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3/15/21 - WHEN GOD PROVOKES OUR THOUGHTS....

I’m chuckling while I write the topic for this message. I went to read the passage I’m about to share, and saw that I had underlined these words of Jesus. “You know the way to the place where I’m going.” As I read it out loud, I said to the Lord, “ You’re a thought provoking God! You love to get us thinking.” You say things already knowing the response we will give. Not so we will be embarrassed by our answers, but so that You’ll grow us by Your responses. He loves it when we admit to what we don’t know. He’s not a fan of pretenders.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I AM going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I Am. And you know the way to where I Am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I Am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I AM? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? Don’t you believe that I AM in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but my Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. Just believe that I AM in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:1-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I also wrote this in the margin of my Bible. It is better to be honest and admit you don’t know, than pretend and remain ignorant. God bless Thomas and Philip for being honest. Jesus made a thought provoking statement, and got an honest response. I don’t know if the other ten got it, for once Peter kept quiet, so not sure if he knew what Jesus was talking about, but these two desired clarification. Jesus wasn’t shocked, nothing surprises Him, He knew Thomas was thinking in natural terms, so He cleared it up.

Phillip’s question wasn’t at all odd. He too was thinking in natural terms, he had a earthly father, he wasn’t his father, they were separate individuals, so by asking to see Jesus’ Father in the flesh wasn’t far fetched. Jesus spoke to the oneness He shared with His Father as proof that He was enough for what Philip needed. When one stands in the place of another, acting on their behalf, we call that in legal terms, power of attorney, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them both. Jesus in essence told Philip everything I do, I do by the authority My Father has given Me. That Philip, makes us One. So seeing me is seeing Him.

Did that satisfy Philip? We don’t know. But it would have to do. No different than you presenting the power of attorney and the person say I need to see the person you’re representing, we’d probably say are you for real? This is as good as it gets! You’re looking at him/her. Jesus provoked something that was a thought in their minds so that He could settle it in their hearts. I’m glad they asked, because now I know where He went, and who His Father is. Their question my revelation.

I’ve never seen Jesus with my natural eyes, the one time I asked to see Him like the apostles did, my flesh couldn’t handle the magnitude of His glorious presence. He told me I wasn’t ready for what I was asking for. He was right! I wouldn’t be here today. I literally thought I was going to die. I’m blessed by His care for us. Notice He didn’t embarrass or ignore their probing. It wasn’t a angry response. “ what do you mean you don’t know! Why do you want to see the Father! Huh! You don’t believe Me!😡No. He orchestrated that moment to draw out doubt and establish their faith. They were about to face a time of testing that they had never faced before.

Unanswered questions about who He is and where He’s going had to be dealt with. He’s a thought provoking God. Remember when the disciples were coming back from a night of fishing? Jesus saw the whole thing. Showed up and prepared breakfast. Then yelled out, “hey guys! Catch any fish?” Lol He already knew the answer, so why did He ask? This was after His resurrection. It’s like asking a overdue pregnant woman, no baby yet? 😡 you’re looking at her belly 🤦‍♀️ Jesus’ question was probably adding salt to the wound, provoking a response which I’m sure wasn’t a sweet tinged response, unless it was John who spoke up first and not Pete😊 NO! Then cast your net on the right side of the boat. I can hear Peter, so He’s saying we’ve been fishing on the wrong side of the boat!! Lol John spoke up after the haul. “It is the Lord!” John 21.

Another time Jesus told Peter to launch out into the deep. They were just in the deep, as a matter of fact, they were in the deep all night. lol. They caught nothing. What was Jesus doing? Provoking their faith to action. Luke 5:4-5. Provoking them into leaving their natural inhibitions, and trusting in the limitless power of God. When the disciples told Him to send the people away, He provoked them by saying “you give them something to eat.” Lol

“Late in the afternoon His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:35-37‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hahaha. I told you He’s a thought provoking God. Lol I’m cracking myself up as He’s bringing these scriptures to mind. Then after they freaked out, He calmly asked. Lol

“What do you have” I’m laughing so loud right now. Hahaha 🤣

“How much bread do you have?” He asked. “Go and find out.” They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You know the story. Over 5000 men, not including women and children were stuffed to the gills. Including the disciples who picked up twelve baskets of excess fish and bread. How’s that for provocation? With every thought provoking word, Jesus not only grew their faith, He bolstered their confidence in Him. Remember when they thought they were drowning? And woke Him up in a panic. They scratched their heads and asked. “ Who is this man? Enquiring minds want to know. Has He been provoking you lately? Provoking you to go deeper into His Word? To get up off your lazy butt and go back to His house? Has He been provoking you lately to launch out into the deep, give more to support His work? Has He been provoking you lately, to get up from the bed of affliction and walk by faith and not by the doctors report? Has He been provoking you lately, to leave that dead end job and trust Him to meet your financial need? Has He been provoking you lately to step out in faith and finish that project? Has He been provoking you lately, to get out of that toxic relationship? Has He been provoking you lately to restore that broken relationship? What has He been provoking you to do? He’s not insulted by your questions, He’s insulted by your inaction. Your lack of faith in who He is.

After all, who is this Man that even the wind and the waves obey Him? Who is this man who tells us to cast our net on the other side, who is this Man telling us to launch out into the deep? What is His Name? What is His Son’s Name? John answered and I pray you know Him. IT IS THE LORD! The thought provoking One. Hallelujah!!

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

March 15, 2021


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