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As leaders we must set an example in hearing God and in responding to what He says. This is not a straight path with logical steps based upon mathematical principals and rules. It is a dance of relationship with the One who loves us. It is the testimony of a trust relationship of sons and daughters of God with God their Father in all things. It is a matter of walking in the will of God in all things and our relationship with God is more important than the tasks we perform in life.
We hear God very well. The problem is, we don’t really understand Him much when He speaks. It is one thing to hear what God says and another to understand Him. Revelation, interpretation, and application of what God is saying are all three different things. As leaders, we must set an example in faith and patience in our journey of hearing and responding to God in our lives. It is ok to say we don’t understand much. It is better to understand little than it is to think we understand but really misunderstand much.
This is the week we celebrate the fact that Jesus gave His life for us and that He rose from the dead for us all. In the history of this event there were a lot of preconceived ideas on the part of people involved. Peter had the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, a revelation given to Him by the Spirit of God. He no doubt had preconceived ideas as to what that meant. His idea of the Messiah and the kingdom of God didn’t include Jesus dying on the cross. He likely knew the words of the prophet Daniel in regard to God establishing the kingdom of God with Jesus as Lord and Christ. For this reason Peter rebuked Jesus for talking of his death. For this reason He rose with a sword to cut off the ear of Malchus in the garden. His preconceived ideas likely led to his own denial of Jesus at His arrest. The good news was; Jesus’ love for Peter was stronger that Peter’s preconceived ideas.
What about the crowd who shouted Hosanna to the King at the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem? They were no doubt believing for a revolution in Israel. They were believing for God to deliver them from their state of oppression to Rome. They had preconceived ideas as to what their King would do. When Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilot, He gave no words in His defense. He was like a Lamb being led to the slaughter. Perhaps this is what invoked the crowd to shout, crucify Him! When offered the freedom of Jesus or Barabbas, the crowd shouted, give us Barabbas! They were willing to exchange the life of the supposed king for that of a thief and murderer. Barabbas, a name meaning son of shame, confusion, gave them more hope than the Savior of the world. All of this was because of preconceived ideas as to what God would and must do. Barabbas was a criminal, but he was also a zealot. He was a man who challenged the oppressive government of Rome and the crowd saw him as a more promising hope than Jesus. A week earlier they gave homage and honor to Jesus as the king of revolution in their shouts of praise as He rode into Jerusalem upon the back of a donkey. The crowds saw Him as the hope and the promise of freedom, but upon His arrest a week later He stood as a Lamb to the slaughter and the crowd could no longer see how He could possibly free them from their oppression. Although Barabbas was a criminal and a man of carnal character, they considered him a better option than the silent man of peace.
It was the preconceived ideas of Abram and Sarai that caused them to produce the child Ishmael, a testimony of the flesh. Again, God’s love for Abram and Sarai proved to be greater than their failures. They eventually became Abraham and Sarah and were given the seed of promise in the child Isaac. Their error of Ishmael did come with challenges and consequences to their future, but God’s faithfulness for Isaac also brought God’s blessings.
As leaders we must set an example in trusting God and moving at the pace of our understanding of God in each step of our journey. We can trust God’s love in all things, but we must also be aware of our preconceived ideas in all things. A revelation from God today can lead to an interpretation of that revelation tomorrow. An interpretation of what God has said can also lead to the application of that truth in our footsteps in our unfolding future. We must be willing to lay down our preconceived ideas in all things for the will of God in all things.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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