A Message of “So” from my friend and an Advisory team member, Angie McKinney. She is the co-author of our HEAL Bible Studies. Please take 5 minutes to read it. Like me, I believe you will be both challenged and encouraged.
We’re familiar with Jesus’ teaching on “sewing and reaping,” but this is a message about “soing and butting.”
John 14:27 “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (KJV)
“So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” (Living Bible)
When we leave our home for a trip and we have someone staying at our home to care for our pet, the last instructions we give before leaving are the absolute most important, right? It’s not the first time we’ve given the instructions, perhaps, but we want to emphasize what’s most important, so we go over them again!
“Now, don’t forget, lock the doors and turn off the lights when you leave, get the mail every day, feed the dog morning and evening, and take him outside, for obvious reasons, multiple times a day. Here’s my number, call me anytime you need anything.”
In one of the most important times of history, hours before Jesus would be crucified and returning to His Heavenly Father, we see Jesus doing the same thing—giving His most important instructions before He leaves. That’s what’s happening in John 13-16. They’re at the Last Supper. During the meal, Jesus was telling them that it was time for Him to leave and return to The Father. So, He’s emphasizing the most important things they should remember when He leaves. He shares a great deal about loving each other and He emphasizes being obedient to what He has told them. But, He also shares a great deal about having peace, not being afraid, and trusting in The Father. And, He tells them (and us) how this can be done.
“I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—He will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.” John 14:25-26 (Living Bible)
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. SO, don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (Living Bible)
Maybe it’s also important to recognize things that Jesus did not emphasize. He didn’t give them a list of chores; for example,
“John and James, you guys head to the Samaritan region and build a church there. Peter, you go to Rome. Philip and Bartholomew head to Galilee.”
Nor did He focus on a list of “dos and don’ts.” Instead, He talked to them about having peace and not being afraid. And, He told them how they could do that. He explained that The Holy Spirit does all the work! Our job is just to believe what He said.
So, when I apply this message to my “up front and personal” life, it goes something like this: “I know that Jesus told me not to be afraid or troubled. BUT:
- I’m confused
- I’m scared
- I have little income
- My daughter has health issues
- My parents, in their mid 80s, are struggling with isolation
- The government is a mess
- My glasses won’t stop fogging while I’m panting like a dog in my safety mask at the grocery store…not to mention the thought of life without toilet paper! I mean, I’m trying to live in a pandemic for goodness sake!”
To God, this must sound a lot like, “BUT:
- The waves are too high
- The enemy looks like giants
- The Red Sea is in front of us
- My brother is already dead
- I’ve been blind from birth
- I’ve been crippled 38 years
- I’ve had this condition 12 years
- My daughter is dying
- We have nothing to eat in this desert
- There’s thousands to feed and we only have a snack.”
The interesting thing about all of the above situations is that, apparently, God’s answer to all of them is the same…
“SO. SO WHAT? Did you think I was relying on you, the ones I refer to as ‘little sheep’ to handle all these issues? Are you kidding me? The only thing I’ve asked you to do, my child, is to believe me and my son, Jesus. Call upon the Holy Spirit to help you understand this. I’ve sent Him to live within everyone who believes in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is your source of supply for every need! Trust me, that source is sufficient. SO, rest in that promise. In other words, here’s my number when you need me.”
So, that’s His teaching on “soing and butting.”
No matter what my “BUT” is, His “SO” is much more resounding!