9. Pause

Short Meditations in John 7:  9.  Pause

Jn 7:9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

It takes self-discipline to stand still and wait on God’s will, either to do it or wait for it to be revealed. Standing still doesn’t come naturally to many of us; we feel we must be doing, must be active, must be achieving things ‘for the kingdom’. But as we have been seeing, the kingdom of God works on different principles to the kingdom of man. Jesus knows the bigger picture, Jesus knows the end goal and so is not pressurized by present circumstances or the wants and dictates of people, he is always looking to the end goal.

For him at that time the end goal was the cross, resurrection and then ascension back to heaven. Beyond that there is much more, yes, but for the moment that is the goal to be kept in mind. Before that and until that, there is revealing the Father through word and deed, but that isn’t the end goal, the Cross is.

Yet beyond the Cross there was his place waiting for him in heaven: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” (Heb 12:2) The joy of being reunited with his Father, the joy of knowing the work had been accomplished, those things he kept in mind and helped him face the awfulness of what was coming. To come was the physical human anguish of the pain of the cross, the awful anguish of separation from the Father that the sin of the world would impose on him, so that he would cry out those terrible words of separation so in his humanity he would feel abandoned. But beyond all that was the wonder again of heaven, but now of a heaven that was being added to on a regular basis by all those who had responded to him and followed him… and so it continues until the present day and beyond.

But for the moment, all that is ahead, for the moment it is all about doing the Father’s will here on earth, revealing Him and His purposes as the opportunity is given and the Spirit leads. This is not a time for following the wishes of men, as close as they might be, this is not the time for following the Law like ‘a good Jew’. This was a time for obedience to God’s sovereign all-seeing and all-knowing and pre-planned will. So he pauses, he waits.

For us, we are never to be in a rush to do ‘what seems right’ because often it isn’t. No, we too are to pause and wait and listen and then when we move, yes it may be in the direction that men suggest, but it will be with a completely different motivation, it is to perform the revealed will of God, His will that we have caught in our spirit as His Spirit has communicated it to us, that is all that counts in the immediate future, that will reveal and glorify the Lord, Father and Son, as the Spirit leads. May it be so.

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