4. WOULD YOU STILL WANT ME?
Much emphasis was given on John the Baptist’s life during the last leg of the Internship. Drawing and drinking from his life and what he was called to do shifted so many things in my heart. It even fiercely provoked me to check where I’m at in my pursuit of this assignment He has given me.
Apart from providing us a foundation in understanding the global context of what Jesus is doing in this glorious hour of church history, Samuel Whitefield (samuelwhitefield.com ) , one of our lecturers from IHOP-KC, clearly painted a picture of how we are called to take our place of authority through our message and the power it entails. As forerunners, we are called to prepare the way for His return. And it means more than just preaching about the return of the Bridegroom King, but we are all called to set a stage where the Father can glorify the Son; speak over Him and declare who He really is.
John The Baptist spent more time in prison than he ever did ministry. But I love the fact that John knew his assignment and he embraced it fully.
29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” | John 3:29 ESV
It was in the wilderness where John discovered, soaked, and nurtured himself in the Presence. He stayed in the wilderness and chose to stay there. In light of this, let me quote Samuel Whitefield, “Crowds are seducing but it’s in the desert where the bush burns.” John did not wait for His words to shake a nation, he faithfully walked in steadfastness and intimacy, living out his calling, and speaking forth a message that sets a stage for the Son’s coming. And in the end of his life, Jesus’ words about him released such an affirmation of who he is — a burning and shining lamp (John 5:35). Jesus spoke value into John’s life and calling.
27 This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” | Luke 7:27-28 ESV
And on top of that, Jesus said these: “..And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” As John the Baptist chose to decrease, knowing that Jesus came to fulfill a bigger calling, this now becomes a challenge towards us who seek to respond to the forerunner calling in this hour.
In the pursuit of our own calling, do we seek to point others to the One who is worthy or do we draw attention to ourselves and rob Jesus of His privilege to be known? This can come out strong, but I believe the Lord is in the business of digging deeper wells in our spirits in embracing the magnitude of His desire for His Bride. He will come back for a Bride that is fully devoted to Him. And as forerunners, may we respond in setting our hearts to give Jesus what He wants, what He has been laboring for in the heavenlies, what He has been desiring for, for thousands of years. May we all say, “Jesus, receive the reward of Your suffering; fulfill Your calling!”
Thus gleaning from John the Baptist’s life, this question sprung forth: Would you still want me?
I felt Jesus addressing parts of my heart and started to uncover underlying issues. And I remember He started to go through a list of things in my life that I’ve been contending for, but have not yet come to pass. He asked me if I am offended with Him even in the midst of the delay or if I am offended with Him in the pain of waiting.
And that left me undone. “Would you still want Me, Jian? Would you still want Me even if all these things you desire don’t come to pass? Would you still want Me in the delay? In the midst of your serving, through the highs and the lows, would you still long for Me and my coming back? Would you still want Me?”
Taking it a whole notch deeper, I knew in my heart that only a Jealous Lover can ask such questions. He wants my love. He desires for all of me, all of my heart. His name is Jealous. He is jealous for what belongs to Him. And even with those questions, His fierce jealousy for my heart has once again provoked me to gaze back into His eyes which is full of desire for me. And here I am, in love again.
I love that in this journey with Him, we get to discover daily a little bit more of who He is. He is a being who DESIRES for an eternal companion– and He is all about this. It is all about Him being all about us– a Bride that is being made ready for His glorius return.
It is my prayer that the Spirit of God would birth in a new, intensified longing in our hearts to tenaciously yearn and hunger for the Desire of All Nations, and the Day of His Appearing.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!