Hungry for More : Feasting Through the Word

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-05
  • Publisher: Textstream

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Following the Word Bible Reading: John 13–16 "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" John 14:5 After a few years of Chinese study, my Canadian friend and I decided we needed a break. A local expat group was hosting a women's retreat and we made plans to attend. "We can take our car," I announced bravely. "I'll drive, and you read the map." Now the map was in Mandarin, but as Julia and I pored over the map, we realized that we recognized the characters on most of the city streets. We both owned a Taiwan driver's license and were experienced nosing our way into the most congested traffic. This would be a piece of mooncake. As we left the city limits, truth dawned that the map was not to scale and we fast became lost. After far too many turns, we began to disagree on the best way to our destination. Confused and shaken, we pulled into a small Taiwanese shop. With muddled Mandarin I announced, "I'm late!" to a group that had obviously not expected us in the first place. Having no idea what I'd just said, two amused men looked up from their tea and began to respond to me in an altogether different Chinese dialect. Knowing I was in trouble and a little panicky, I pulled out the map and began my signs and wonders approach. Light dawned and one of the men began to smile and chatter pleasantly. As he saw my blank stare, he motioned me out the door and into my car, where Julia had been prayerfully waiting. Within moments, he was on his Vespa scooter, signaling for us to follow. For ten of the longest minutes of my life, we twisted up hairpin mountain roads, before recognizing the sign we'd been searching for. With a wave, our guide left us at the camp entrance and began his decent, smiling ear to ear. When Thomas asked about the way in John 14:5, he was asking for a map of clear directions leading to Jesus' next destination. Thomas wanted to know the "where," so that he could decide on the "how." Instead, Jesus answered his question with a "Who." As we journey with the Lord, our natural tendency is to ask for an atlas detailing the path, so that we may decide when to make appropriate stops and detours. We don't mind the port of call. We would just like to plan the sailing route. "Where are we going?" we ask. "That would be Me," He replies. "Come on!" Following after Him, we find that He is not only the actual channel by which we find our destination, He is the destination. In Him, we not only find out how to know God, we find God Himself. He is both the Way and the Truth (John 14:6). This Truth is not just factual and right, although this is a part of Jesus being Truth. He is both the reality and actuality of God. The writer of Hebrews described Christ as the "exact representation of (God's) nature" (Hebrews 1:3). As we follow Him, we see God. Although we wait for Him along the journey, we don't have to wait until heaven to see Him. He gives us glimpses all along the way. To top it off, Jesus proclaims that He is also the Life. In Greek, it is as if He is saying, "I am not only the accessibility to and reality of God; I am your vitality in God." Jesus emphasizes these three characteristics as connected to the other. In finding one, you are on your way to discovering another. Practically, it's much easier to follow a guy on a scooter than it is to follow the One who is Spirit. "How can we know the way?" Herein is where the quiet time of daily silence before Him comes in. We know that he who is of God hears Him (John 8:47). We can also be assured that if the Spirit of God is within us, our spirit is alive to receive Him, see Him, and even live Him (Romans 8:9-11). Remember, it's not about a formula conceived with the mind. It's about voluntarily moving your desires underneath His and yielding to His steps. We do it once and for all for His sake, then over and over again for our own. Set aside twenty minutes to spend in quiet before Him today. Begin with the prayer below, asking Him to focus your mind on Him. Then, meditate on the Lord as your way, your truth, and your life. Allow these three characteristics to rest in your spirit and soul. Wait between each characteristic for Him to speak any new revelation that He may have for you. Then, begin again. When your mind wanders (and it will), ask Him to bring you back before Him. I believe in you. He does too. Holy Father, I realize that I have no idea how best to allow You to be my way, truth, and life (John 14:6). I am so accustomed to following a program or procedure that I have no clue how to retrain myself to do anything differently. How can I be set free from going back to using the same formula of religion that I've failed at again and again (Romans 7:24)? I need You. I need You to lead me beside in quietness and restore my very busy soul (Psalm 23:2-3). I don't even know where to begin, but believing that You are the Way, I stand before You ready to follow. With this very prayer, I tremble. I know myself and am afraid that I'll only stumble back into familiar paths. Strengthen my feeble knees and give me a straight path for my feet (Hebrews 12:12-13). Remind me often that You are the God of peace who has equipped us to please You (Hebrews 13:20-21). I stand here before You, seeking and asking You to reveal Yourself, so that I may follow (Jeremiah 6:16). This journey must be a spiritual one; one that takes place by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Give me the faith to follow as Abraham did, following the Who without knowing the where (Hebrews 11:8). Draw me along this path with Your magnetic power and whisper often in my innermost ear that I may know of Your Presence (John 6:44; Isaiah 30:21). Take my hand and let's get started. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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