Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Positioning (Part 7: Middle)
Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
John 8:58-59 (NKJV)
Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
Matthew 9:10 (NKJV)
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
In a race, professional athletes understand the value of being in the middle of the pack. They conserve their energy for a stand-out effort at the end. The wisest CEOs and politicians work their way up the ladder, but they never forget the middle section. It's their support.
High achievers who neglect the middle to stay at the top end up isolated and burnt out. God never intended us to hang out alone--except for Jesus and only once. But never again.
Consider three advantages of a middle position:
1) The middle of a crowd: Evil hates a crowd--if there is one man of God within it. 'For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed' (John 3:20). Therefore, God's people find safety in numbers. More than once, Jesus walked safely through the middle of a group intending Him harm, because men of God were in it.
2) The middle posture: Sitting down with a group of people nurtures fellowship and easy communication. Jesus sat with sinners, seekers, disciples, and Jewish leaders. He shamed the Pharisees upon His arrest by reminding them of the intimacy of their relationship: 'I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me' (Matthew 26:55).
3) The middle Man: Jesus, our God who became a Man for 33 years, now dwells in the midst of His followers. 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him' (John 14:23). And in fellowship, He is in our midst. Not just in prayer, but in any gathering in His Name.
God's performers: cherish the safety, fellowship, and purpose of a middle position. Your break-out role will come when God ordains it. Until then, run with the best of the pack--and always take time to sit down with sinners, seekers, and your family in Christ.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Positioning series.