April 5, 2013

John 6:21 Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

It’s a funny thing: when you welcome Jesus, you get where you’re going a lot faster! I’m interested that the NIV says, “were willing to take Him into the boat,” but the Japanese says, “rejoiced.” There are degrees of opening up to the Lord, and the more we open up, the better the results. Jesus can do amazing things in our presence, like walking on the water in this instance, but we still have to choose to take Him in. We have to accept Him on His terms. Immediately before this the crowd that Jesus had fed with one boy’s lunch wanted to “make him king by force,” (verse 15) but Jesus escaped from them. They didn’t want to receive Him, they wanted to use Him for their own purposes. People today do the same thing. I have people want to become Christians because they think it will get them out of whatever mess they are in. Some of them are insistent enough about it that I’ve even baptized a few. However, that never works out well, because they aren’t submitting themselves to Christ as Lord, they are wanting to force Him to do what they want. The way to peace, joy, victory, and everything else good is trusting submission to God, not demanding that He fulfill whatever scenario we cook up.

I can’t say I’ve never tried to manipulate God, but I can say I’ve never succeeded! Frustration is by definition the gap between how things are and how we think they ought to be, and I’ve certainly experienced plenty of that! Rather than stewing in frustration, I need to be asking God how He wants me to respond to each situation and circumstance. That’s not being passive; sometimes God wants me to act forcefully. However, I’d better be in full submission to Him when that’s the case! The longer I live, the more aware I am of just how amazing God’s grace really is, that He would love, save, and use such a one as I am. I am not to dictate to God what my part in His plan I am to take, but when He makes it clear what that part is, I am to do it with all that I am.

Father, to be honest, I have no idea why I included this reading when making up a Scripture list focused on righteousness, but it may be You wanted to say this to me at this time. Help me be done with frustration, and rather walk in total submission to You. May I keep growing in listening to You and being instantly obedient. May I be faithful in prayer without being demanding. May all of Your plans for my life be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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