Monday, May 7, 2012

John 12:27-30

We have a Savior who understands us. As Jesus turned toward the Cross, He struggled, just like we do!

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27-28a)

If Jesus could take His struggles to the Father, so can we! I have not met the challenge of a terminal illness, but I’m imagining that the struggle for a Christian might be like we see here. We KNOW that what awaits us on the other side is beyond anything we could ever imagine. When we see Him face to face it will be glorious. But because we have not passed through the portal of death yet, we DON’T know what that passage will be like. We cling to what we know and the pull of earth is strong. At the same time, however, our hearts yearn for our eternal home. How did Jesus get beyond this? He remembered what His purpose was: to SAVE us by taking the judgment for our sin on the Cross and to glorify the Father in it.

And note that He says, “Father, glorify your name,” not, “Glorify my name!” We live in a time in which everyone wants his OWN name glorified! Everyone wants his 15 minutes of fame - and Satan has provided the means to keep us focused in that direction with social media. You can be out to the world via Facebook, Twitter, texting, YouTube - and, yes, blogging! While I believe God can and does redeem the media for His purposes, since He is sovereign and cannot be thwarted, Satan, nevertheless, makes good use of our desire to glorify our own names.

 As believers, we have the certainty of being disciplined by our Father whenever we step out of His will in this way. He has a way of pulling us back and reminding us whose we are and why we’re here! Sometimes it just takes a gentle nudging from the Holy Spirit, but sometimes it takes a trip to the shed! As soon as Jesus said, “No it was for this very reason I came to this hour,” He was again resolute in His determination to finish the job He came to do. May we always remember His example!

As soon as He refocused and prayed, the Father answered - the third time in His ministry that the Father affirmed Him publicly (at His baptism, the Transfiguration, then here).

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. (vs.28b-30)

The world does not hear God speak to you, and people may tell you, when you feel God’s call on you life, that you are just imagining it. If God is speaking to your heart, asking you to step out in some kind of ministry, and you are sure it is Him, you can bet your boots that immediately there will be those who will try to rob you of that joy and that mission. Be prepared for it!

If your goal is to glorify the Father, don’t let anyone keep you from that path. We know that even the disciples, who loved Him, tried to keep Him from the Cross. But it was for the Cross that He came. How wonderful that the Father affirmed His mission once more to help Him move forward. He will do that for you, too. If you are questioning whether or not that voice you are hearing is His, ask Him for confirmation in His Word and through His people. He will provide it!  

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