Dutch Sheets tells the story of a mouse and an elephant who were best friends. They hung out together all the time, the mouse riding on the elephant’s back. One day they crossed a wooden bridge causing it to bow, creak and sway under their combined weight. After they were across, the mouse impressed by their ability to make such an impact said to the elephant, “We sure shook up that bridge, didn’t we?”
There are several lessons that can be taken from this story. We could call the mouse arrogant or naïve or even prideful. I think the point is that the mouse didn’t see or understand how big or powerful was his friend. If he really knew, the mouse would perhaps be afraid or run away from the elephant.
Another lesson from the story is that it speaks to the limitations and distortions we have in our image of God. As did the Mouse we know Jesus as Friend. We may know Jesus as Comforter. I continue to learn of His love; continue to grow in my experience Him as Father. But there are many ways in which He is still too big for me. I sometimes retreat to more manageable and safer images of Him.
Several months ago in the early morning hours I awoke with the verse Isaiah 9:6 going through my mind. It is a frequent occurrence for me to wake with a scripture circling but never this verse. I occasionally think about it especially at Christmas but I have never really pondered those words in any deliberate way.
For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given
The government will be on His shoulders
He will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Almighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Being restless, unable to sleep and somewhat anxious in the pre-dawn hours, I let those Names of Jesus wash over me. As I did, I sensed the Lord speaking: “ Linda, pray those titles for those three young men you have on your heart. Pray that they would experience Me in all those ways.”
I had been praying for three young married men. All are committed to Jesus and want Kingdom reality in their lives but they were also feeling overwhelmed by challenges they were facing, especially in their businesses. As do all of us they needed to know the reality and fullness of the One who dwells within.
But how do the three young men get there? How do they and we get to know and experience our God as He really is? Peter is the fearful , insecure disciple who denied Jesus and then became a powerhouse in the early church. He writes two letters to persecuted churches in what is now modern Turkey. He gives us some clues to living in challenging times.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His divine Power gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. What an amazing verse . In reading Scripture it is vital that we pay attention to the little words. Here the word everything grabbed my attention. We are given everything we need to do life in the present regardless of our circumstances. Not only are we given everything for doing everyday life but we can also do that life with godliness; we can live with victory over sin and failure. We can live like Jesus did.
God’s power within is the Source of living life with godliness. God empowers us.
We access this power through knowledge of Him. The Greek word for knowledge here is epinosis which means full discernment, a knowledge that comes from experience, from relationship. It comes from not just seeing what He does (action) but who He really is (nature). It’s about real relationship.
What about you?
- How have you experienced Jesus?
- How has He acted on your behalf?
- What do you really believe and trust about who He is?
- Are you experiencing the promised everything needed for life and godliness?
- What difference is knowing Jesus making in your day to day life?
- What do you need from Jesus in the 9-5 of your life today?
- What situation is impossible apart from the intervention of Almighty God?
- How are you growing you in that relationship with Jesus that empower , heals and brings freedom?