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Father of lights

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

John 8:37-47

Jesus says, "You are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you heard from your father."

"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.

"Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil.

"If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

The saying goes among men, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Success breeds pride, and self-absorption is right around the corner. If I have an answer once, then I strive to have an answer every time. And the worst know-it-all-ness is the spiritual kind.

This is not an issue for Jesus. Jesus never ever strays from intimacy with his Father. "I am listening for God, I am saying what he says, I am doing what he's doing." He listens and listens and listens. His life is pure, his hands are clean, his thoughts focused on God. From Psalm 24:

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.

When darkness falls away from my mind, when I am light on my feet with joy that surpasses understanding, then I know God is taking authority in me. God's touch is gentle and sweet and always right, and so therefore is the touch of Jesus.

And this often happens through the touch of another person. We love each other, and God works in that every day. But when I speak with authority in my friend's life and lose touch with what Jesus calls the "Father's presence," then I need to descend from the hill. I want to find out quickly and get quiet and humble before God.

And when I hear someone else doing this, then I want to get away. The accuracy of our words is so quickly undermined by the pride of our presentation. And just as suddenly as the wind dies down, we are no longer hearing God.

But Jesus is faithful and true. He sends the Holy Spirit to teach us how to live. Our other "father", the devil, is defeated. Giving and receiving the touch of God, especially through each other, is the Stuff of life. Without that center, the edges give way. So I pray for my ears to stay open, and listen every day, and try to speak what I hear.

Open my ears up wide, Lord Jesus. Loving me, Your whisper breaks the back of my pride. One day at a time.

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