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Seeds of the Kingdom

Out of the Box!

by Peter Brokaar

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
John 20:1-2, NIV

When reading through the Gospels we can at times be amused by the way the disciples reacted to the things God was doing at the time. Sometimes they seemed so far behind the curve that it makes us chuckle! Perhaps we might imagine that if it had been us, we would have responded so much more appropriately. But don’t forget: we have the advantage of reading the Gospels in hindsight and they were living actors in the story!

The fact is that whenever God acts it runs contrary to human expectations. This was never more so than when Jesus was resurrected from the dead. It just didn’t fit in with anyone’s thinking! (The Chief Priests and Pharisees seemed closest to anticipating this as they were in fear of the Lord somehow getting out of His grave (See Matthew 27)! When we read through the resurrection account we can pick up on a few important principles in God’s dealings and His ways with man:

1) God consistently predicts what He will do but initially (the majority of) people don’t seem able to understand what He’s saying.
2) God acts as He says He will and people end up in wonder and surprise!
3) After the accomplished fact, He kindly takes by the hand those who are willing to learn. He patiently explains the implications of what He’s done, and how this is all in agreement with His previous words. Some do learn (although it’s a slow process), and sadly some others never do.
4) As can be seen, all the way through, God’s actions are at all times consistent with His Words.

If we’re living in such a way that God never surprises us, and never jumps out of the box, something’s wrong. It’s wrong because God can never be safe or predictable. God’s the only truly autonomous being in existence! He does what He wants, when He wants to and in the way that He wants to. Absolutely no one can lay down the rules for Him - this includes you and me!

When things don’t go according to our plan, and even when things seem to be going awfully wrong, it may well be that God’s involved! We need the wisdom, grace and discernment to pick up on what He’s really doing in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. May we be humble enough to ask Him for clarification, and that help which we so desperately need in understanding Him!

The good news is that God’s always happy to help us, and ready to explain things to us. But we do have to ask and we must be willing to bend His way. Also, whatever God may show us; it will always be according to His Word. So we must use the Word of God to see our lives and its events from His perspective. I thank God for His Word, and for His Spirit who’s with us to help us understand.

Prayer: Father in heaven, I acknowledge that You alone are God. I admit that at times I don’t understand what You’re doing. Please will You help me by Your Spirit, and show me through Your Word that which I need to know, so I can understand Your actions. Thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Co-Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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