I want to continue writing about John the Baptist and his confinements. In my last post, I discussed that a man can only receive what is given him from heaven. And that the only way we can receive from heaven is through weakness and dependence.
So John was willing to be confined in earthly limitations but given unlimited access to the realms of heaven. Wow, what a trade up, but one that few embrace. Why? What was the Baptist’s secret?
John lived his life on this earth in another kingdom. His acceptance of his limitations only pushed him into that kingdom. John allowed his God to be God. Because he was willing to be contained in God’s choice of borders, there were no limitations on him in heaven. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” Matthew 11:11
He didn’t have lands or houses, wife or heirs, fancy clothing, tasty delicacies, high earthly position – nothing the world values. He didn’t try to be anything other than what God had assigned to him. He was willing to be satisfied in his restrictions. And because he was willing, he was content.
He brought heaven to earth because he lived in heaven. The only way he could live in heaven was to be satisfied with what he had on earth. Nobody who has their eye set on gain from this world will be content with God.
Because John didn’t box in God but instead was himself boxed in, his reality superseded that box. The Pharisees boxed in God, and were therefore trapped by their confinement of Him.
John allowed God to be God, hence he was unlimited. He was like refined oil, reduced to the essence, bringing a life-giving fragrance for heaven.
It’s an irony. When you limit the Creator, you as the creation are limited. When you restrict God, you will BE restricted. We want to receive the expansion without the cost of the limitation.
If you looked humanly at John, he had nothing. He was never to have children, never to have a heritage. He had no vocation as priest like his father. He was a wild man out in the desert, considered a lunatic by the religious of the day.
God assigned to him a handicap. A limitation. God imprisoned John to Himself. But John was willing to be imprisoned, so he had all of God.
When the wind is contained in the flute, it can bring forth music. When the wind is confined and directed, it has purpose. Because it’s harnessed, the wind can bring beauty and form, where otherwise it would be a soundless, floating nothing. If a person will be contained within the mind of his Creator, their life can bring forth a life symphony.
That’s what I see about John; he was willing to be contained. Minimized. Restricted. Bound. Therefore he was not.
Because John was reduced, he soared. His life was made an amazing symphony orchestrated by His magnificent God.