Sacred Spaces 313– How high would you climb?

Sacred Spaces 313– How high would you climb?
8 November 2011

(I am sitting in the Eagle and Child, in Oxford again. It’s fun to write in here. Relaxing)

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
“1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19)

How high would you climb?
(Thanks to Mercia Taylor for the idea behind this SS; Mercia is one of the many “moms” I have been blessed with in my years of ministry.)

There have been two things that have been on my heart lately; first is how camouflaged we as Christians have become.

Secondly being how many “other voices” we listen to and not the One voice that makes all the difference: the voice of our Good Shepherd.

Do people see that we love Jesus and are sincerely trying to ‘walk in His footsteps’? We are too much “in the world and part of it”, instead of being: “in the world but not of it!”

Where are the people who are passionate for God and sold out for Him? Who desire Him first and foremost; we’ve let the things of life, the worry, the concern of what others think, etc. become the things that “hide us”. Christians looks just like everyone else.

We celebrate the same festivals (ie. Halloween)
We sound the same (swear just as much, speak bitterly and negatively)
We act the same (live selfishly, consuming and unaware)

Then the second thought I have had after listening to some people. And from just observing.

How many “voices” to people constantly listen to all the time in their lives?

For example:

– What do they think of me?
– How do I look? What would make me look more attractive?
– I think they see me as a failure
– I am so worried I don’t know what to with my life?
– What should I say to him or her?
– I hate this place. I just want to get out.
– What’s the point of all of this?
– Do I fit in?
– If I show you more flesh would you love me?
– You will never be good enough
– You can’t pass this subject
– My parents don’t care for me
– No one seems to understand me
– People are fake
– I give up!

Those are just a few of some of the “voices” we hear in our lives.
Now some “voices” we have to consider (like: “what’s the point of all of this” and I am sure others too)
YET we should not let all these voices constantly be louder than HIS VOICE.

In all of these “distractions” of life, we forget to:

– Hear what God says about who we are
– Hear that He really does have a plan for us. After all He did make us and knows us best.
– Hear that we are truly loved by Him.
– Hear that we don’t need to worry.
– Hear that this does make sense.
– Hear that God is near.

How high are you willing to climb?
Zacchaeus climbed a tree. He got away from the “distractions” below.
He was desperate and passionate to see Jesus.

And when he took some steps on his own accord, Jesus noticed and spoke such incredible words into his life:

“Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Question is, what can you do?
Are you even willing to hear the voice of Jesus?
Do you even long for Him?

Because we need to want and love Jesus!

Our love for our Saviour will make us do beautiful and “crazy” things.

Zacchaeus climbed a tree!
Paul stopped his arrogant murderous ways.
Mary Magdalene stopped her whoring ways.
Peter walked on water
A boy offered 2 fish and 5 loaves.

How high are you willing to climb?

“4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10)

My prayer for this week is simply that we would listen out for His voice. May His voice be the LOUDEST and have the most CLARITY!

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