Sovereign God and Stumbling Pilgrims (Church Fast Day 1)

Today’s Reading: Matthew 12:33-13:17

As we read through today’s passage, one thing is clear: Many of Jesus’ contemporaries did not truly understand God, His mission nor His ways, or worse, they had competing agendas, and they were willing to go to great lengths to realize them rather than surrender to the divine plan of God.

Isn’t this the dilemma many people have faced, including us living today? Passages such as this remind us of a long-standing truth.

History repeats itself. 

One thing we tragically see today, both inside and outside the Church, is that people desire God to fit a certain mold of their expectations rather than submitting and pursing God’s divine design of things.

Passages like this put us in a position where we see in fuller display, the sovereignty of God.

Why do so many of us fail to see God’s desired way of things and why do we combat Him?

It’s because many of us fail to accept God on His terms.

Yet, even to make that observation is not deep enough. 

What is at the heart of all the conflict we read of for today’s installment?

It is the continuous human ailment: 

That we desire to be God.

History, both globally and personally, shows us that when we are guilty of this ancient malady, we inevitably sow and reap distortion and destruction. This also leads to spiritual blindness which carries with it implications that touch every corner of life and to deadly effect.

When we also desire to be God, we miss out on the full beauty of the Gospel:

That Christ came into the world to testify to the Truth which pierces the darkness with an otherworldly light and clarity. 

That God rips us out of the clutches of death and holds us securely in His everlasting arms- those of us He chose before the very foundation of the world.

That Christ bore our sin and we inherited His righteousness.

That we, who were dead, He now makes alive.

Those who were hopelessly lost are now found.

Those who were once enemies of God can now be children of God.

Those who were guilty are pardoned. 

Those of us who have been born again, are no longer destined for eternal death.

All of this because of the overwhelming, reality-defying grace of God, and not because of how special we are, but because of how unfathomably good and merciful He is.

As we begin this fast, I hope we don’t miss the pivotal opportunity set before us: That we may truly behold the deep and incalculable beauty of our Messiah and His Gospel, and to live according to such a momentous realization.

I pray that we would leave our shallowness, sentimentalism, legalism, pietism and self-idolatry behind. That we would realize that these things will only produce death in the end. 

I pray we would fall into the arms of Life Himself, Jesus, and that we would never be the same, and that we shout from the rooftops and live out the one true Gospel as recorded in God’s word, and that we would see the life offered in God to all of His children in high definition. 

I pray that we who still need to experience this moment will: Die so we can truly live. 

May God draw us nearer to Him, and further away from ourselves and the vices of this dying world that cannot save or satisfy.

May we be the peculiar people we are called to be by the powerful working of the Holy Spirit as He helps conform us more and more in the image of our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Protector, and Master: 

Jesus, The Christ.