What if I don’t choose God’s will?

Read John 7:14-24.

Jesus didn’t listen to his brothers. They wanted him to go with them to Jerusalem for the feast, but not just for the feast. No, they wanted him to do his miracles there in order to attract more followers. They were clueless as to who he was, though the John puts it in a nicer way. “Even his own brothers did not believe in him.” I prefer clueless.

Yet, Jesus did go to Jerusalem. He knew he had to, but he did it his way, God’s way. He waited until the feast was halfway through before he started teaching. His words would always stir up the crowd, and they did this time as well. People were amazed at his teaching.

Jesus told them they weren’t his own words, but those of God. How could those hearing verify this? Jesus told them:

If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

This is where the people got confused. They heard his words, but they couldn’t see past the man. Many were amazed at his words, yes, but they also knew where he was from, or they thought they knew. They knew him as a Nazarene, not as one born in Bethlehem, and this hindered their ability to accept his message. They knew the Word of God and the prophecies about the Messiah, but they couldn’t get past the man. Because of the discrepancies in their mind, they moved to seize him, but his time had not yet come.

Who recognized Jesus? Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, Anna and Simeon, the wise men, John the Baptist, Nicodemus, the disciples. These are just a few of those who were listening for God to speak and willing to follow his will for their life. They knew Jesus was speaking on the same level as God, and they took a risk to follow him.

I ask myself, have I chosen to do God’s will? It is a choice, and not one to be taken lightly. When I choose to follow God, I find Jesus’ words of greatest comfort and encouragement. I read them and meditate on them. I seek to live by them, and in doing so, stay in step with the Spirit, with what God wants for my life.

Choosing to ignore God’s will is choosing to ignore Jesus. You can’t have one without the other, for they are one and the same. If I am willing to follow God, then I must be willing to hear the words of Jesus and obey. His obedience is my example; his words my guide.

What about you? What’s your choice going to be?


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