Have you ever asked God if He’s paying attention? If He’s listening to your prayers? Does He really care if you’re trying to get the right answer? You’re not alone I assure you. I’ve asked these questions and a whole lot more myself. To be honest, I want God to answer my prayers when I want them and how I want them! He knows that. That’s the funny, human side we have.
The Almighty, the Ancient of Days, the God Who told the stars where to sit in the sky, is the same One who knows exactly what you need when you need it. He’s the God Who Knows!
This morning in my devotions, I read the story of Zaccheus in the book of Luke 19:1-10. Zaccheus was a chief tax collector who was wealthy. Hated by many Jews, he was a short man intrigued by who Jesus was. So much, that he climbed a tree to see him pass by. You know the rest of the story…Jesus sees him and tells him to come down because he was going to dine with him at his house.
Such a great story! There’s so much symbolism here but I want to focus on important things missed or skipped over that seem insignificant at the time.
1.) God uses your personal characteristics to reach you and change you.
Zaccheus was a short man. God knew the day would come that when Jesus walked by, Zaccheus would need a tree to climb. Whether you are tall, short, near-sited, or bald…God plans things out to work for you and not against you! There are reasons why God made you the way He did! Use it to your advantage!
2.) God knows you before you know you.
We have no account of Zaccheus’ story other than in the book of Luke. How did Jesus know Zaccheus’ name? Did He know beforehand that he would be there? In the book of Jeremiah 1:5, God tells Jeremiah that “before you were formed in the womb, I knew you.” That’s how! God also knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. His plan and purpose for your life was established well before you were.
3.) You see yourself flawed but God doesn’t.
Zaccheus knew that being vertically challenged was a part of his everyday life that he couldn’t change or control. When Jesus came by, Zaccheus had to out think and out live his current circumstance. He had to climb higher in order to see the Master walk by. We have to do the same. We serve a God who is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, but asks us to continually change for the better in order to develop our relationship with Him and others.
Now I want you to stretch your thinking a bit with me. I believe that it was so important for Zaccheus to see Jesus, that God put that sycamore tree there just for him. I also believe that God made Zaccheus short so he would have to climb the tree. In most stories we know in the bible, God knew the end from the beginning! Before David could fight a giant, there had to be a giant. Before Sampson killed over a thousand men with the jaw bone of an ass, there had to be a jaw bone. These aren’t random coincidences because our God is not coincidental, He’s purposeful!
There’s one thing that you need to know, God did not make Zaccheus do all he did…He made the opportunity available. He does the same for us. Throughout our lives, God allows special opportunities that through our faith, build us up and prepare us for the work of the Kingdom. It’s in our decision making process that we either accept or deny that God looks at. As I’ve said before, God looks at our response to a matter, not necessarily the right decision or wrong one. Zaccheus decided to do whatever it took to see Jesus. If God cared so much about the salvation of a wretched old tax collector like Zaccheus, do you think He cares about you? The answer is yes!
I encourage you today to looked past your flaws, use the characteristics God gave you, and allow Him to lead and guide you into the direction He wishes. If God puts a tree in your way, don’t walk around it, don’t chop it down, but rather climb up and look for Jesus!