Jane and I met Wendy for breakfast yesterday. I prayed over the food and thanked God for the opportunity to get together. I began to get teary-eyed and barely finished. I was so grateful for our 20-year friendship. I’m a staunch right-wing conservative and Wendy is staunch left liberal. We each wish the other would be different, but we know there’s no profit in discussing or arguing. God loves us, and to Him, we are both the most wonderful daughters He could have. It’s at times like these when there’s no budging on actively going forward on our conflicting political agendas, that I remind myself to stand back and look at the bigger picture. I trust with all my heart that God’s got the best figured out for all of His children. If I don’t believe that, I could end up like John the Baptist.
John started off so strong. He was the one to announce the coming of the Messiah, baptizing Jesus in the Jordan. He saw with his own eyes, and heard with his ears the blessing of God Almighty on His son Jesus: “The heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And low a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:16-17).
But when Herod put John in prison, something happened in John’s heart. He stopped trusting God. He began to lose faith. Why? He started looking at his immediate circumstances, instead of the bigger picture God had in mind. Like Peter when he was walking on the waves to Jesus: “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matt. 14:30). If our natural circumstances don’t seem right and we only look at what’s immediately around us, we begin to sink.
There’s a big difference in how Peter reacted and how John the Baptist reacted. Peter cried out for help, and Jesus lifted him out of the water. But John didn’t call out at all. Pride took over instead. He didn’t think it was right for him to be in jail. Why wasn’t Jesus getting him out? John allowed this downward spiral to continue and pretty soon he was wondering if Jesus was even the real thing. How quickly we can go down the negative sinkhole!
John called two of his disciples and sent them to Jesus, not to ask for help, but to ask Jesus: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:3). WOW! John had seen the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus, and he’d heard God’s voice endorsing Jesus, and now he was going to question Jesus as if all this stuff previously was a big mistake?!
I think this shows us how important it is to keep bringing ourselves back up to trusting God for the bigger picture that only He knows. If we don’t believe God, who are we going to trust? Let’s get real.
Wendy and I will continue to speak our different opinions, and God isn’t telling us not to. I don’t believe any one person is always correct all the time. As long as we continue to love each other while allowing different opinions, we’ll be okay with God. But let’s be more like Peter and trust the Lord for His help. Let’s not be like John the Baptist, hot and strong at first, but then letting pride take over. We can’t ever stop trusting in God’s bigger picture.
John never repented after he went to jail, and he ended up going from bad to worse. He made Herod’s mistress furious, and she maneuvered to get Herod to behead him. A sad end to someone who was so amazing in the beginning. God bless him.
No matter how staunch we get about our opinions and beliefs, let’s always remember to stay humble before God. Trust Him to the end, and all will be well.
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SAMPLE BOOK A: THE WORDS WE SPEAK
This is a booklet with 7 of the 61 chapters from my complete WINGS: A JOURNEY IN FAITH book 1.
The chapters I chose are stories about the words we speak, specifically about the power of words to direct our lives. These chapters are true life stories about the tremendous and varied benefits of choosing words wisely.
There are pertinent questions that go with each story to further help the reader look at his or her life and see how to apply the keys for a more satisfying and victorious life.