Jesus, in His earthly ministry, had to rely on a daily inner working of the Father's voice. He had to be dependent on the Father at all times in order to hear His voice directing Him. Otherwise, Christ simply could not have done the things He did. He had to hear His Father's voice hour by hour, miracle by miracle, one day at a time.
How was Jesus able to hear the still, small voice of His Father? The Bible shows us it happened through prayer. Again and again, Jesus went to a solitary place to pray. He learned to hear the Father's voice while on His knees and the Father was faithful to show Him everything to do and say.
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).
“Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).
Picture Jesus facing a major decision, such as choosing His disciples. How did the Lord choose the twelve from the vast multitudes who followed Him? It had to be a momentous decision. After all, these disciples would form the pillars of His New Testament Church. Did His Father give Him the twelve names while He was still in glory? If so, why did Jesus spend an entire night in prayer before naming the twelve?
Luke tells us, "He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). The next morning, Jesus called out the twelve. How did He know them? The Father had revealed them to Him the night before.
On that same night, the Father gave His Son the beatitudes, those sayings from the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit. . . . Blessed are they that mourn. . . . Blessed are the meek" (see Matthew 5:1-5). Jesus had received it all straight from the Father's heart.
Jesus lived His life on earth wholly dependent on the heavenly Father. Our Savior did nothing and said nothing until He first consulted with His Father in glory. And He performed no miracles except those the Father instructed Him to. He declared, "As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And . . . the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:28-29).
Jesus makes it very clear that He was led daily by His Father. His practice of total dependence, always listening to His Father's voice, was part of His daily walk. We see this in a scene from the gospel of John. One Sabbath day, as Jesus was walking near the pool of Bethesda, He saw a crippled man lying on a mat. Jesus turned to the man and commanded him to pick up his bed and walk—and immediately the man was made whole and walked away healed.
The Jewish leaders were enraged by this. In their minds, Jesus had broken the Sabbath by healing the man. But Christ answered, "I only did what my Father told me to do." He explained, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. . . . The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth" (John 5:17-20).
Jesus stated very plainly, "My Father has taught Me everything I am supposed to do." You may wonder when, exactly, God the Father showed Christ what to do. When did Jesus see God working miracles? When did the Father speak to Him about everything He was to say and do?
Did it all happen in glory, before Christ became incarnate? Did the two sit down together before creation and map out each day of Jesus' life? Did the Father tell His Son that on the second Sabbath of the sixth Jewish month He would meet a crippled man by the pool of Bethesda and He should command the man to rise and walk?
If this were so, none of us could relate. Such an arrangement would have no relevance to our daily walk with the Lord. Yet, we know Jesus came to set a pattern for us to follow. After all, He came to earth to experience everything we do, feeling all our feelings and being touched with our pain and infirmities. In turn, we are to live as He lived, walk as He walked.
As we reread the gospels, we see that everything Jesus did on earth was for the purpose of fulfilling the terms of the covenant He had made with the Father. He went after lost sheep; opened the eyes of the blind; raised the dead; opened the prison doors; spoke words of eternal life; performed miraculous works; cast out devils; and healed all manner of infirmities. In every verse of the gospels, Jesus was fulfilling the things the Father had sent Him to do.
Through it all, Jesus appropriated His Father’s covenant promises to Him: “My God shall be My strength” (Isaiah 49:5). “I will put My trust in Him” (Hebrews 2:13). The Father’s faithful words kept Jesus through His agonizing death: “I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:5-6).
When Jesus uttered His final prayer, we see once more the open-covenant dealings between Father and Son: “Now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5). And before He returned to glory, Jesus reminded the Father of His part in the covenant: “Father, the hour is come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You. . . . I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (verses 1, 4).
What does all of this have to do with you and me? It’s a picture of God’s love for His beloved creation! He formed this covenant because He was unwilling to lose a single child to destruction. Jesus is saying here, “Father, I have fulfilled My part of the covenant. I have brought about the redemption of humankind, and I have made Your Body one. Now let’s talk about what is going to happen to My seed, all who believe in Me.”
In short, God gave His Son, the Son gave His life, and we get all the benefits. “His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. . . . My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that is gone out of My lips” (Psalm 89:29, 34).
God forgave David his sin, but look at the blessings David forfeited by falling. Look at what he gave up for his affair with Bathsheba, the hidden cost he paid for detouring from the path God laid before him. “I appointed you king over Israel,” God said to David, “and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more” (2 Samuel 12: 7-8).
God was waiting in the wings with blessings that David hadn’t even imagined, blessings that He longed to shower upon His servant. Blessings that may have been greater than all the things He had ever done for David in the past. Yet because of his sin, David would live and die never knowing what they were. “And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more,” God said.
Nothing pleases God more than showering His children with wonderful blessings. Heaven is filled with glorious mercies just waiting to be released on servants who remain faithful—servants who embrace the covenant that God has created for those who stay true to the will and purpose that He sets before them. And those blessings aren’t reserved just for kings and warriors, but for you and me. For anyone who calls God “Father.”
But how and when those blessings come remains entirely up to us. It is our obedience that releases them from God’s hand and brings them into our lives. We can live in God’s will and experience His mercies each day, or we can walk our own path and forfeit them.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
The book of Daniel gives us a prophetic look at how the war of the last days is going to end. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, and Daniel interpreted it:
"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image . . . whose brightness was excellent . . . and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay" (Daniel 2:31-33).
The king had dreamed of a huge image in human form, bright, shining and terrible. Its entire body was made of sturdy metal. Yet its feet were made of clay. Daniel pointed out that this image represented the kingdoms of the world, and the clay signified the weakness of the last world powers. These kingdoms would become less bright and terrible as the end approached. Then Daniel continued:
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then . . . [the] pieces. . . became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away . . . and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (2:34-35).
The stone Daniel describes here is none other than Jesus Christ. He is the Rock of Ages and He is coming down out of heaven to smash all earthly empires. When the world sees this happen, our Lord's divinity will be undeniable. Every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We are not going to bring down terrorists with our weapons, bombers or missiles. We can't rid the world of such vile wickedness by human might. God says the Kingdom of His Son will finally break and consume all evil empires. Yes, there will be justice. But it will come from the heavenly Father above.
What a day it is going to be when all the world's terrorists wake up before the Judgment Seat of Christ. They'll think, "We were promised paradise for our sacrifice. We were told we would have beautiful women, and luscious food and drink, for all eternity." But they will suddenly realize that the very name they tried to wipe out completely now stands before them as their Judge.