Don't Run Ahead of God

Text: John 13:36-37
Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterwards.’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ (NRSV)

When we have a vison of what we want to do for God, it is often hard to wait for the proper time.  We often run headlong into an action only to later discover that it was OUR vision for God and not GOD’s vision for us.

Most of you probably know the context of our text from John.  Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples on the night that he is arrested.  It is what we now call Holy Thursday.  Jesus is explaining the fact that he must go away and, where he is going, the disciples cannot follow him.

But Peter, having his own vision of the ministry he wanted to do for Jesus and, not knowing what was about to happen, tries to convince Jesus to let him go with him and yells out, “Lord, why can I not follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you.”  Of course, Peter was not yet up to the task at hand.  And, in fact, as Jesus predicts in the very next verse, Peter later denies he even knows Jesus.

When God calls us, it is after God has prepared us to do that to which he has called us.  God has already set the things in motion that will give us the gifts and the strength we need to accomplish the vision God gives us.

If, however, we do not wait on God’s timing, we run the risk of being unprepared and failing at our attempts.  We are always wrong if the vision of the ministry we are doing comes directly from us and not from God’s calling through the Holy Spirit.  We will always end up “denying” Jesus in the end, if it is not God who has called us, empowered us, and has sent us out.

God’s desire is to use you in his Kingdom.  God will call you to serve him by serving others.  Wait patiently to hear God’s call through your times of prayer and study.  And then, instead of running head of God, run with God as he empowers you to accomplish amazing things though him.

Pray with me:
Lord, teach me to wait on you as you prepare me to serve you.  Help me to learn the difference between my vision for you and your vision for me.  Teach me not to run ahead of you but to wait for you so that I might be empowered by you to accomplish all to which you will call me.  AMEN.

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