Have you ever been mistaken as the “one in charge” as you work to follow the boss’s orders? Those who work diligently to please the boss from a place of awe and respect, take their assignment seriously with great dedication. They learn from the boss what is expected. They begin to immolate the character of their boss so well and confidently that sometimes others begin to assume you are the boss!
As leaders, we are often mistaken as the “one in charge” at times because of our dedication to accomplishing the purpose given to us. But we are not in charge. We take our orders and direction from the One who is. God alone is in charge. We are not. He is God. We are not.
We can learn from the Playbook of Life—God’s Word for lessons in establishing who are and who we are not. John the Baptist knew who was in charge, knew the “boss” well, heard what He said, immolated His character, and carried out his purpose given to him by God. John knew he was not God, not His Son, and not the prophet Elijah come back to life. He was John. His parents, Zachariah and Elizabeth, were told by God to name him John. They obeyed. God was in charge from his birth.
John grew in the character of God, preached the words of God, lived an unorthodox lifestyle, but always knew who was in charge. God. He was not. John knew that his mission was to prepare the way of the One and Only—Jesus, Son of God. Jesus—The Word made flesh. Jesus, God in flesh, who moved into the neighborhood of humanity to save the world from their sin. “…my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer.”
“I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.” –John
John 1:19-34, The Message
Thunder in the Desert
19-20 When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?”
“I am not.”
22 Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself.”
23 “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”
24-25 Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party. Now they had a question of their own: “If you’re neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
26-27 John answered, “I only baptize using water. A person you don’t recognize has taken his stand in your midst. He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I’m not even worthy to hold his coat for him.”
28 These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time.
29-31 The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’ I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.”
32-34 John clinched his witness with this: “I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
We cannot get so wrapped up in the work God have given us to do that we begin to think we are in charge of His work. We are not. We are His servants who ask what God wants first then obey because of our great love for Him. He is God. We are not.
God saved us from all our sin by sending His Son Jesus. Jesus saves. We do not. God assigns us to go, tell, teach others about Jesus. We, like John, point the way to God through Jesus Christ, His Son. God is in charge. Always.
It helps to remember God’s Word to the prophet Micah about what God wants daily from us:
“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” “Micah 6:8, NLT
How do we walk humbly with God, knowing He is in charge? Paul tells us: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2, The MSG
No question about it, You are God! Your servant, John the Baptizer, taught us how to live dedicated lives to you. He taught us to speak your words boldly as you give the words to us. He showed the world the way to your Son, always knowing that You were in charge. He lived humbly. He knew his purpose and fulfilled it even unto death. He told spoke Truth and pointed everyone to the Person of Truth. Truth is You. Yes, You are God and we are not. Continue to teach us. Lead and guide us. Thank you, Lord. Show us what you want from us today.
In Jesus Name, Amen