John 6:38 - (Jesus said) "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
It was about three years ago that the middle-aged Milwaukee school teacher invested her life savings in a business enterprise which had been elaborately -- and very smoothly -- sold to her.
Unfortunately, the person who did the selling was nothing more than a simple swindler.
Only after his promises proved to be false, and her investment nest egg had disappeared, and the wonderful dream of a wealthy future was shattered, did she go to the offices of the Better Business Bureau. They were shocked at how badly she had been swindled.
Then they asked an incredibly important question: "Why on earth didn't you come to us first?" they asked. "Have we don't such a bad job of advertising you have never heard of us? Hasn't anyone ever spoken about us and what we do? Didn't you know about the Better Business Bureau?"
"Oh, yes," said the lady sadly, "I've always known about you. But I didn't come at the beginning because I was afraid you'd tell me not to do it."
As strange as the true story sounds, every one of us is compelled to admit that we have done much the same thing when it comes to obeying the will of God.
* When Satan whispered his sinful suggestions to Adam and Eve, they didn't wait for a chance to visit with the Lord about whether He was really, really sincere about His instruction forbidding them to eat from the tree, which provided knowledge about good and evil. No, they didn't talk it over with the Lord at all. Probably they were afraid He might tell them He had been in earnest: deadly in earnest.
* Even though the Lord's presence had been with them during the plagues of Egypt, and even as Moses was receiving the Law up on Sinai, the children of Israel decided to build a golden calf to be their object of worship and veneration. Note they did not pray to the Lord, nor did they wait for Moses. They simply forged ahead in their idolatry. They ignored the Lord because they were pretty sure He would tell them not to proceed.
* When it came to the trial and death of Jesus, the priests who knew the prophecies about the Messiah choose not to apply them to the Savior. And why didn't they take it to the Lord -- why didn't they enter the holy places of the temple? I believe they were afraid they might hear God say, "This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him."
You and I, dear friends, have done the same sort of thing. In such situations, we may know what the Lord expects, but we choose to ignore Him and preferred to listen to our own sinful longings. All too often we have acted according to our own will, and only when things fell apart did we ask the Lord to weigh in. We followed that path, our plan of action, because we were afraid God would say, "No."
In contrast to the rest of humanity we see the Savior. The Father's perfect Son never thought He knew better than His Father. Jesus didn't put His will and wishes first. Instead, from before His first baby cry in Bethlehem, past His last cry on Calvary' cross, the Lord's will was always first, last, and always. And because it was, we are forgiven and saved.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I often act and then ask. Help me get my priorities right. Accept my prayers of thanks that You have saved me by following the Father's will. With a thankful heart, may I do the same. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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