“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.’ …And He was saying to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world’” ~ John 8:14, 23.
Do you ever find yourself earthbound of spirit? Sometimes the difficulties and challenges of life in this world can overwhelm us so that we find our minds and hearts ensnared in the tangle. Such a season is a dangerous time in the life, strength, and ministry of a child of God. Jesus, our example for life, abundant and full, avoided these snares and traps, passing the tests brought forth in this life. One thing I see that equipped Jesus to stay the course of His journey and overcome every obstacle is His ability to remember, “I am not of this world.” Two things important to understand helped Him know and remember this vital fact:
1) I know where I came from
2) I know where I am going
I know where I came from:
On the TV series, Blue Bloods, the character, Frank Reagan (played by Tom Selleck), says of his service as police commissioner, “I serve at the Mayer’s pleasure.” For me, this quote is a simplistic way of pointing out a vital truth: we live, breathe, and have our being at the pleasure of God.
Because God IS, because of His desire and pleasure, because He has purpose in it being so, we have a life in this world. As one born to Life eternal through Jesus, I am no longer of this world, though in it. I am of the Kingdom of God, having breath, life, and ministry at the pleasure of God. It is He who sends me into the world as one not of it, but representative of His Kingdom and Crown. Every challenge I face, every test of my purpose, resolve and character, must bow to this Sovereign.
I know where I am going:
Knowing where we come from and by whose pleasure we live gives focus for life’s challenges. In the testing of Jesus done by the spiritual leaders of His day, Jesus, in verses 1-11 of John 8, responds to a question regarding law. Bringing before Jesus a woman, caught in the “very act” of adultery, these scribes and Pharisees ask, “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” Before responding, Jesus stoops down to write on the ground.
I believe that, in this instant, Jesus is taking a minute to remember where He came from and where He is going. He is looking to Him, through whose pleasure He serves, remembering where He is going in His time on this earth and the purpose planned for it all. In line with His position as one sent to “show us the Father”, He stands to give His answer, perfectly meeting the need and setting the example (see John 14:7-15).
Like Jesus, we are here at the pleasure of God and He has purpose for our being here. We face challenges every day that reveal whether we are earthbound or not of this world. If Jesus took time to recall His position in this life before responding in any given situation, it is vital that we do as well. Only in assurance of heart that understands this position we possess at the pleasure of God can we confidently live His Kingdom purpose in our day-to-day challenges.