Recently it was decided that I would change positions at work. After 4 1/2 years, I am soon going to be in major learning mode as I move to a new team to lead and manage. I’m looking forward to it and I hate to leave my old team at the same time. How this all happened is extremely interesting to me.
I have been praying for some time for a certain thing to happen in my job. If it happened, I would basically be promoted. It came time for my performance review, so my boss and I sat down to discuss the past year or so. I laid out what I wanted to do. I quickly learned that was not going to happen. Instead, what came out of our meeting, was that I and another manager would swap positions.
In other words, I didn’t get promoted.
There are several emotions that I could have felt. I could have been hurt because I didn’t get what I wanted. I could have been made because I didn’t get the promotion that I had planned on for a long time.
Instead, here is how I’m looking at it.
The Lord gives his children fish instead of snakes.
He gives his followers eggs instead of stones.
When I was praying, I was asking for one thing. The Holy Spirit was making intercession for me. He could have been saying to the Father, “Larry is asking for this job. This other job will be better for him.”
I don’t really know what the Lord has planned for me in this new position. I know that I will develop new skills. I will get to know some folks in a different way. I believe that He is working it out for good because I love Him and have been called according to His purpose.
I didn’t get promoted in a human sense, but I believe I did in a kingdom one.
Have you ever prayed for something only to get something totally different?
I am a prodigal.
You know what I mean. You are too. You’re prone to wander just like I am (Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love)
You have left Him. You have gone off on your journey. You are working for a different master, one who makes lots of promises that can’t be kept. Just like me.
You have slopped the pigs. You have climbed into the pig pen and gotten messy. You have hit times where you have kneeled down and eaten the slop meant for the hogs. Just like me.
Somewhere along the way, you have come to your senses. Not on your own. Never on your own. You have realized where you were and how much better you had it. Just like me.
You have begun the journey. You have started walking. At some points, you want to run so you can get there quicker. It doesn’t do any good. You are so far away. You can’t make it. Just like me.
Then you see Him. Standing there. Waiting. Watching. He sees you. He runs to you. He puts His arms around you. He loves you. Just like me.
You just want to get back. Get back home. Get back to where you once belonged (Get back, Jo Jo). Just like m
I am a prodigal. You are too.
Just like me.
As I have moved into June, I have moved into John 17 at the campground I get to minister at. Chapter 17 of John is all about Christ’s high priestly prayer. Here is what I learned the first week of learning from this particular prayer.
1. What Is The Result Of Glorifying The Son
As Jesus begins praying, He tells the Father that the hour has come. He is talking about the hour of His crucifixion is near. He asks the Father to glorify Him. There are two results of the Son being glorified.
- The Father is glorified
- Eternal life is given
Do you want the Father to be glorified? Glorify the Son. Do you want people to have eternal life? Glorify the Son. Those are two results of glorifying the Son.
2. What Is Eternal Life?
I think that if we asked people what eternal life is that we would get numerous answers. It might be to be saved. It might be to go to heaven. Jesus breaks it down rather simply in this prayer for us:
- Know the Father
- Know the Son
Jesus doesn’t mention twelve hoops that you have to jump through. He doesn’t mention living a perfect life. He mentions relationships. Know His Father. Know Him.
3. How Do You Glorify The Father?
Jesus closes out this paragraph with how He managed to glorify the Father. He accomplished the work He was given. Jesus lived the life He was supposed to live and the hour was coming when that would be finished on the cross. In that, He set the example for us.
Once we have the eternal life mentioned above, our work is to glorify the Father in the work He gives us. That may be preaching, teaching, blogging or any myriad of jobs He gives us. Maybe your work is to support missions. Whatever it is, do it with all you have to glorify the Father.
How do you go about glorifying the Father and the Son?
I don’t know what kind of day or week you are having or will have. I do know that you will need something this week. You will desperately need what the Holy Spirit will do for you. You might not need all five of these things, but I almost guarantee that you will need at least one and probably more. I know, because I will need them.
We are all going to face something tough this week. We will need encouragement or to simply be reminded. Here are 5 things the Holy Spirit will do for you:
1. He will convict you of you sin. At some point, you will sin today or this week. That sharp pang? That’s more than your conscience. That’s the Holy Spirit letting you know that you are not living a holy life.
2. He will guide you. I’m not really a mystical person. I don’t look for mystical reasons and things behind anything. I just trust that the Holy Spirit will guide me in situations.
3. He will teach you. Anyone can read the Bible and know the words. However, the Holy Spirit will make those words come alive to those of us who know Christ.
4. He unites us to the Father and Son. The Son is in one with the Father. The Holy Spirit is unified with the Son. He brings us into unity with them.
5. He glorifies the Son. Whatever He does, He brings glory to the Son. We need to have the Son glorified to us, so that we can glorify Him as well.
I need each of those. I need to be convicted. I need to be guides. I need to be taught. I need to be unified with the Father and Son. I need to have the Son glorified. All of those bring me closer to what the Father intends me to be.
Which of these do you especially need right now?
What do you need?
That’s how I’m beginning this post. I’m simply asking the question, what do you need?
Think about it for a minute and let me know. I know Who can get it for you. However, what you ask for might not be your greatest need.
You might think you need money. You might think you need a new job. Or a new relationship. Or a change. I’m not saying that you won’t get those things.
It’s just that those things are not your greatest need.
You have a Father who will give it to you.
Jesus said that no father will give his son a snake when he needs a fish.
Jesus said that no father will give his son a stone when he needs bread.
You can check those out in Matthew 7
Jesus said that no father will give his son a scorpion when he needs an egg.
Check that out in Luke 11.
He said that the Father is better than all of us fathers who will give these things to our children.
He said that the Father will give what is good to those who ask.
He said that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
What do you need most of all?
You need what is good.
You need the Holy Spirit.
Do you have the Holy Spirit? Have you been given what is good? Have you been given what is better than anything you would ever ask for on your own?
A favorite song that my daughter, Lauren, and I love to sing as we ride in the car down the road is the Toby Keith song I Want To Talk About Me. We have a good time laughing and singing (me badly) a few times a year to this song. In it, Toby talks about how his female companion talks about all sorts of things which are too numerous to recount. In the chorus, he finally goes, “
I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh me Oh my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I see
I like talking about you, you, you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me
I believe it’s that way it is with God.
We like to talk about ourselves. We like to make a big deal about ourselves. We go to Him in prayer and talk all about our issues and our problems, great and small.
We like to go around and talk about the weather and how it affects us. We like to talk about the ballgame and what it meant to us. We talk about all sorts of things that are important to us.
What does God want us to talk about?
What did Jesus like to talk about?
He came to talk about the Father. He came to talk about God and whatever He told Christ to say.
What does God want us to talk about? “Talk about Me.”
How much time do you spend talking about yourself versus talking about God?