March 11 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 50
I have to share with you how God works in my life through this One Thing, a very specific example from my time with Him today. I’m just going to be real and vulnerable.
READ: Mark 11
Verses 1-11 are the third account we’ve read of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. There will be one more in John 12:12-15 in tomorrow’s reading. In Mark’s account, the crowd says in verse 10, “’Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!’” Each account seems to be focused on welcoming a prophet and their new governmental king, not necessarily The King of heaven and earth. After Jesus enters Jerusalem, everything seems to go downhill from there—opposition building and losing followers. I think the crowd was expecting Jesus to march right into the government offices and take control. When he didn’t, his popularity and support waned—things weren’t happening like they thought they would, and they weren’t interested in sticking around for God’s plan to unfold. Story of my life. Perhaps that’s why my life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Straight to heaven! Do I hear an AMEN?
The account of the fig tree from verses 12-14 and 20-25 is pretty hilarious. But again, Jesus turns the hilarity into a teachable moment. How would your prayer life be different if you followed verse 24: “’Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I’ve really been intentional this week about truly believing that the prayer is answered as soon as I pray it, and I can feel a change occurring, slowly. It’s a heart change.
My hubby’s been out of town this week, and whenever that happens, I feel like I should be extra rewarded for surviving each day, so ice cream is usually some part of that reward. But this is not the issue that God chose to address with me today. After playing taxi for my oldest for much of the evening, I had to rely on fast food for our dinner, and I logically chose a fast food place that also served my reward. When I walked in the door, I faced about 25 people from my old church, people I had done ministry with, pastors, pastors’ wives. My heart sank because leaving this church was and still is painful for me. But I pulled up my big girl pants and faced it, little ones in tow…and for protection. Many of them approached me and said hi, a couple of them engaged in small talk, but each interaction was awkward and uncomfortable—no one asking about the elephant in the room: why did you leave? And then my kids started getting crazy, showing off and being naughty; both walked away from that place with goose-eggs on their heads. When I got home, I was exhausted from it and texted Dyea that I hoped that divine appointment was meant for them and not for me. Then I sat down with Jesus and read Mark 11 in preparation for today’s post. Verse 25 hit me like a ton of bricks: “’And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’” So, God orchestrated that divine appointment for me after all. It took 25 people from my past, all in the same place at the same time. Why was it awkward? Because I made it awkward with my grudge-holding. Why were my kids acting up? Because they could sense the tension coming from me. This is the havoc that holding on to unforgiveness wreaks in my life. I don’t want it! And I certainly don’t want anything coming between me and my relationship with God! I am giving it all to God and asking Him to show me how to extract this grudge from my heart.
You want me to have a heart of forgiveness like You have a heart of forgiveness for me.
God, I hear You loud and clear, and I pray that You will dissolve this stronghold in my heart. Please show me how! Help me to show the forgiveness to others that You have shown me. Thank You for exposing this dark place in my heart, and please help me to extract it. Your divine orchestrations amaze me every single time! I love You!