1 John 2:22-28
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
Who are you? (John 1:19)
The priests and Pharisees almost had it right—almost. They recognized in John an otherness that connected with what they knew about God. He was living an extreme lifestyle, in an extreme situation, and preaching an extreme message. John suggested something of God to them. They were even open to the possibility that he was the Messiah, a new Elijah, or another long-awaited “Prophet” (John 1:21).
But John denied it all. Evidently, these Jewish leaders’ ideas about the Messiah didn’t align with God’s intentions. Their thoughts were based on the prevailing wisdom of the day, along with their own experiences, desires, and biases. They weren’t being bad guys here, just human guys, like the rest of us. We all have ideas about who God is, how he works, and what he wants—ideas that are based on our own prevailing wisdom.
God understands. After all, he made us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s why he asks us to come to him, with all of our preconceived ideas, and let him teach us about the desires, plans, and intentions that are on his heart. He asks us to let his thoughts become our thoughts, even if it means putting aside some of our old thoughts.
Here are a few examples of thoughts we need to reject. We may think that we’re too unimportant for God to bother with. We may think that we’re unlovable and not worthy of his attention. Or we may think that we’re smart enough and that we don’t need God to teach us. Or perhaps, when we think of our heavenly Father, we are hindered by the memory of a neglectful, absent, or abusive parent. But God is so much bigger. He’s also much more generous and kind!
So take a little time today to examine some of your thoughts about yourself. Sit quietly with the Lord, and let him show you what he thinks about you. Turn to your favorite Scripture passage and ask him to speak to you through it in a new way. Let him show you how deeply he values you, how much he loves you. Then let him gently and happily rearrange some of your ideas!
“Father, I want to hear from you today. I lay down my own ideas about you. Come, Lord, lead me in your truth and teach me.”~WAU