If you look at the interactions of folks with Jesus in the gospels, it’s interesting to look at all the people who kneel before him. (A big thank you to Lance Shumake who briefly introduced this idea in his sermon August 10th at Lakepointe Church.)
Consider those who kneel:
- A demon possessed man (Mark 5:6)
- Jairus whose daughter was dying (Mark 6:22)
- A man whose son had seizures (Matthew 17:14)
- A man with leprosy (Mark 1:40)
- A Greek woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit (Matthew 7:25)
- Mary the sister of Lazarus after his death (John 11:32)
- A woman who desperately wanted to anoint Jesus (Luke 7:38)
These folks personified desperate. Death, disease, and demons marked the first six of these interactions. Have you ever been there? Have you faced death? Has a friend or loved one neared death’s door? Have you been sick? Has someone else’s sickness left you sad, needy and feeling helpless? Have you battled demonic attack? Have you seen friends or family wrestle with demons?
If you have, no doubt you’ve felt the weight of helplessness and despair. In those times you have two choices: give into the feelings or give your fear to God. Click to tweet this. These folks chose the latter. They didn’t care how foolish they looked to others. They chose to kneel at great personal cost. They simply, desperately needed Jesus.
I simply, desperately need Jesus.
And in that place of brokenness, I’ve experienced the presence of Jesus like never before. You tend to get that way when everything else that distracts you is cast aside, replaced by the deep, deep longing for the One who will truly satisfy.
I’ve been in that place the past year. Truth be told, I’ve chosen to kneel before many other things.
- I thought success would fill me, but even when I received an accolade, I needed more-more-more to fill me.
- I thought perfect relationships would satisfy, only to see relationships shift once again, some becoming painful, some distant.
- I’ve thought if I had provision in a certain dollar amount, I’d finally have peace. But money is a fickle mistress. It shapeshifts so that you always feel you “need” more to be happy. Click to tweet this. It’s an illusion, folks.
- I’ve worshiped at the altar of getting things done, only to have my to do list multiply like bunnies in springtime.
Sometimes I’ve felt like God has held back success from me to teach me dependence, to keep me in the place of surrender and brokenness. He is training me to always, always, always give Him the glory for any shred of success. Believe me, I’m learning. I’m seeing. I’m understanding.
My desperation hasn’t always made me kneel. Sometimes it made me bitter. I’ve been there too. Have you? Where you blame God for not doing your agenda? For not meeting your expectations? It’s normal, but it’s costly to your soul. Eventually bitterness makes you sour-faced, sour-hearted. Is that the life you want? (I wrote a book about this, The Wall Around Your Heart).
Jesus meets us when everything else fails us, including the bitterness we cling to. Click to tweet this.
I could end this post there. You’d walk away reminding yourself to get on your knees today, giving everything to Jesus. And that would be a good thing. Physically kneeling brings understanding of our desperation for our Creator.
But I’d forget person #7, the woman who desperately wanted to bless Jesus. She wasn’t desperate for herself, she was captured by the unrelenting need to make Him happy. She knelt before Him because she wanted Him to know How much she loved Him.
I wish I could be more like her. Do you? To kneel because we desperately want Jesus to know how deeply, affectionately we love Him? To be called a friend of God? As one who is after His heart? To be one He entrusts His secrets to because we’ve developed such a deep relationship?
Yeah, that. I want that.
I just returned from my knees. I prayed, “Jesus, I don’t just want to be desperate. But I want to be desperate for Your presence in my life. I want to be Your friend. I want to bless you.” May that be our prayer today. Tomorrow. The next day. Let’s be desperate for His acclaim. His honor. His affection.
How have you been desperate? How about desperate FOR Jesus? Share your stories, folks. Let’s encourage each other. Your comment may just be the blessing someone else needs.