By Francis Frangipane
Surrender of the Vision Keeper, Part Two
The plans of God are full of surprises.
matter how true a vision from God may be, it will never be fulfilled in
the manner in which we have imagined. All our expectations are
incomplete. In fact, our very ideas often become the most subtle
obstacles standing between us and our appointed future in God. Thus, we
must keep our minds open and submitted to God, for when God fulfills His
Word, it is always "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think" (Eph. 3:20, KJV).
In our last message we talked of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her role as Keeper of the Vision.
Here, we will discuss how the Lord must shift our identity from control
to complete surrender. Interestingly, during the first stage of Mary's
transition, Mary finds Jesus resisting her. Before the Lord can bring
any of us into a new phase of His will, He must dismantle the sense of attainment
that often accompanies our old relationship with Him. It is a fact that
many church movements, both in and out of denominations, began simply.
Hungry souls longed for, and found, more of God. Over time as their
numbers grew, success replaced hunger; people grew more satisfied with
God's blessings than with His presence. There is a profound difference.
apostle Paul illuminates this phenomenon, using Israel as an example.
He writes, "But Israel…failed to reach the goal of righteousness. And
why? Because their minds were fixed on what they achieved instead of on
what they believed" (Rom. 9:31-32, PHILLIPS).
happened to Israel is typical for many of us, especially those who are
leaders. Without realizing it, we find ourselves relying upon what we
have achieved. The Bible says that God resists the proud but He gives
grace to the humble (James 4:6). It is always His mercy that guides our
gaze away from our attainments and back to the knowledge of our need.
people from many streams of Christian thought are beginning to
acknowledge their own personal shortcomings. The fact is, we all need
correction. And the beginning of that process is often found in Jesus
resisting our pride and restoring to us a fresh hunger to know Him.
Thus, in order to ultimately lift Mary higher, the Lord must lower her
opinion of herself: He resists her on her present level.
He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they
could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went
out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His
senses." ---Mark 3:20-21
These are strong words: "take
custody…He has lost His senses." It is likely that the prevailing
influence over Christ's relatives has come from Mary. Has her unrest
caused their unrest? The issue is not that Jesus has lost His senses,
but that they have lost control. For Jesus to take control, we must
surrender control. Revival is as simple as that.
should be aware that when the real Christ begins to unveil Himself to
His church, He will first reduce us from being achievers to becoming
followers again. The very power of Christ to heal, deliver, and work
miracles is contained in the revelation of His Lordship. Deny Him His
sovereignty in your church, and you deny your church His power. He
cannot be manipulated, bribed, or begged. Remember, Jesus did no miracle
until He began to manifest Himself as Lord. From that time on, the only
relationships He actively sustained were those that recognized and
submitted to His Lordship over them.
The very next
scene in Mark's gospel begins, "Then His mother and His brothers
arrived" (Mark 3:31). We can imagine that outwardly Mary still thinks
she possesses a role of influence over her Son. Her influence is no
secret. Thus, when Jesus is told, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers
are outside looking for You" (Mark 3:32), the implication is, "There is
someone here with something more important than what you are now
In any other scheme of things, it might be
right to honor one's family with special privileges, but not above doing
the will of God. For what may be the first time in her life, Mary feels
some distance between herself and her Son. We should see that the more
we set ourselves to control another person, the less intimate we can be
with them; for intimacy is found in vulnerability and surrender, not in
control. Of all those near to Jesus, Mary and family have slipped the
farthest away; they are outside the sphere of intimate fellowship.
Indeed, when Jesus was told His mother had arrived, He found an opportunity to end this level of their relationship. He said,
are My mother and My brothers?" And looking about on those who were
sitting around Him, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers! For
whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."
Though they were outside, they were
close enough to hear His rebuke. Right there, the word spoken to Mary
thirty years earlier by Simeon was fulfilled: A sword pierced her heart
and her inner thoughts were revealed (Luke 2:35). Christ surgically and
mercifully removed from Mary the stronghold of control.
the Holy Spirit is surgically removing from us that which seeks to
control the Son of God. It was for Mary's good that Jesus cut her off.
It was for her gain that He destroyed that which unconsciously opposed
Him. There are times in our walk with God when, for our good, the Lord
cuts off old attitudes in us that have limited His freedom to change us.
If we are truly His disciples, we will not merely survive His rebuke;
we will bear more fruit under His pruning.
As the day
of His return nears, expect to see many changes. Our destiny is to
become the body of Christ with Jesus as the head. The church was created
to receive its directives from a living relationship with Him. There is
no other way for us to be led by Him other than through seeking Him in
prayer and receiving His Word in contriteness of heart.
Christ as Lord Over All
the same time, a caution is in order. This transition of our fresh
surrender to Christ is not an excuse to rebel or justify lawlessness in
the church. If we will all posture ourselves in prayer, ministering to
Jesus as Lord, as did the leaders in Acts 13:1-3, we are going to see
the most magnificent demonstrations of God's power and glory.
we want our Christianity to truly have Christ, we must let Him rule.
Certainly, there will be a thrusting of our lives into greater
dependency. Yes, we will be forced to embrace the most drastic of
changes. Without doubt, we will be reduced to what seems like the
beginnings of our walk with God. Yet, we shall also regain the passions
of our soul in earnest seeking of the Almighty! And oh! How such seeking
Biblically, this state of heart is called first love,
and there is no deep reality of God in our lives without it. You see,
His arms are not so short that He cannot reach to our churches and
cities. The privilege the Lord is granting us is to enter the most
profoundly wonderful, most unpredictably glorious experience we can
have---to know the power of the Living God!
The end of
our story about Mary is this: On the day of Pentecost, Mary and Jesus'
brothers were all part of the one hundred and twenty in the upper room.
Scripture mentions Mary by name (Acts 1:14). Mary truly proved herself
to be a bondslave of the Lord. This remarkable woman fully served God on
the highest level of yieldedness. She went from giving birth to Christ,
to raising Him, to surrendering to Him; she endured unspeakable sorrow
at His cross, to receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost!
Blessed was she among all women. Yet, she also endured the pain of the
sword of God's Word piercing her heart. She reached her goal not by
striving or trying to control Jesus but by surrendering to Him.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Days of His Presence available at www.arrowbookstore.com.