and most of all, do the unthinkable--worship him! Again, he was trying to play upon truth in order to get Jesus to obtain the kingdoms of the world in an illegitimate manner. The devil may not have given the kingdoms to Jesus anyhow. But if Jesus would of done the unthinkable--acquire his rightful kingdoms and glory in an illegitimate fashion, Jesus would've forfeited his soul (now I am not sure about the forfeited his soul, but that is what I wrote. Jesus would've sinned and who knows what would've followed from that).

Seeking to acquire that which God promises by our own means is illegitimate. There is quite a training of our faith involved in waiting on God to give us what he has promised. We have to wait without grasping, wait without grumbling. This is a grace that may take years to develop. And just when we think we've acquired it, he gives us another situation that tests us and requires us to trust him as never before. Jesus too was tempted to illegitimately acquire what was rightfully his. Isn't that paradoxical? Why should he have to acquire what was his? But he did and he had to do and be according to the Father's will.

I welcome comments and insights.

His grace and peace upon you.

Marlena

2 comments:

Denise said...

wow.
this is very intensely related to what Jesus and I were talking about today.

Look at Him work.

Ily, Marlena.

<3

Brother said...

I really enjoyed your thoughts on waiting and being patient. I once read that someone meditated on the Our Father for 15 years. This is difficult stuff for us impatient ADD types, but how joyous when you realize that things are happening on God's time which is the best time.