FOCUS AND PERSPECTIVE
Ever had an experience where you felt the Holy Spirit's presence in your midst and immediately had a reaction to Him - sense of awe, respectful cry, burst of laughter and so forth? I have also.
Ever continued on your walk of faith and encountered a time when God blessed your service for Him? I have also.
Ever had a situation come along that made you ask God - Are you really the one I'm to believe in? I have been there.
John the Baptist was a special man. John leaped in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, as Mary was pregnant with Jesus and came in close proximity of him (Luke 1:39-41). This was an incredible experience of the presence of God's Son and Spirit manifesting in a physical reaction - a jump/leap, by even an unborn child.
John's life continued until we find him dressed in camel hair, eating locust and out in the desert by the Jordan River baptizing people as he proclaimed the Kingdom of God is near. However, his next experience with his cousin, Jesus, would be with the Son of God requesting John to fulfill his service of baptism upon Him. John knew the Messiah was coming whose sandals he was unworthy to carry or tie. John even tried to reverse roles and receive the baptism instead of give it. But baptism was part of John's service to God and God blessed and honored it (Matthew 3:11-17).
Then in Matthew 11:2, John is in prison and facing death when he sends his messengers to Jesus to ask Him - "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?" No matter how important or special we might be or feel; no matter the significance of our calling - doubt, fear and circumstances will always be waiting to inject second guessing into our Faith in Christ and Fervor of service for Him.
BUT GOD...replies to John through Christ by having Jesus send John the encouraging and affirming message -
- the blind see
- the lame walk
- those with leprosy are cleansed
- the deaf hear
- the dead are raised and
- the Good News is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:4-6)
The lessons to learn here are not only to keep your focus on Christ, but as you continue to focus on Him you will assimilate His perspective. Even with John's special birth, family connection to Jesus, calling on his life and powerful experiences with Christ - John was not able to remain focused on Jesus, therefore see, understand and appreciate Christ's deeds. John heard Father God's voice after he baptized Jesus saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." (John 3:16-17) But fear and doubt are liars and will make you create scenarios that are not there and ask a question, after all this, such as - "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?"
Therefore, my encouragement, especially if you empathize with John, is to keep your Focus on Christ So That His Perspective will become yours. Even in those challenging moments God will reveal Himself to you and confirm everything about Himself and your calling - like He did with John.