Let This Sink In
“ . . . it’s not Mine to grant; . . .” Mark 10:40
Discipleship is developed by the decisions we make, a point easy to miss in this verse. The temptation is to make this verse into a theological propositional grid, born in another period of history. To do so is to lay hands violently on Jesus’ mind and shape it into another mold, forcing His words to say something other than their original meaning and context.
Picture James and John standing shoulder to shoulder facing Jesus. Jesus stands in front of them, He looks at one, then the other, and with a knowing gleam in His eyes says “it’s not Mine to grant.” He then extends His arm. Opening His hands, He grasps them both by the shoulders giving them a shake as if He’s placing something on them. He then pauses to let His words sink in.
Rank and standing in God’s kingdom is in God’s hands, and it’s in our hands too. Part of the responsibility rests on us as we fulfill the requirements of God – there are many things in our spiritual life that are not alone God’s to give, but include our choices to make them a reality.
We pray, “God, make me more like You.” That alone is not God’s to give out randomly and haphazardly, but is formed in us as we willingly go through experiences which shape His image in us. We are called to put our hands on the plow and not look back.
We pray, “God, give me joy.” God can answer that prayer only by leading us through fire, trials and perseverance by which the joy of the Lord comes to life. Ultimately, the choice is ours.
We pray, “God, give me patience.” God doesn’t drape such a trait on us like a coat. It’s developed as we choose to rely on Him in trying situations and with irritating people who try our patience daily.
Character, joy, strength greater than our own, fellowship with God, comfort in trials, and guidance, these are in God’s power to give, only if we receive them.
Are you doing your part in following Him? Are you making choices that honor His word and His work? Are you receptive to what He has for you?