“He Does More” John 7:1-13

We’ve all heard the saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways”. It’s a statement that gets used when something happens differently than we expected. A person loses a job but then ends up with a better one and someone says, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” By running late, we run into someone that we would not have had we been on time and we say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” You probably know this already, but the statement isn’t biblical, it’s not a quotation of Scripture, it’s an assumption of man; it’s actually more superstitious than religious, it’s how we try to make spiritual sense out of our natural circumstance. It’s how we try to comfort ourselves when things aren’t going our way, telling ourselves that soon enough the Lord will cause things to once again go the way we wanted them to go. The Lord doesn’t work in mysterious ways, He doesn’t work to keep things hidden, He actually does the opposite, He works to reveal what’s been hidden, to make clear what’s been unclear, to shine a light on what has been covered in darkness. He works deeper than we desire, more thoroughly than we think necessary and more completely than we are often comfortable with. He is not the One who covers things over, He’s the God who brings to light everything that has been, for much too long, covered over. He doesn’t do things our way, He does things His way, but He does them for our sake. We love to quote Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” but we often forget that to do more than we ask God will have to do differently than we have asked, imagined or expected Him to do. Doing more than we asked or imagined is not God giving us an extra portion of what we’ve asked for, it’s God digging deeper than we expected Him to, taking us further than we asked to go and changing us more than we thought we needed to be changed. Usually God is not simply doing more than we asked, we have simply asked for less than what was needed. Israel asked to be taken out of Egypt, they didn’t realize that Egypt needed to be taken out of them. They didn’t ask for the Red Sea to open, water to burst out of rocks or bread to fall from heaven each day, but God did more than they asked, knowing they had to endure being attacked to learn that God was greater than their enemies, they had to run out of water to learn that God was a faithful Provider and they had to have no way to feed themselves to learn that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. God did more than they asked, but He also did more than they wanted, because they did not realize how much they needed. Jesus’ brothers were just like Israel and we are just like Jesus’ brothers, we ask for what we want from God, but we are rarely aware of what God desires to do because we don’t realize how much we actually need from God.

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