If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross. – quote from Matthew
A classic temptation of our enemy.
“If God loves you so much, why are you going through this?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “A child of God would never experience this!” “Why, God, why?”
There is an ocean of doubt awaiting release within these thoughts. And the longer we wallow in them, allowing self-pity a place, we endanger our growing and fragile faith.
One of the signs of lack of intimacy with the Lord is the belief that only good things happen in relationship with Him. If something bad happens, it’s either the result of our flesh or the devil.
Jesus is our foremost example of such a belief being false. The man was driven by the Holy Spirit into temptation by the devil. His preaching and ministry resulted in multiple attempts to take His life. Ultimately, His “blasphemy” led Him to the cross of Calvary.
What kind of Father is this, who allows such things to happen to His sinless son? We all know it was for our salvation, therefore it had to be done. But the painful connection must be made of how Jesus’ suffering and death is a pattern for every son of God.
We all have a cross to bear. Jesus warned us of this early in His ministry. And in order to take it on, we must lay down our life, just as He did.
The temptation to remove Himself from the cross was real and within His power to do. It was His will, not His power, that caused Him to remain and finish the work of salvation.
Power to move mountains, heal the sick and cast out demons is great. But that power is truly transformative when it overtakes our will, our heart. That, my friend, is the greatest miracle of all.
I am convinced that healing, deliverance, signs and wonders are much more for the world, the lost, those disconnected from their Father. In these, they see His greatness and immeasurable love, awakening them to the realization that they are not orphans in this world.
For the sons of God, this same power is meant to transform us into His image, foremost, in our hearts. We expend incredible time and energy urging it to do great things among our physical bodies, finances and situations. And in this, we tread on the thin ice of urging our brother and sister to separate from their cross.
It is legitimate to pray for one another, of course. But this belief that only good things come from the Lord is exacerbated by our cry for another to come down off their cross.
The power is there do just that, just like Jesus had. But there is a finished work beckoning us. Aborting the process because of pain is not completion. I wonder how many “miracles” in the church are really just “chicken exits” of purpose.
Love without discernment is weak and short-sighted. We must grow in our understanding of the ways of our Father. A father understands what a son must go through to accomplish his purpose.
A son who never suffers cannot handle the weight of maturity. His later suffering will be far worse and at the expense of many others.
Finishing the work of a cross is ugly, painful and usually misunderstood. So many will question the need and validity of your process. Don’t succumb to the temptation to shortcut. Angels coming to remove you will look and seem glorious but may result in another trip around the mountain.
Jesus’ cross was more than just the door to our Father. It is also a memorial to all who follow Him that we all have a cross to bear.
Bear it well and finish.