John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Paradigm shift – def: A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
The conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well has always intrigued me. Jesus reached out across cultural lines to talk to a woman that most Jews would have shunned. The very fact that she was at the well at a time when others were not meant that she had even been cast out among her own people.
Samaritans were the ‘half-breeds’. They were those who had one parent who was a Jew and the other a heathen or gentile. Throughout their history as God’s children, they were told to keep their bloodlines pure. When they didn’t, they were cast out from living among them. As with human nature, animosity grew into criticism, hatred, and anger.
In their conversation, Jesus lovingly and methodically led this woman to a saving knowledge of Himself. The plainness of His language when asked if He was the long awaited Messiah revealed His tender loving care for her soul;
John 4:26 “Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”
As that very truth struck her heart, the disciples show up. It is recorded that they did not take up the standard Jews position of separation from Samaritans. Many asked Jesus plainly if He was the Messiah – but it was this woman and Pilate that He answered so simply.
My God has told me that He is all that I need. When I build upon the very promises He has given me, I can rest assured that My God has everything under control.
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
He guides me to understand;
James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Prayer is essential. WHO I pray for and for what I pray – matters! O, that we would go beyond the shortsightedness of selfish prayer and intercede on behalf of those who truly need deliverance.
When I understand that He is ALWAYS present with me;
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (emphasis and color – mine)
and knowing that all my needs will be met without even asking;
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
I must forge ahead for others taken in the snares of Satan. The growth and maturity it takes to first be spiritual and then stand in the gap for others can bring you into the devil’s sights. Shots will be fired. We may even get wounded. But come what may, God will never allow me or you to go through anything that we cannot handle together.
I am assured that I will never face a trial or temptation that cannot be overcome;
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
He clothes me in armour – Armour I must request;
Ephesians 6:14-17 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
He gives me confidence to stand. He pushes me beyond my limits of understanding;
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
When the gun is pointed at us, and others become collateral damage, there rises in us a fight or flight mentality.
God told the Israelites;
Exodus 14:14 “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
We can take this to heart that God will watch out for His own.
Deuteronomy 3:22 “Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.”
Until we fulfill our purpose here on this earth, God will help us to accomplish all that He has for us to do. Paul knew and was acutely aware that all that he had done was now coming to an end;
2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Today, you may meet such an one as that woman at the well. You may have to cross some lines to get to them – prejudice, preference and opinion have no place in the heart of a born-again child of God. It will taint our view, hinder us in our ability to minister and sideline us from the greatest work in all the world and eternity!
Ask God to shift your thinking to His perspective… You’ll grow to see things quite differently!