teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name... psalm 86:11

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

let's blow the lid off...

For some reason, I always go to John.

The week or so before Easter, I re-read this gospel with a prayer that it would come alive in a fresh way… so that Easter wouldn’t pass by as just another holiday, so that I wouldn’t get consumed with all the activity at church and miss what exactly it is we’re celebrating. John brings me back, centers my thoughts on Jesus. It reminds me of the passion, of the sacrifice, of the hope… and that we all need resurrection in our life.

Yesterday I was reading John 9 and was struck by Jesus’ interaction with a man who had been born blind. It’s interesting to watch this man’s progression of faith as Pharisees and neighbors question him regarding how it was he could suddenly see after a lifetime of darkness. And while this whole story is incredible, it was really the first 3 verses that I couldn’t get away from.


As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3

Jesus’ response is a powerful enough statement as is, but if you look at what the word “displayed” means in its original Greek, it’ll paint an even more dynamic picture of Jesus’ intentions for choosing this exact response.

The word phaneroo means to make visible, to show openly. It’s synonymous and often used with another word though, apokalypto, which quite literally means to remove a lid. In relationship with each other, apokalypto must precede phaneroo... all that rambling to say- we have to remove the lid we’re keeping shut on our lives so that God’s incredible power can be put on show for others to see.

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How often do we restrain the power of God- keeping a lid on what He’s able to do in and through us? We keep Him in a safe little box, confined within the parameters and space that we’re comfortable with. We give in to our limitations, circumstances, status quo because we’re so quick to settle for ordinary.

But Jesus is able to radically transform our ordinary into something incredible.

God wants to blow the lid off of things and use US as demonstrations of what He can do… but that’s not going to happen if we hide out in our perfectly comfortable, predictable, controllable worlds {and trust me, I’m mostly saying this to myself… as I am an undeniable control freak for sure!} With the lid gone, there’s no barrier stopping the overflow of God’s grace and power.

I wonder what this once blind but now seeing man would think if he knew that his story would still be echoing two thousand years later, helping others to see what God is capable of?... How’s that for blowing the lid off of what we think is possible!

May we all allow God to strip us of our lids and barriers so that HIS works might be displayed in us too…

15 comments:

  1. Comfortable is 'easy', but God doesn't call us to live a life of comfort and easy. For me too, I like comfortable, but I know there is going to be spiritual growth when I move out of my comfort zone and trust God. I just have to have faith and trust. Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

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    1. It's so true Alecia- looking back at the times I've grown the most, it's always when I was in an "uncomfortable" season. Refinement is never easy but it's neccessary to bring us closer to the heart of God!

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  2. But Jesus is able to radically transform our ordinary into something incredible.

    Amen!!

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    1. Amen indeed! I saw on your blog that you lived in Russia previously... I love that dear place- I've had the privilege of serving with youth over there and they've stolen my heart :)

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  3. "But Jesus is able to radically transform our ordinary into something incredible."

    Oh, Amen to that, Denise. What a lovely tradition to read John during this season. Blow the lid off. Yes, indeed.

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  4. Love your thoughts ... perfect!!

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  5. What a blessing to know that in all languages​​, races and nations, Jesus Christ has been preached.
    Praise God for your life!
    God bless you!

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    1. Thank you Denise! And Amen to that! :)

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  6. Hi Denise - amen to that and love your last statement: May we all allow God to strip us of our lids and barriers so that HIS works might be displayed in us too…
    Amen. God bless
    Tracy

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  7. Thanks for blowing the lid off for me and making me see this passage in a whole new different light! May everything that limits us eventually show God's work in our lives in a way that makes us see His tremendous grace and power! :)

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    1. His power is made perfect in our weakness! Thanks for stopping by Christina :)

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