Tag Archives: Christian behavior

Where Is Jesus? The Song of the Story

If you would ask me what my favorite song is, I could not think of one single answer. Apparently, though, this song stands out as an oasis for the struggle of the moment. Where is Jesus?

(Hit the “play” button to listen to the song.)

On a journey from Jerusalem
Returning to their home
Joseph and his family
Traveled all day long
They must have walked for many miles
Before they realized
Jesus was not with them
Mary sadly cried

Where is Jesus?
Did we leave Him far behind?
Did we take for granted He was here
Walking with us all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
We must return to the place
Where we left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

I prayed for God to lead my way
That His will for me be known
All He asked is that I wait for Him
Still I stepped out on my own
Without Him here to guide my steps
I’ve failed Him many times
I only have myself to blame
I bowed my head and cried

Where is Jesus?
Did I leave Him far behind?
Did I take for granted He was here
Walking with me all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
I must return to the place where I left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

You’ve made some bad decisions
With a selfish thought in mind
You had the best intentions for
The goals you set in life
Your relationship with God’s secure
But the fellowship is gone
You can choose to walk with Him again
You don’t have to walk alone

Where is Jesus?
Did you leave Him far behind?
Did you take for granted He was here
Walking with you all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
You must return to the place where you left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

Just where is Jesus?

And why is this post called “The Song of the Story”? What is the story?

Well, we all have stories to tell. We have stories of our own lives—how we’ve managed to walk victoriously over our own set of trials and temptations. Some of us, by the way, have many more stories of defeat to share.

This song by the group “Pictures of Grace” just effectively retells the story of initial defeat, and then, a subsequent victory. It tells of how Mary and Joseph lost their thought of where their “Son” could be. They assumed He was there with them for one whole day. Later, their hearts were pierced. Conscience spoke through their neglect. A discovery of their weakness was the beginning of their victory.

So where was Jesus?

Apparently, Jesus was just in the temple. He was there, conversing with rabbis—mostly old men who were esteemed authorities back in their day.

Why was He left there? Where were Mary and Joseph headed? How could they be neglectful of Jesus’ presence?

Before we start accusing them, let’s take a look at the rest of the lyrics of the song. I will discuss “The Story Behind the Song” in a separate post. (Click here to get notified when that post comes out.)

Where did we leave Jesus?

We could have left Jesus behind, too. I often do. Often, I pray “for God to lead my way that His will for me be known.” All He asks “is that I wait for Him.” Still, I step “out on my own.”

The lyrics of the song just cuts it straight.

Tired of waiting

Often, I get tired of waiting. I’ve been impatient most of the time. In other words, I’ve been impulsive. I guess you, too.

It’s in here that we make a lot of mistakes. We often get ahead of God. Unknowingly, we think of ourselves as wiser than Him when we make decisions rashly, without conducting a consultation with Him.

A God Taken for Granted

Do we ever take God for granted? We probably do. We brush Him aside whenever we think we’re doing just fine. We often do.

Often the Last Resort

How would God feel if we make Him our last resort? I don’t know; I’m not God. I could even question if it could be a loss for Him. He’s God. He doesn’t need us. But the fact that God is love makes a lot of difference.

When we make God our last resort, it’s definitely never His loss. Rather, it is our loss. And how would that make God feel?

Still, A God Who Sympathizes

If He’s a God of love, and He truly is, He would most certainly feel for us. Consider a loving earthly father, watching his son or daughter struggle to obtain a certain item. The son or daughter would have expended all he or she can do just to get that item. But let’s just say only the father knows how.

Wouldn’t it have been easier for the son or daughter to simply have asked the earthly father to get that item for him or her? Isn’t this an apt illustration of how we often relate to God?

Returning to Jesus

“To find Him once again, we must return to the place where we left Him.”

How often we leave Jesus behind right after our devotional time. We make haste to do our daily duties, and we forget the fact that we’ve asked God to guide us every step of the way throughout our day. But we often forget.

Distracted by cares

Our daily cares often distract us from Jesus. But it’s not only our “legitimate” cares that turn our eyes away from the Savior. In this day and age, we are often bombarded by “illegitimate” cares, those that we expose ourselves to unnecessarily.

Distracted by the unimportant

Our newsfeeds truly “feed” our brains. There may be good things out there but it is important to filter our feeds in order to maintain a healthy connection with Jesus. Discipline is necessary.

Following Jesus

In order to really follow Jesus, we may have to unfollow those that prove only to be distractions. Distractions, remember, may be deemed “good,” but not all “good” things get you to a goal.

For example, activism about something “good” may be beneficial, but if it takes all of your time—including your time for Jesus—then that activism must be subjected to control.

How Not to Lose Sight of Jesus

Moment by moment. We need to think of Jesus moment by moment. But how is that even possible?

The key, perhaps, is not to lose consciousness of the presence of Jesus. Our brains are powerful. We may use the power of our minds to imagine what is actually beneficial to our souls. One thing we can do to maintain our connection with Jesus is to imagine Him right here, just beside us.

What If the Savior Stood Beside Me?

This reminds me of another song entitled, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” by Sally Deford. I also love this song as it is on point. If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?

Indeed, our consciousness of the presence of Jesus beside us, or wherever we go, makes a lot of difference in the way we behave. We certainly would have this “fear” of Him—not a fear that would make one fear a tyrant, for of a certainty, God isn’t a tyrant—but a certain reverent, godly fear that would prevent us from sinning against Him.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?”

Just where can we go from God’s Spirit? Where can we hide from His presence? (See Psalm 139:7-10). Now God is everywhere. But doesn’t this contradict the question we’ve asked from the beginning? Where is Jesus?

It may be beneficial to point out that Jesus will forever retain His human nature. Indeed, He can’t be everywhere at once. He’s presently in heaven, ministering as high priest on our behalf. But He can be everywhere at once, only through the person of His Spirit.

It’s our choices that make us feel away from God

While God can manifest His presence to us, anytime, anywhere, and while He sees us anytime, anywhere, we can still feel far away from God. This is because of our own choices. Darkness envelops us whenever we, by choice, distract ourselves from Him.

“You can choose to walk with Him again”

As the song says, we “can choose to walk with Him again.” You and I “don’t have to walk alone.” We can walk with Jesus again.

Do you ever feel lost, and far away from God right now? The good news is in the song. It is the song of my story, your story. While it began by retelling an apparent defeat in someone’s spiritual walk, it ends with an encouraging note that we can, indeed, choose to walk with Jesus again.

Where is Jesus? He’s just there waiting for your choice. Take that U-turn and walk with Him, again.

God Had Not Forgotten

God has a record book. No, I’m not referring to the book of life, or to the book of remembrance, or to the book of sin. He has another record book. It contains your prayers, and He has not forgotten them.

God has not forgotten your prayer

Did you ever lose a part of your faith when you were asking God for something and it seemed no answer was coming?

I almost did.

Oh, well, I guess I actually did. I guess I lost faith when I tried working out the answer to some of my prayers, on my own.

But I learned today that God does not forget our prayers. I’ve been learning this by experience, but just today I read what the Inspired Writings had to say about Luke 1 and 2, leading me to meditate more on the beauty of this truth.

How God revealed this beautiful truth to me

I read Luke 1 and 2 last Sabbath and decided to postpone perusing the rest of my Bible reading assignments from the ESV 40-Day Bible Reading Plan to see what Aunt Ellen, under the influence of the Spirit, had to say.

I grabbed my physical copy of The Vision Study Bible, and turned to Luke 1 and read the footer commentaries. I decided to pause reading through the commentaries to simply digest what I just read.

Vision Study Bible

It was beautiful and was totally worth the time.

Throughout his married life, Zacharias had prayed for a son. He and his wife were now old, and as yet their prayer had remained unanswered; but he murmured not. God had not forgotten. He had His appointed time for answering this prayer, and when the case seemed hopeless, Zacharias received His answer. – Manuscripts, p.1898, par.3

The quote is totally rich and it deserved my attention.

Aside from revealing the fact that “God had not forgotten” Zacharias’ specific prayer, it revealed other beautiful details such as follows:

  • Zacharias kept praying;
  • While his prayer remained unanswered, Zacharias did not murmur (read about the curse of murmuring here);
  • God had an appointed time for answering Zacharias’ prayer; which means:
  • Zacharias’ prayer that he be given a son is according to God’s will; and,
  • God allowed Zacharias to think of it as a hopeless case, and surprised him with His answer when Zacharias finally surrendered his plea to God.

Sometimes, we had simply had to surrender

Sometimes, we may just have to surrender our plea to God, just like Zacharias.

Zacharias might have never known whether it was God’s will for him and Elizabeth to have a son. One thing admirable about him is that he kept praying.

Of course, having a son is not a sin.

So, Zacharias persevered in prayer because he knew that what he has been praying for was something innocent. His heart was free of guilt while asking God for a son. It wasn’t something selfish—I guess having a son would even be an aid for any parent to forget self while nourishing a child.

And God was really planning to answer that particular prayer.

The only other thing in consideration was God’s timeline. God “had His appointed time for answering this prayer.”

So, the next thing God was intending to teach Zacharias was full faith in His timing.

God has a dated record book

It fascinates me to think of the fact that God has a record book for our prayers. Here’s the quote from the inspired writings of Aunt Ellen:

But the answer had come. God had not forgotten the prayer of His servants. He had written it in His record book, to be answered in His own good time. Looking at outward appearances, Zacharias and Elisabeth had buried their hopes, but the Lord had not forgotten. He knew of the long years of disappointment, and when His own name could best be glorified, their son was born. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

Wow. God has a record book for our prayers! I could imagine how one of my prayers would be listed there, and beside it there would be a future date on which the prayer would be answered!

“When His own name could best be glorified”

Not only does God answer at a specific time; His timing is purposeful.

Come to think of it. God’s timeline is not an arbitrary one! This means that when He assigns a date to answer your innocent, according-to-God’s-will request, He has a lot of considerations to make.

One, He considers giving you the best. Two, He also considers giving you your request at a time when granting that request already becomes humanly impossible.

That way, you would begin to trust Him more for the God that He is—not for the good that you are, i.e., if you are any good.

Aside from these though, He considers giving you more than what you have originally asked for.

How tender, how kind, how full of love and compassion, is the great heart of infinite love. God gave Zacharias as a son no ordinary person, but one who should hold a high place in His work, and from whom the light from heaven should shine in clear, distinct rays. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

God has given Zacharias John the Baptist as a son!

Extraordinary, indeed!

Extraordinary answers await those who trust

John the Baptist surely became a great blessing to Zacharias and Elizabeth. He was no ordinary son. He was the man who was the forerunner of Jesus, the Messiah.

What a privilege!

He will answer my prayer

I won’t take more time before giving you the takeaway message. It’s here.

By impressing upon me to read the inspired commentaries on Luke 1 and 2, God has given me such a timely reminder:

He will answer my prayer. He does have a record book. My prayer’s there. He has a date for it. And He can give me more than what is humanly possible. He can give me more than what I’ve asked for!

Indeed, it is never a coincidence that Luke 1 contains one of my all-time favorite Bible verses:

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37, KJV

Truly, nothing is impossible for me!

This means nothing is impossible for you, too.

So, let’s keep praying. God has never forgotten.