Followers of John the Baptist were coming to him concerned about Jesus and the effects He was having on John’s ministry. Many people in that day had hearts for God, but were missing who Jesus was; yet John was filled with joy at Jesus’ coming. Why did John recognize Jesus and not many other well-meaning people who were seeking God? The answer to that question has great relevance to Christians today. Many Christians live their lives in a religious vacuum with little connection to the living Christ who lives within them. They are much like the sandy foundation Jesus described in Matthew 7:26-27, “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (NIV) It is not enough to be involved in religious activities; you must hear and respond to God. John recognized Jesus because he waited and listened – two often ignored principles for growing spiritually. You can be good at praying, reading the Bible, going to church, and fellowshipping with other believers. But unless you are willing to slow down long enough to hear and respond to God, you can easily miss what He has for you. Sometimes making petitions before God (asking) overshadows the need to be still and wait for God. We many times seek God like we order a hamburger at McDonald’s. We want an immediate result...but sometimes it requires extended time in prayer, fasting, and seeking God in His Word. Waiting has the hidden benefit of not just getting the answer, but getting to know the Giver of the answer! John the Baptist went from being full of joy to his joy being complete by meeting the living Christ. Actively engaging God in your daily life will lift your relationship with Him above the daily mechanics of life (money, job, relationships, and health) to finding complete satisfaction in Christ. Do not allow your daily needs to eclipse your Creator, but in patience allow your Creator to fully reveal Himself to you. Seek God with a heart to hear and a patience to receive.
Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (NIV)