changing the subject

Over and over in the Bible people try to talk to God, and God changes the subject. Jacob refuses to stop wrestling with God until he receives a blessing. God answers “What is your name?” Nicodemus says “We know you are from God”. Jesus responds, “You can’t see the kingdom of God unless you are born again.” The woman at the well says, “Give me some of this Living Water” and Jesus responds, “Go get your husband.” Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus as he walks by, and Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house for lunch. The disciples wake Jesus to save them from the storm; he fusses at them for a lack of faith.

God wasn’t ignoring them. He heard what they said, but he responded to what they needed. The blessing Jacob needed was a new perspective of himself; God changed his name. Nicodemus stated what he believed about Jesus; Jesus challenged him to let what he believed change his behavior. The woman at the well focused on her immediate thirst; Jesus heard the cry of her heart. Zacchaeus wanted to observe; Jesus helped him have fellowship. The disciples wanted to be rescued; Jesus chose to increase their faith.

God still works the same way. When we allow him to change the subject, we are then subject to change in ways that we cannot even imagine. I have asked him for specific answers that he did not immediately give, but he taught me to trust his will and timing. I have asked for deliverance from what I fear, and he has chosen to display his authority and power over my fears. I have offered him my sin and my brokenness and my honesty, and he has honored me by claiming me as his own. He longs to do the same for you.

God doesn’t answer to us, and he is not limited by our perspective. Amazingly enough, he loves us so much he meets us where we are – up a tree, by a well, in a storm – and refocuses our attention on how to move from where we are to where he is. Sometimes that move is physical, sometimes psychological, always spiritual. He doesn’t promise to do what we want, and he rarely offers us the easy way out. One of the things I love most about God is that his understanding is always greater than mine; his answers are always bigger than my expectations.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

He hears every word you pray. He knows the desires of your heart and the details of your future. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Allow him to change your focus and trust him to lead you forward into whatever this day holds in store for you.