Can Anything Good Come From This?
by Shannon Heiden
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Can Anything Good Come From This?
And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Beautiful One, In the world we live in today -with all of it's ways, can Jesus look at you and say- that in you there is no deceit?
Recently I have pondered what exactly Nathanael might have been doing under the fig tree. Was he with someone having a conversation; was he in a predicament where his integrity was being tested? Or, was he pondering-thinking about a situation in his life where he had to make a choice? Maybe he was praying and being completly open and honest before the Lord about what his struggle was-maybe there was no struggle. The Bible doesn't give us the answer to exactly what he was doing under that fig tree, but it does tell us that before he was called to come and follow Jesus, God saw him and found no deceit within him.
The exact definition of deceit is; to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid; to ensnare, the act or practice of deceiving.To deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness
Those are pretty strong implications and by all definitions when a person is practicing-walking in the way of deceit, their underhandedness does not just effect them but also the ones in whom they are deceiving. Notice that the act of deceit is to basically render one helpless and confused.
Beautiful One, in our everyday lives, how many times do situations present themselves in which we are confronted with a choice- to be honest or to deceive? How many times do we go with deceit because we justify it in the package of; we don't want to hurt anothers feelings, or if we do do the right thing -it may cause a lot of problems for us, so we just remain silent and hope that it either goes away or that God reveals it through another so we don't have to be directly involved? Do we realize that our avoidance and silence can speak a thousand words?
Can we be transparent for a moment? Every single person is deceitful at some point in their lives, I'm not talking about the times you tell your friend that she looks good in the awful outfit she's wearing to spare her self esteem or when someone asks you "what's wrong" and you passivly say "nothing" when something really is. I'm talking about the times where maybe we spent to much at the store and we tell our spouses a minimal of the facts, or when we are at work and we didn't complete a task and we tell our superiors we did, or perhaps you get pulled over by an officer and you knew you were speeding but insist that you didn't know how fast you were going so you could appeal to his better nature and not get a ticket- what about when someone calls and you tell your child to tell them you're not home -when your sitting right there?
On the surface these seem insignificant, we repent and ask God to forgive us and vow to be honest next time, but maybe our next time will come with a much stronger situation and because we weren't faithful with the little circumstance, we are found wanting when the bigger one presents itself.
Maybe we have gotten so dulled in our hearts with the few things that before we know it the many is now a mountain and with a seared conscience, we find ourselves in the midst of the chaotic and the choices and people close to us are effected more than we realize.
Isn't it funny that the very things we tend to see in others; are the very things we possess within ourselves and somewhere along the way the specks that annoy us and make us want to confront in others - are the very planks in our eyes?
Maybe you have dealt with deceit in your heart, maybe you have realized that in your own heart dwells no good thing and all that is good; is just God living and working within you. Or maybe you are so wrapped up and consumed with yourself, constantly focusing on your shortcomings that your self perception is skewed and you have to work real diligently at hiding and covering up the real you and the mask of deceit that you wear- of a false you- is what you present to the world.
Maybe you go to church, you're involved in fellowship, but the life you present on Sunday mornings is nothing like what it is on Monday. Maybe you have a secret addiction, maybe you are having a mental affair with someone other than your spouse, maybe you aren't honest with your friends who are seemingly going down a path of destruction and because you don't know who you really are and how strong God is in your own life, you feel you couldn't possibly interfere in anothers-by speaking truth to them.
Maybe, just maybe, you are in leadership and the ones you are serving with are not on the up and up, you know it, but your fear and intimidation paralyze you to the point that you just go with it, and you have now put pleasing man as top priority over pleasing God.
Deception is evil, you cannot dress it up or make it sound elequent-it is plain down right evil. Satan is a liar, the father of lies, and whether the lie is a small or great one makes no difference. Whether you are practicing deceit or you have been the victim of it makes no difference because ever single one of Gods kids is called to deal with it effectivly so that we can make a difference in this world -and for the better.
The very fact that Nathanael was honest about Jesus -caused God to take notice of him. God made for certain to add this short story line about Nathanaels character so that you and I could be reminded that- although no one may know what is going on with us, God does, and He is watching us under the fig tree.
God sees you at night and during the day, at the store and on your job, God sees you in a crowd or when you're alone. God sees what no one else does- God sees what we tend to miss; every inch of the intentions of our hearts.
Beautiful One, this scripture is two fold; it shows us that God is aware of us before we are aware of Him, He knows the way that we take, and it also shows us, that it is possible to live a life free of deceit. The very fact that Jesus said to Nathanael "here is a true son of Israel, one in whom is no deceit," gives you and I the hope and encouragement that we too can live our lives, intentionally and honestly. We will miss the mark many times on many things, but the first step to change is recognizing where we are on the journey. Let us take a personal inventory of our lives, are we honest or are we afraid that by being honest- it will cause us injury in some way. Sometimes we find ourselves asking "can anything good come from this?"
Beautiful One, the answer is always yes for Jesus will come from it, you may not get what you want out of it, it may hurt, it may be hard, but Jesus will surely come. Integrity costs us something- thats the truth of it, sometimes it could cost you an opportunity, or a job, sometimes it can ruin a relationship, but to those who are given much, much will be required and because you are a Christian, a leader, a person of influence, God will require more of you than he does of the average joe.
We as Christians are leaders-everyone of us, we are called to be the light of the world, our influence is God, we take Him into every situation, wherever we are- there He is, but everytime we think it is no big deal to shortcut the process we are really showing the world that we are just like them and following God is just an average thing, one that any one can do and hey- you can even set your own standard as you do it.
Let that not be...
Beautiful One, God desires truth in the inner parts, because when we possess truth deep within us, it will come pouring out of us and we then can walk about on this earth, being a person of true integrity and good character, and when we are faithful with the little things, God will give us more...
No matter where you are on the journey, no matter what you're tangled up in or have been apprehended by, know this- your God is a master of untangling the webs of deception in our lives, in short; He has an answer and a response for every situation; He is the truth you know for the trouble you face.....
Beautiful One, Just Believe....
And Know that Something Good Will Come From This......
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