Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Jesus appears in the Bible as often taking action without asking permission. For example, in Matthew 12:10-13 He healed the man with the withered hand without asking him first if He had his permission. And in 14:13-21 He fed 5000 men besides women and children without anyone asking Him to do it.
In Luke 13 He meets a woman who was bowed down for 18 years and could not straighten herself. Again He took action entirely on His own initiative: "When Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, 'Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity'" (vs. 12). He did not ask her, Would you like to be healed? Instead, "He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God" (vs. 13).
Also, at the village of Nain He met a funeral in process, a widow's only son. He asked no questions, no permission; He "said to her, 'Do not weep.' Then He came and touched the open coffin, ... and He said, 'Young man, I say to you, Arise.' And he who was dead sat up and began to speak" (Luke 7:11-15).
When we read in Philippians 2:5-8 the story of how Christ condescended to take those seven steps into humiliation on our behalf, we do not read that He asked permission of the inhabitants of this lost planet. He simply took those steps, "even [to] the death of the cross." God's plan of salvation has been on His part a one-sided exercise of initiative.
On His cross, the Lord Jesus took our place without asking us if He could do so; the Father asked no permission from the inhabitants of this earth before He "gave His only begotten Son" for them (John 3:16).
But before the great controversy between Christ and Satan can be successfully closed, God must change His plan; now He must ask permission!
This time He cannot unilaterally do what He wants; He has elevated those "who overcome ... to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev. 3:21). Thus they share with Him executive authority in bringing to a close the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
He tried once unilaterally to pour upon His people the "beginning" of the latter rain and the Loud Cry of Revelation 18:1-4 without their permission, and it was in a great degree a sad failure. Far from their since having to beg Him to grant that blessing, He has been more than willing to give it if they would humble their hearts to receive the gift and the message that comes with it.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 20, 2007.
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