This post is not necessarily writing-related, so I apologize for that, but I wanted to share.
Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
I think it's easy sometimes, at least for me, to read passages like this one and respond with something along the lines of, "Yeah, you legalistic, pagan Pharisees. You were so worried about the rules and regulations that you were blind to deeper spiritual truths. So glad my own faith is more sophisticated."
Sounds a little conceited written out, but, don't we have that thought process all the time? When I was reading these verses earlier tonight, though, I was struck by the spiritual blindness that they implicate.
But the thing is, we're not blind. We're just closing our eyes.
The religious leaders of Jesus's day did not recognize John the Baptist, or Jesus for that matter, as the dynamic spiritual leaders that the Old Testament prophecies about. Why not? Because they were expecting the second Elijah to come, look, and act in a way that fit perfectly with their own assumptions.
Thing is, God has a way of working beyond the wildest stretch of our assumptions. Sometimes His plans, His purposes, do not look like we expect them to.
The problem is, we get so caught up in waiting for our own expectations to be fulfilled that we close our eyes to what God is doing in our lives. We don't recognize our own Elijah moments because they don't always look like the Elijah's we've dreamed up for ourselves.
Have you ever had a time in your life when God has stretched you to take off a spiritual blindfold and recognize His will as different from what you expected it to be? Why do you think we're usually more comfortable imagining our own Elijah moments, asking God's approval for them, rather than seeking the dynamic and legitimate work of God's Holy Spirit?