By Kathy Johnston
This summer, I spent a couple weeks in San Diego. I don’t know why, but this time I was particularly aware of the masses of people everywhere. There were hundreds of people crossing the street at the same time. Crowds of people all clumped in one area, on the Pier or on the beach. People, people, people, everywhere I looked! Yikes!! Let me just say, it made me extremely thankful for Medford, Oregon!
At the same time this summer, I had been reading and writing out the book of Mark. I happened to notice a recurring theme when Jesus was out in public…there were always crowds of people around him!!. And they all wanted something from him– pushing, shoving, tired, sweaty, smelly people….and LOTS of sickness and disease. All wanting to see him, talk to him or touch him. Grabbing, calling his name, reaching out to him. They were desperate, and they saw him as the fixer of their brokenness, whatever that might be. And he was…and he still is.
But these crowds of people that surrounded him everyday came to him not because of who he was….they came to him because of what he could do for them.
They didn’t get it that the one who was healing the leper, the blind or the lame, was actually the one who spoke the heavens into existence.
They didn’t realize that this One in front of them was the very Ancient of Days, the great I AM, the One who spoke and the stars were born. (1)
The man who was walking in the dusty, dirty streets alongside them, the one that everyone was pushing and shoving to get next to, was the same One who was keeping their hearts beating and their lungs breathing that very second. They didn’t realize that he existed before anything existed, that he was the One who holds all things together (2) They didn’t know that he knew every word that would come from their mouth before it was spoken, that he saw them being formed in their mother’s womb (3), or that he knew the number of hairs on their heads. (4).
I have to ask myself why I come to Jesus most of the time. Is it because of what he can do for me, or do I come to worship him for who he is….the God of the Universe…the One who spoke the world into existence, who hung the moon and stars in place with his fingers and the Father whose love is fierce and tenacious..
I think we can get so caught up in the self centered mindset of the world that we end up like the crowds that surrounded him, making our WORSHIP of Jesus Christ…all about us. Even our worship songs sometimes are more about what he does for us rather than who he is.
Instead of being shaken and stunned by his majesty, power, holiness and glory….our focus becomes on what he has done (or what we hope he will do) for us.
Don’t get me wrong! We ARE supposed to go to him with our needs. We ARE supposed to be thankful for what he’s done for us and what he is capable of doing in our lives. Jesus himself gives us the perfect progression we should follow in prayer in Matthew 6. He says…pray like this: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, they will be done….give us this day our daily bread…”.
First, there’s worship and adoration of who he is. As we gaze at him in all of his glory, we then realize that he is the source of all our needs. We then bring our needs to him because we recognize him for who he is. We see that he is an infinitely powerful God and King and at the same time, an intensely personal Father.
Oh Lord, may I always first be overwhelmed with who you are. May I be blinded by your glory, your holiness, righteousness, magnificence and power. As I worship you for who you are….I can then can ask freely for your perfect will be done in my life and in others lives because I know that you are good and your ways are always perfect, no matter what the outcome looks like.
May my eyes always be on You and your glory! May my heart be full of worship for the One who is the great I Am, and may my needs and desires become more aligned with yours more and more each day. For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever, Amen