Editor's note: Join disciples around the world in January as we devote ourselves to prayer and action. Each day, Disciples Today will publish a devotional from 31 Days of Prayer by Daniel Berk. Follow along on Facebook with your comments and prayer requests. We look forward to an amazing year as we seek God together!
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If there weren’t, I wouldn’t have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you, would I? And since I’m going away to prepare a place for you, I’ll come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you may be where I am. You know where I am going, and you know the way.”
Thomas asked him, “Lord, we don’t know 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 comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
Philip told him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will satisfy us.”
“Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?” Jesus asked him. “The person who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? You believe, don’t you, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I don’t speak on my own. It is the Father who dwells in me and who carries out his work. Believe me, I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe me because of what I’ve been doing. Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me will also do what I’m doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I’m going to the Father. I’ll do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:1-14 (ISV)
Are you wondering where the prayer was in the scripture above? When Thomas and Philip talked to Jesus, were they not talking with God? Every time in the Bible when the disciples talked with Jesus, they were praying. Our modern day prayer is the disciples' normal conversation with Jesus.
When Thomas questioned Jesus, it was with innocent curiosity. "Where are you going, Lord?" For myself, I so often pray that God blesses the direction I'm going, but I don't as frequently ask God where he is going. Should this not matter to us more? Where God wants to go is where we should want to go. Instead, it's easy to view it backwards with a selfish theology, spiced with a bit of good intention. It's easier to decide where we want to go in life, with who, when, how, etc. and to ask God to be with us than it is to determine where God is going, and how he wants us to follow. The former requires little to no submission, while the latter requires faith the size of a mustard seed, and total surrender to him.
After Jesus responds to Thomas, Philip says that the Father is all they need to be satisfied. What an incredible mindset of surrender. He suggests, "Lord, we don't even need to know where you're going. Just show us the Father and we will be filled." What incredible faith and surrender!
For me, the challenge each day is to be transformed so that my approach is not "settling" for God, but being completely filled and satisfied by him. What Jesus said to his disciples above applies to us still; when we ask for anything in his name, he will do it. And in him, we will do even greater things than he did; we just need to believe.
I would rather live like Christ and be totally filled with God than live my own way, constantly in want.
Pray today with the same kind of innocence and faith that Thomas and Philip prayed. Reach out to God in the hopes of being completely filled with God the Father. Ask God that you determine his way, and that you are given the strength to follow it. Ask that the Spirit gives you the power to surrender and to believe, even when God's way is not your own. God is always moving, and the Spirit is like the wind. So it should be of the person born of the Spirit. Pray to see his way and make it your own.