Self Obsession

Message:  In Mark 8 there is a whole lot going on. Jesus fed another large crowd by multiplying the bread and fish that were available and once again there was bread left over. In fact, there was more bread left over than they had when they started. They started with 7 loaves and ended with 7 baskets full of pieces and everyone was full. The Pharisees saw all of that and still demanded a sign. His disciples saw all of that but were completely distracted by the fact that they forgot to bring the leftover bread with them in the boat. When Jesus warned them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees all they could think about was the bread they forgot to bring. I couldn’t help but relate to this. Have you ever been so focused on something that you did or didn’t do, and it completely consumed your mind? The guilt and shame inside your own mind caused you to hear and see everything as if it were amplified and pointing blame right at you. You probably felt exposed and unable to focus on anything else around you. This is what was going on with the disciples, but Jesus was trying to show them something much bigger. He was standing there with them after multiplying all of that bread and he wanted them to see who he was. They were so focused on what they forgot to do that they couldn’t see who he was or what he was even talking about! They were inwardly focused and missing the moment entirely! Jesus healed a blind man and then began asking his disciples some questions: ‘Who do people say I am?’ They answered “John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet” so Jesus asked them ‘who do you say that I am?’ Revelation hit Peter right in that moment and he said “the Messiah!” But right after that brilliant revelation of understanding, Jesus started to explain the suffering he would go through and Peter pulled Jesus aside to rebuke him. Jesus rebuked him right back saying “Get behind me Satan because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s”. In a matter of hours Peter had gone from a state of self-obsession over forgetting the bread, to a powerful understanding that he was face to face with the Messiah who created and multiplied that bread. In a matter of moments, Peter went from realizing he was face to face with, and listening to the words of the Messiah, to trying to council the Messiah. This one stung a lot. I’m not gonna lie. I saw myself ALL OVER this one! How many times have I lived in complete obsession over what Ineeded to do about my situation, while sitting in the presence of a powerful and all-knowing God.  And how many times have I been so aware of his greatness and yet still had the audacity to try to council God as to how he should handle my situation? I read and reread that statement several times. “Get behind me Satan because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s” If I’m really honest I have found myself so consumed with my human perspective that I obsess over what I need to do and I pray as if I need to inform God of what is going on down here and as if God needs my help in coming up with the solution. Lord please open my eyes to who you are and open my mind to your will and your plan so that I can cooperate with what you plan to do instead of trying to council you from my own mind based upon my own will and desires.

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