Wednesday, January 14, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 4, John 4 - Weariness


It's interesting how the Lord will speak to you right where you are. In today's reading a couple of things really jumped out to me. First the part about weariness:
"He [Jesus] left Judea and went away again to Galilee. And He had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour." (John 4:3-6 NASB)
Following these verses is another one of the incredible interchanges between Jesus and someone He's ministering to, a dialogue that all of us are so grateful for. But what jumped out to me is that the whole reason Jesus stopped at the well was because He was "wearied from His journey."

Sometimes our weaknesses are the very things used by God to bring about powerful ministry to others. It's not always when we plan on it or when we're at the top of our game. Paul spoke of this in 2 Cor 12:9. He had asked the Lord to remove an area of weakness from Him and the Lord responded: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." So Paul said he would prefer to boast about his weakness for that's when Christ's power is perfected in him the most.

Those of us who are fasting know what weakness is. Here on day 4 we've probably all experienced a moment of wooziness or some fatigue, and even a headache or two (or two hundred!). And yet, through this weakness the Lord is sharpening our mind, clearing our focus, brushing aside the cobwebs of our thinking and helping us see Him more clearly. And thus we are more useful to Him, because of our weakness.

This applies in other areas of our lives as well. So often we tend to hide our shortcomings, thinking if others knew that we didn't have it all together, we'll be lowered in their estimation. (This is a particular problem for preachers. (How about that alliteration? [GRIN])) The truth of the matter is that when we are honest with others about our struggles, it actually empowers us to have a greater impact in the lives of others who are struggling too! So let's all commit to let the Lord use our weaknesses that He may be glorified.

Let me bring you to one more thing that really jumped out to me from this chapter:
"Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, 'Rabbi, eat.' But He said to them, 'I have food to eat that you do not know about.' So the disciples were saying to one another, 'No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?' Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.' (John 4:31-34 NASB)
If you're fasting, you are finding that this is true! Hopefully, like me, you're experiencing God's grace when it comes to hunger. My previous experience with fasting has been that by day 4 the hunger diminishes greatly, and that's proving true this time as well. I hope it is for you also. Truly by focusing on the Lord we are being reminded that what we think are needs are really more like wants. And we are sustained by His Word. So in the words of Hosea:
"So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth."
(Hosea 6:3 NASB)
Let's press on together! What an adventure! Until tomorrow ...

Blessings,
Nathan

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