Let Me See by Larry W Peebles June 3, 2016 16.20
“Let me see” or “Can I see?” is something a child would ask their parent as a natural reflection of their interest in what Dad or Mom is doing—what’s going on. The question typically comes with a crowding movement on the part of the child, taking a position right in the middle of what is happening so they don’t miss anything. Then the child’s hands, arms or head attempt to “help” the situation, often resulting in a mistake or having to start over. Although the project may now take a bit longer to complete, with a bit of patience and information sharing, the child will be satisfied with the learning experience. Fortunately, the child is open to learning, and instinctively knows that a lot of what will be learned comes from imitating what he or she sees being demonstrated by the parent. With love and trust as the relational foundation, the child is both comfortable and dependent upon the parent’s training in order to live.
I believe our relationship with our Heavenly Father would be no different. Why would we not be interested in crawling up in His lap, crowding in to see what He is doing or to hear what He is saying? How else would we learn? Even if we put our hands on what He is doing and make a mess, does He not have the patience to instruct, correct and send us on our way better educated? Our life on this earth, and through eternity, hangs on His every word of instruction, correction, and direction.
Jesus set the example. According to Luke Chapter 2, Jesus, at age 12, accompanied his parents to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. After the feast was over, his parents were surprised to find Jesus stayed behind in the temple while his parents started back home. He sat among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents were astonished when they found him after three days of anxious searching, and asked for an explanation of his behavior. Jesus replied (v. 49) “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” The King James version says “…I had to be about my Father’s business?” He had only love and respect for His earthly parents, for He certainly had a lot to learn from them. But He also had to learn more about what His Heavenly Father was doing if He was to accomplish His eternal purpose here on the earth. Verse 52 says “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” He grew so close to His Father’s business that He was able to say of Himself that He only did what He saw His father doing (John 5:19), and He only said what the father told Him to say (John 12:49, 50).
As our relationship with the Lord grows over time, and we develop friendship with Him, and become true sons of God, we want to become more like Him. We want Him to take over. Our lives have no eternal meaning apart from Him, so we ask that His character develop in us, and that His good plan for our lives manifest. We give our lives to the King. Out of our love and trust for Him, we make a conscious decision to allow His Holy Spirit to take over and work in us to produce the fruit described in Galatians 5:22, 23- “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” That passage goes on to say that if we belong to Jesus, we will crucify our own sinful nature and live by the Spirit.
How do we learn these character traits from God? We must ask, crowd in, get in the middle of what He is doing, and expect the lessons to begin. Notice the approach here is that these are things we need to learn. We are not asking God to teach someone else these things. If we need to learn love and kindness, we should expect some unlovable and unkind people in our path. If we need to learn peace and patience, some trying situations will most likely come our way. As we said above, learning can be messy. God knows how to teach us the things we need to know and ask for. He knows how to correct the mess we might make while learning. The older I get, the more I am convinced I have learned much more from the messes and mistakes I made than I ever learned from doing something right the first time. I learned more from doing things that were difficult than I did from doing things that were easy. I have heard it said that if someone is thinking of something easy they can do for God, it is probably not God asking them to do it.
How do we let His plan for our lives unfold so that we do not miss our eternal purpose? First of all, we know from Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” We can trust that the Lord’s plan for our lives is bigger and better than our own plan for our lives, and that His plan is for good. When we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” (as he taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10), we must include ourselves. We ask that His plan, His rule, His reign take over in our lives, and we put our own selfish plans aside. We ask that he direct our steps, and show us His path for us. Psalm 37 is full of encouragement for the person who submits his life to the Lord. Verses 23 and 24 say (KJV) “The steps of a good [righteous] man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” [Insert mine]. When it is our intent to have the Lord direct our lives, he covers our missteps and mistakes, but we learn by doing.
If we call Jesus “Lord”, we want to do what He would have us do, and say what He would have us say. We ask Him to teach us, and we learn from Him, even if we make mistakes along the way. There is no deadline, no formula, and no written exam. My wife likes to say the tests are open book—consult the Word of God. There are many benefits of a life lived for Him, and so very close to Him. We begin to take on His character, and see and feel things the way He does.
One of my favorite stories that make this point comes from 2 Kings 6:8-18. Elisha and his servant found themselves surrounded by the army of the King of Aram. Fearing the outcome, the servant panicked and wondered aloud what they should do. Elisha, out of his close relationship and trust in God, saw something the servant did not see. Verse 16 says “Don’t be afraid’, the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha prayed and the Lord opened the eyes of his servant so he could see “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire [from God] all around Elisha.” [Insert mine]. The problem was not that there was no help for Elisha and his servant. The problem was that the servant could not see the help sent by God.
Do we love the Lord enough to show interest in what He is doing? Will we crawl into His lap and say “let me see”? Will we pray that He teach us His business? My prayer is that I do not miss His eternal purpose. The closer I get to Him, the more I learn. The more I learn of Him, the more I grow to be like Him. His character and His plan for my life is what I want.