This is a question I’ve been pondering for the last couple years.
When Jesus was born, many of the Jews (his chosen people) didn’t even realize who he was. While others, like King Herod, recognized his power immediently to the point where they wanted to kill him before he fulfills the prophecies that were spoken about him before his birth.
The Jewish people believed that a Messiah was coming to deliver them, they believed that this was going to happen and yet when Jesus was born many doubted that this was really God’s answer to their prayers.
In my own life, I have learned that God rarely operates inside the box like we expect him to, instead he seems to find great joy in moving in ways that we never expected him too.
I know from experience that he does answer prayers but it rarely looks anything like I expected it too…
And that is why I ask… If Jesus came to earth today, would I recognize him?
Guys, Jesus doesn’t seem to care about our man made rules, in fact he tends to break the rules!
You see it repeatedly in the Gospels, Jesus did things that left the Pharisees frustrated. These were the people who knew the law and kept the law. Yet when the Saviour came to set them free from the law they couldn’t receive the gift he was offering because he was going against their belief system.
If Jesus came today would we allow him to change our minds and hearts or would we not even recognize him for who he is because he does things differently then we think they should be done?
Do we recognize when he answers our prayers?
I have prayed many prayers that I thought I knew how God would answer, it was so simple in my mind…
“God, I need more patience!” I prayed and I expected to supernaturally become a more patient person.
Instead God gave me many opportunities to practice patience, he taught me how to rely more fully on him when I couldn’t do it all on my own strength.
You see, God isn’t interested in making us instantly perfect on the outside, he wants to transform us from the inside out.
He wants to get to the root of that impatience and cut it all off for once and for all!
Our prayers are rarely lofty enough. God wants to give us more then we ask for.
Our goal is being a patient person, his goal is complete heart transformation!
Our goal is to sell a little more soup, his goal is for us to sell a whole new line of food!
Let me explain. 🙂
Through the summer we sell a lot of cold salads, in the winter we sell more soups, so we were trying to figure out what we could do to push our soups more.
We came up with a few ideas and we prayed about it and we both felt like God said…
How are you going to make more money off these soups if you only keep making the same amount of soup each week?
Good point! We need to make more soup before we can make more sales!😊
This is kind of a big deal, however, because if we make extra food but don’t sell it, it eats our profit big time.
So, we decided to take ‘a leap of faith’ and the next week we made double batches of 3 of our soups. Just so you know… that is not a small amount.
God answered our prayers, but it looked nothing like we thought it would.
We didn’t sell the extra soups.
And yet we did.
The day before we even made these extra soups we found out that the stand we had pursued earlier was now available at the price we had said we would be willing to pay.
Long story short…
By the end of the week we were the owners of this other stand so we put all our extra soup in the freezer to sell as hot soups at the new stand the next week.
If you don’t think about it too much it looks like God let us sit, we didn’t actually sell those extra soups so he didn’t really answer our prayers right? Especially when you consider the fact that our goal was to make more money but we ended up spending money on the new stand instead.
However, if you look at it from a different perspective, you will see that God actually answered our prayers above and beyond what we even asked for!
Our goal was to sell a little bit more soup, God’s goal was to give us a whole new line of food to sell. With this new stand we will be selling more soup plus many other new things which equals a profit increase greater then we had even dreamed of.
And that is why I’m asking myself, if Jesus came today, would I recognize him even if he doesn’t operate the way I expect?
When he answers my prayers in the most unexpected ways do I recognize it or do I feel frustrated that he doesn’t answer the way I wanted him to?
Do I actually believe that he wants more for me then I can even imagine or think to ask for?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more then all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20