Thursday, October 15, 2020
As I sit in my office early on Wednesday morning writing this Thursday devotional, I am stuck in a battle between realism and idealism. From early spring until late fall, Wednesday is my day to join a dozen other men on the golf course for a time of fellowship and ministry. But this morning, it’s raining. The forecast says it will rain until after lunch. The winds are going to increase up to 40 miles per hour by mid-morning. I keep checking the radar to see if the rain will move out of the area by our 9:30 tee time.
Realistically, I won’t be going. Ideally, I will.
I tend to live life idealistically. I believe the best is possible. I am often reminded by people close to me that I need to be more realistic.
In John 7:25-31, I see a contrast between realism and idealism in the life of Jesus. Take a moment to read the whole context.
John 7:25-31 25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
The people were debating whether or not Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah that had been promised. They were gathering evidence to justify their positions. Some said the inaction of the authorities against Jesus was proof that even they believed He was the Christ. Others said He was not the Messiah because they thought they knew where He came from, and the promised Christ would come from an unknown place. Still others said that He must be the Christ because He has already done all the works necessary to prove He is.
Each person was trying to be realistic. But what about Jesus? Realistically, using only human reason and the evidence available around him, He might have chosen to withdraw in fear. There was a warrant issued for His arrest. There was a potential for an uprising as people chose sides. Realistically, Jesus was in trouble.
But Jesus chose to view life idealistically. Why? Because He was totally in tune with the Father, who is totally in control at all times. Jesus declares that He came from the Father, that He knows the heart of the Father, that He has a mission from the Father, and the Father is in control of the timing of the mission. Every detail of His life was under the control of God the Father. Jesus did not live for His own benefit. He lived explicitly for the will of the Father. As a result, the reality of circumstances had no influence on His activity. Jesus lived in the idealistic realm of God’s presence and purpose.
How about you? Are you living in the presence of God with such confidence of Christ’s purpose for your life that the reality of circumstances cannot stop you from pursuing the ideal of representing Jesus with every decision you make and every activity you engage?