Already There

Already There
For the next couple of weeks, I would like to examine the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John.  A little background information first…  Jesus had just fed over 5,000 people with 5 leaves of bread and 2 fish. Later that evening, He sent His disciples to the other side of the sea to Capernaum.  The next day, the crowd was looking desperately for Jesus, but they couldn’t find him.  They reasoned that if Jesus had not yet travelled to Capernaum, the best place to find Him was to go where His disciples were and wait for Him.  Thinking they’d arrived ahead of Jesus, they were shocked to see he was already there!  John 6:25 says, “When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, ‘Rabbi, when did You get here?’”

This reminds me of the times in my life when circumstances were out of my control.  I felt helpless, I struggled to keep things together and I was extremely anxious.  I’d witnessed God work in my past, but I questioned where He was now.  The multitude mistakenly thought they were going ahead of Jesus and meant to wait for Him to catch up, only to find that He had already arrived when they reached their destination. I've made the same error.   Whether my personal circumstances were resolved in a good or bad way, Jesus was already there.

The issue, however, is that I didn’t always recognize that He was already there.  Instead, I felt a “distance” from God.  The reality was that He wasn’t distant at all.  He was right there all along.  The problem was actually me.

Just as pain can signal there’s something physically wrong with our bodies, feeling distant from God often signals there’s a spiritual issue we need to address.  It might be that we’re neglecting time spent with God, or it might be unconfessed sin, like having a prideful spirit or a sense of entitlement.

The reason that the crowd came to Capernaum to find Jesus was not because of their faith, but rather their "want”.   They wanted Jesus to perform more miracles.  They were looking to be pleased and entertained.  They wanted a miracle on their terms.  We’ve all found ourselves there, wanting Jesus to step in and solve our problems; to make the pain go away; to do things the way WE wanted…  Our phrasing may not be "I want”, but our mindset can be exactly that way.

Jesus’ response to the people was simply to believe in Him.  That sounds so easy, but it can be so very difficult.  Belief requires trust, patience and surrender.  It requires trusting God instead of my own so-called wisdom; patiently waiting instead of rushing ahead; and surrendering my wants for His will.  These things can be very difficult for us to do.  But when we make these choices, we find peace, assurance and life!  When we begin to live like this, we will find that even in the midst of our trials, Jesus is already there.

These are your Words for Wednesday.

Please remember that we are getting together this Sunday evening at 6:00 with Pleasant Grove in their sanctuary for a time of worship and prayer for our upcoming revival in October.  Also, please come out and pray on Saturday evening at 5:30 at Ballentine Elementary School.  As always, I hope to see you for worship this Sunday morning at 10:45!  Have a great rest of your week!

In Christ,

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