My Prayer – Authenticity 

Almighty, providential, and sovereign are You, O Lord. There is not a paradigm you cannot break. Our minds are too small and closed off and they become an obstacle of your will. You are a wellspring of wisdom, the source of truth. Lead us to a new paradigm-shattering way of life that glorifies you!

The mighty religious leaders of Jesus’ day were bound by the letter of the law. In it they failed to see the spirit that it intended. Their paradigm was to stand protected by its letter while they failed to embrace and live its spirit. John the Baptist calls them out as he is baptizing the faithful in the Jordan. He thought they had come to rinse themselves of their sin through repentance and baptism, and to receive God’s Holy Spirit, yet on the bank they stood. Their self-perception was such that they were ‘blind’ to what others saw in them that they could not see themselves. We all have such blind spots, but the question is, how big are they? Do you see yourself accurately? What do other people know about you that you don’t know yourself? Are you a regular (yet absent) attendee of your church? Do you find the same peace in attendance that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time found in the Old Testament law? If you are aware of your blind spots then you have two choices: 1) act immediately to close the gap by aligning what you say you believe with how you live, or 2) ignore the gap and continue to shield yourself with the image painted by your regular attendance at church, or your hollow offering to pray for someone who may be suffering.

Authenticity is the word that comes to mind (ie. not false or imitation). We see this type of authenticity from a Roman Centurion. If there was any culture separated from God, Rome would be one. Yet, among them was a Centurion (name derived from “commands 100”). If anyone had a reason to ignore their blind spot he would be one. Yet he came to Jesus, not being a “Christian”, but being a “Believer”. To his knees he was called by the paralyzing illness of someone close to him (a servant). He sought out, by faith, by action, the one person who was known to heal, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus, when approached, was impacted by the Centurion’s faith and humility, and his ailing servant was healed. Jesus said further, “there is not a person in Israel with the same faith” (the Israelites were God’s “chosen” people!). Are you ready to accept and embrace your blind spot and begin to take faithful action in living a life that will honor God and make Him proud?

Almighty Father, we ask that our hearts be ready and willing to accept the leading of Your Holy Spirit, and that the limits and boundaries of our old ways would be no more. We want to be obedient like Simon Peter, and we want to be genuine and authentic in our pursuit of you and anything that glorifies you, like the Roman Centurion. Forgive us when we fail and embolden us with Your Holy Spirit. We lift up our prayers and all the things that weigh heavy on our hearts to you. It is in your holy name we pray. –Amen!

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