Alistair Begg Devotional

Alistair Begg Devotional Embracing Interference

Embracing Interference

Embracing Interference

As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”

None of us like someone else interfering in our business.

When someone insists on our attention or demands our obedience, we instinctively respond negatively. Generally speaking, we don’t want people telling us what to do, least of all in spiritual matters. It is always tempting to buy into the notion, particularly popular in our day, that our spirituality is no one else’s business—a personal matter to be known only to us.

In reading the Gospels, then, we may become distinctly unsettled as it becomes clear that Jesus interferes in our lives. Yes, it’s for our good—but nevertheless, He interferes. Indeed, in his autobiography, C.S. Lewis refers to Jesus as the “transcendental Interferer.”

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, people recognized that He spoke with authority (see Mark 1:22, 27). He said things in such a way that they couldn’t be sidestepped or simply dismissed. But they could be resisted and rejected. His authoritative teaching became a thorn in the religious teachers’ side, and they began to oppose Jesus, soon plotting to kill Him so that they would not have to open up their spiritual lives to Him (3:6).

Like the religious leaders, we often prefer a personal spirituality that is molded by our agenda and lifestyle: “This is what I believe. This is what I hold to. This is what we’ve always done. This is our tradition.” Jesus comes crashing into those notions, turning everything upside down, taking man-made values and upending them. In fact, at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He declared that all authority had been given to Him (Matthew 28:18-19). He doesn’t share that authority with anyone. Our spiritual lives are, in fact, His business. We bow down before His authority and embrace Him as Lord and Savior now, or one day we will bow before Him and meet Him solely as our Judge.

Adding Jesus to a little corner of our existence is easy and nonintrusive; it’s another thing entirely to allow the “transcendental Interferer” to take over every aspect of our lives and command from us complete obedience. His perfect authority is an issue we must consider in every decision we make. So we are faced by the unsettling question: Am I living according to my natural desires and the rules I have fashioned? Or am I seeking to joyfully submit to my Savior on every day and in every way? It is only when we choose to bow down before Jesus’ authority, acknowledging His lordship over our time, our talents, our money—our everything—that we can truly begin to embrace Him as Lord and Savior and enjoy knowing Him as a friend and a guide. Are you keeping Him at arm’s length in any way? That is precisely the place where He calls you to let Him interfere; it’s the place where you have the opportunity truly to treat Him as the one who has all authority. He will certainly disrupt your life—but He alone has the right to, and He alone can set you free.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

The Ancient of Days Reigns

9“As I looked,

thrones were placed,

and the Ancient of Days took his seat;

his clothing was white as snow,

and the hair of his head like pure wool;

his throne was fiery flames;

its wheels were burning fire.

10A stream of fire issued

and came out from before him;

a thousand thousands served him,

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;

the court sat in judgment,

and the books were opened.

11“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13“I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven

there came one like a son of man,

and he came to the Ancient of Days

and was presented before him.

14And to him was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

that all peoples, nations, and languages

should serve him;

his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

which shall not pass away,

and his kingdom one

that shall not be destroyed.

Open in Bible

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.

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