Move From Trying to Trusting
The Bible says that Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus, but he was unable to. It was not necessarily because of the crowd, but due to his short stature. In the same way, many times our spiritual shortness affects the way we relate to God.
Many people today blame “the crowd” saying, “I do not want to go to church because it is full of hypocrites.” However, the reality is that we can’t see God because of the “short stature” that we have spiritually–let me explain.
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.Luke 19:1-3
People cannot see Jesus because according to Romans 3:23, we all “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our shortness affects how we see God, so we blame others for our lack of relationship with Him. When in reality, we were born in that spiritual state of shortness. It does not matter how much we try to get to know God in that state, trying does not get us closer to Him. Religion is all about trying to reach God or heaven through good works and personal efforts, but religion cannot save your soul. I believe that everyone, regardless of their religious background, has the desire to know the one true God of the Bible.
When we see the story of Zaccheus, he had the option to blend in with the crowd that was following Jesus, but He didn’t just want to be with the crowd, he wanted to see Him. In the same way, when the enemy sees people’s desire to know Jesus, he offers them a counterfeit idea of simply hiding within the Christian crowd but never truly coming to know Christ.
It is possible to believe that because you attend church, love worship, and enjoy motivational speeches, then you are a good person who knows God. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The church’s purpose is not to save you.
The church does not save you and get you to heaven, it is Christ.
I want to challenge you to stop making excuses and move away from just going with the flow of the”Christian crowd” and make a decision to know Christ personally, like Zacchaeus. When Zacchaeus was unable to see Jesus from the crowd, he looked for another way.
So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him.Luke 1:4-5
The fascinating part here is that when Zacchaeus was at the top of the tree, the Scripture does not say that he saw Jesus. It says that Jesus saw Zacchaeus.
There is a tree that God planted two thousand years ago for all the short people who have been trying to see Him. This tree was on the cross of Calvary. God made a way for everyone to get close to Him by climbing the tree. Climbing represents believing the good news of Jesus Christ. God tells us today, that if we trust in the finished work of Jesus, not only will we see Him, but God will see us.
From Trying to Trusting
Trying, through religious efforts, will not get us closer to God. All we have to do is trust in His Son’s finished work on the cross.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ went to Zacchaeus’ house and ate with him.
But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’Luke 19:7
Jesus never called Zacchaeus a sinner, He called him by his name. I believe that when you trust the Gospel, it is the beginning of God’s relationship with you and your relationship with Him. Without Jesus, you can talk to God, but you cannot know Him. God begins to talk to you, and He calls you by name when you trust Jesus. You begin to experience Jesus, not because you are jumping and trying to see Him, but because you simply trust Jesus’ finished work.
Religion tells you to try harder, but Jesus says trust.
And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So, he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.Luke 19:5-6
We know that Zacchaeus’ house was dirty. Meaning that he was a sinner, he was a corrupt tax collector. But he did not lose the opportunity to have Jesus at his house. Zacchaeus overcame the guilt and condemnation that others did not overlook and quickly received Jesus with joy.
Jesus doesn’t want to just meet you at church, stay there, and then meet you again the following Sunday. Jesus tells you today, “I must stay at your house” (Luke 19:5).
You see, many of us met Jesus and are saved, but we did not allow Him to enter certain rooms within our messy house. That is why there are many Christians who live like heathens. Until we invite Jesus into our dirty and sinful way of living, we will not experience transformation. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus to clean his house before He came over. Jesus was aware of Zacchaeus’ condition and yet, He said He had to go to his house.
We see that when Jesus is over at Zacchaeus’ house, He does not tell Zacchaeus what to do. Zacchaeus begins to change because he is in Jesus’ presence.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’Luke 19:8-10
When you accept Jesus in your heart, take Him home with you and stop working on your character.
You have been working on it for so long and nothing has changed. Stop trying to control your anger, stop trying to be nice to your spouse, and stop trying by your own strength. Instead, focus on one thing, focus on hosting Jesus in your home, and let Him help you with the rest.
A Christian’s character is a fruit of the Spirit, not the work of our flesh. When we surrender to Jesus, the Holy Spirit helps us to change. It is not a result of us trying through self-help books, podcasts, special routines, etc., but it is a result of our yielding to Jesus–not only on Sundays but every day at home.
Once you bring Jesus home, what do you do? Grow in your devotional time with Him. Spend time in God’s presence and in His Word.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.Matthew 6:6
- Don’t pray to find God, pray to be with God
Matthew 6:6 states that our Father is in secret, not in heaven. That means that when you enter your room, God is already there waiting for you. The Lord enjoys your presence more than you enjoy His. He is a personal God. Remember that He delights in your presence and treasures your company.
- Close the door
Jesus is telling us to get rid of all distractions when we meet with Him for prayer. Distractions can be the phone, social media, family problems, or anything that takes our focus from Him.
- Public Reward
The Father will reward us publicly when we spend time with God. Jesus is saying that He will slowly change us when we are in His presence, and people will notice.
If you want to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him, invite Jesus into your home. Spend time in His presence and you will see the fruit in your life.
I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!