Cry to Him, Trust Him, and Praise Him
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Cry to Him, Trust Him, and Praise Him
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. I have remembered this verse in Philippians for nearly 20 years. It has been retranslated since then to say, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” I remember this verse because it was the verse that became the theme verse for us before a mission trip back when I was in high school. A man whom I respect greatly shared that with us as we prayed together in the church parking lot before taking off to work and witness in Sun Valley, Arizona. This verse served as a guide for us when things became difficult or when tensions became high between us. We would remember this verse and remember why we were there and tried to keep the same attitude as Jesus Christ. In fact, this is something that we should seek to do in all of our lives and in all of our circumstances.
We recognize today as Palm Sunday. It is a day in which we remember the celebration as Jesus entered Jerusalem as a king. Everyone praised him and worshipped him as he entered the city. Solomon entered the city in the same manner when he came in as king. However, just a few days later the same people would mock him and abuse him. Isaiah 50 speaks about these things and the attitude of Christ. “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me…” Jesus’s attitude was to seek time with his Father, to cry out to him with his afflictions, then to trust him with everything even when he would feel pain and suffering, and then he would praise the Lord even within his suffering. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Luke tells us of two disciples that were sent out to find a colt of a donkey. They listened and obeyed because they trusted Jesus and his word. They went out and found everything just as Jesus said it would. The grabbed the donkey and Jesus sat on it and road it into the city of Jerusalem. As he was doing so the crowd was praising him and worshiping him. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna!” They were like a herd of animals all following each other and praising the Lord. Yet this same people would be herded about later to call out for his death. I find this herd mentality to be interesting. I recently watched a program on National Geographic about swarms. A swarm is very much a herd mentality. Everyone all working together in unison. They were seeking to capture on camera a herd of Wildebeest crossing the river to get to more food. Wildebeest stick together in a herd and once the pressure is enough for them to do so they cross together a dangerous river and thousands of them cross all together like water flowing through. Those in the back cannot see the river ahead but they still follow the herd. If they were being led off a cliff, they would still follow the herd. The people were very much like this heard of Wildebeest. Once a few started to praise the Lord, all of them began to follow and chime in. In the same manner the Pharisees got a few people to start crying out for Jesus’ death and then the entire crowd eventually began to shout for the same thing.
The herd mentality serves as a problem for people today in regards to salvation. When people are herded into the right direction then it is great but they can be easily herded into the wrong direction as well. This is why our attitude needs to be the same as that as Christ Jesus. We need to make the choice to step out of the herd and follow Jesus regardless if others follow with us or not. Regardless if others fall away or not, we need to choose to follow Jesus. Don’t follow the herd but instead follow Jesus. If we follow what we see on TV or in the mainstream media we see that they are trying to herd us away from Jesus. This is where we are led to believe that the herd is going. However, we must ignore these things and cry out to him when we see trouble and trust him in that he knows what he is doing and knows where he is guiding us, and we need to praise him along the way.
Your Attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. “Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Jesus faced greater trials than most and yet when he was facing these trials in the garden of gethsemane he cried out to the Lord and asked him that if all possible to take this hardship away from him. However, he then trusted the Lord by letting His will to be done. And then he praised the Lord even through his affliction and even asked the Lord to forgive this herd of people for their actions because they did not know what they were doing.
It is true that they did not know what they were doing. They were just going with the crowd. They were being a part of the herd. When you are in a herd you may not know or understand why you are doing what you are doing but you are doing it just because it is what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong you do it anyway because you are a follower. Being in the herd feels safe and secure and there is little question about whether you are on the right path or not. However, those who wish to follow Jesus must leave the herd and learn to distinguish between right and wrong not based on what the herd is following that day but based on what the Lord says is right or wrong. Our attitude needs to be the same as that of Christ Jesus. We should be praising Him today not because everyone else is doing it. We should be shouting hosanna not because everyone else is doing it. We should be doing so because it is what His word tells us we should do. We should cry to him when we are in distress because he wants us to. We should trust in him and his will because Jesus trusted in his will and because his will is for our good. And we should praise him not because the herd praises him but because of all the good he has done for us. I pray that if you are following the herd today then you will make the decision to leave the herd and follow Jesus in place of the herd. Let us truly praise him today.