Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are You Listening?

Last week I was reading the account of Jesus' transfiguration in Matthew 17.  Jesus had taken Peter, James and John up on a mountain by themselves and right before their eyes, Jesus' face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as light, and then Moses and Elijah appeared too and started talking to Jesus.

I wonder what that was like for Peter, James and John...  remember...  they were human...  mere men...  and all of a sudden Jesus takes on an AWESOME appearance and then two men, two of their great heroes of the Old Testament, who have been dead for a REALLY long time, show up and talk to Jesus.  That had to blow their minds...  How do you even begin to wrap your brain around something like that?  I can't begin to imagine the emotions that were coursing their minds and hearts at the time...  talk about a literal mountain top experience.

And what Peter does next is so typical Peter (and so typical me too!!)...  He starts making a plan...  "Lord, it is good that we are here.  If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah." Luke, in Chapter 9 of his gospel, adds that Peter didn't even know what he was saying.

Peter didn't take the time to process what was happening...  He almost missed the significance of God pulling back the veil of Jesus' true identity because he wanted to DO something instead of just BEING with Jesus and allowing the moment to transform him (Peter).

What follows next makes me chuckle a little.  From Matthew 17:5...  "He was still speaking when a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; LISTEN to Him."  (emphasis mine)...  Peter was still babbling on about his plan when God speaks from a cloud...  Peter's on a mountain top with Jesus, Moses and Elijah and HE'S doing the talking!  It took the voice of God from a cloud to get him to be quiet!    And then Peter, James and John fell to their faces and were terrified...  aka...  Peter was silent!

But how often do I behave like Peter...  maybe it's something that grabs hold of my emotions...  maybe it's a mountain top experience of Jesus at a retreat...  or on a mission trip...  or some injustice that tears at my heart...  but instead of stopping and listening to Jesus and seeking what He would have me do...  or not do...  I start formulating a plan and then asking for His approval.  How often does God have to stop me in my tracks to get me to listen to His Son...  my ONE true King...  the only ONE worth following!

And following Him means I get in line BEHIND Him...  not out in front trying to lead Him...  It means I wait and listen for what He wants me to do, not what SEEMS right to me.

Next time you start to formulate some plan about what you're going to do for Jesus, step back for a minute (or an hour... or a month) and seek Him and listen to Him.  His plan is always perfect...  He will never lead you wrong!


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