Is God pushing you?
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”” (John 20:21, NRSV)
Some Christians have the idea that when a person “comes to Jesus”, that is the end of a long struggle to faithfulness. However, this is not the END of a long struggle, no matter how long it took the person to come to Jesus. It is the beginning of new phase in the relationship with God in Christ. In the same way, baptism is not the culminating moment of a person’s life. It is the beginning of the next phase of God’s plan. Notice that Jesus was not baptized at the end of His ministry. He was baptized at the beginning. When you decide to follow God in Christ, you embark on a new journey, a new relationship, a new mission with Jesus. As Jesus was sent into this world to save you, so you must go into this world to save and protect and love and teach others. If you are serious about your faith, you need to let Jesus send you places in this world!
In a commentary on the verse for today written above, one reference included the following words: “Believers are not meant to enjoy His [Jesus’] peace selfishly. They are to share it with others. So He sends them into the world, as the Father had sent Him…” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 1568). If you are a true Christian and have a trusted relationship with God through Christ, you are not just to worship on Sunday morning. You are not just to study the Bible. You are not only to pray. You are “sent” into this world with a purpose. You need to share the good news of Jesus, be an example of faith, reach out to those in need of transformation in order to be faithful to Jesus. Your purpose in being a follower of Jesus is not just to receive the benefits of faith. You are “sent” into your world with a holy purpose, a godly direction.
Where are you being sent by Jesus at this time of your life?
Wayne Stiles wrote: “Just as God fashioned the land of Israel to develop the spiritual lives of His people, so also He also shapes your circumstances for the same reason. So the Lord takes us places. Unwanted places.
God will lead you places you cannot control.
God will lead you to circumstances you don’t understand.
God will lead you to situations that compel you to trust Him.” (waynestiles.com)
After stating the above, Stiles added that you can do one of three things: you can struggle against God, struggle with God, or struggle for God. It’s up to you to decide. Which will you do?
When Jeff woke up one morning, he looked outside at a beautiful sunny day. He dreamed about all the things he might do but fishing seemed the best choice! He walked out to his garage to get together his gear when he noticed that overnight his dog had damaged his neighbor’s fence. The dog had scratched through a portion of the bottom of several slats in the fence, probably attempting to get at some animal. Jeff knew his elderly neighbor was a man of few words who often looked angry and seemed to harbor resentment. With hat in hand, Jeff walked next door to break the bad news.
After showing his neighbor the damage to the fence, Jeff promised to fix all the damaged pieces. The neighbor was visibly upset at the damage but said little. Jeff abandoned his plans to go fishing and set about fixing the fence. He bought new pieces of wood and painted them to match. Eight hours later, he finished fixing that fence. At the end of the day, the neighbor came over to the fence and peeked over, saying, “I sure appreciate all your hard work to fix this fence. It means a lot. I didn’t think you’d actually fix the fence, let alone do it right away and do a great job!” With these words, there began a relationship between between Jeff and his neighbor.
Over the next twenty years, Jeff and his neighbor became fast friends. Jeff visited when his neighbor’s wife died. Jeff stopped in now and again to see if his neighbor needed anything. When his neighbor entered rehab after a hip replacement, Jeff saw to it that his yard was mowed and watched the house. Two years later, Jeff heard hollering from his neighbor’s yard. He ran over to find that his neighbor had fallen, probably from a stroke. Jeff waited with the man until the ambulance came. Just before the ambulance arrived, the elderly neighbor using hand gestures asked Jeff to pray for him. Without hesitation, Jeff grabbed the man’s hand and closed his eyes and prayed. It was an awesome moment of shared faith!
You never know when God might send you to be HIS missionary to a next-door neighbor! You may not foresee a moment when you will be asked to pray and share the faith. But one thing is certain. If God sends you somewhere to be with someone, HE has a plan. HE has a reason. HE will be hoping your faith will make THE difference.
In today’s scripture, Jesus’ important words to His disciples recorded in the gospel of John were clear. As Jesus was sent by God the Father, so HE will also “send you” (John 20:21). You may not be privy to the places God will send you. You may not know all the reasons God chose you for that mission. You may not know how long that mission will last. BUT know that when God sends you somewhere or to someone, godly things will happen along the way!