When we read the story of Jesus and His disciples, we observe personal passion in conflict with Divine purpose. Jesus calls the disciples to join in His assignment, but they continue to measure their involvement in His assignment in terms of “what’s in it for me?” This is the Judas spirit in action, a spiritual condition that positions Judas to betrayal action, selling Jesus out for “whatever I can get.” Judas never submitted to Jesus’ assignment although he was obedience to Jesus agenda.
When Jesus announces at the Last Supper that one of them would betray Him, all the disciples recognize the same spiritual condition working in them and reply, “Lord, am I the one?”
Why do they all ask this question? What whispers in their heart and shouts from their lips, what sudden awareness of their own “what’s in it for me?” When Jesus reveals what He knows, they are all concerned that He is aware of their hidden agendas for personal gain. They have had a deep ambition to make the ascendancy of Jesus as Messiah into a launching pad for their own destinies, failing to discern that only in greater submission to God’s purpose lies the only and best pathway to fulfilling what-God-wants, what He created them to be and called them to do.
Looking back through the filter of Judas’ despair and death, we are prone to view Judas as the sum total of betrayal. Jesus was identifying more than the actions of Judas when He announced that one of them would betray Him. Jesus was opening the closet and pulling out the drawer in which each of the disciples stored protected treasures of betrayal.
Any sentiment of the soul that sacrifices God’s purpose for personal destiny betrays the Creator.
Too strong for the modern believer? Perhaps, but the issue remains no different from any generation beginning with Adam and Eve in terms of the issues that surround the assignment of man. In order to properly represent God in the earth, submission must be a partner of obedience. Obedience without submission is the cardinal doctrine of “what’s in it for me?” Herein lies the test of Job, Abraham, David, and Jesus – yes, Jesus was tested in this way in an ultimate sense.
“Although He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by His passion and finished His preparation as the Source of everlasting salvation to all those who obey Him.” [See Hebrews 5:8]
Where’s the submission in this message? Submission underlies the process completely because His obedience was never geared to get Him what He wanted but to get Father what Father wanted. The passionate suffering – and note well that all the definitions of suffering for kingdom leaders are a measurement of passion – revealed the perfect submission of Jesus by producing perfect obedience. In this way, He was perfected. In other words, submission produces perfect obedience through passion in ways that perfect the person with the assignment: they can only finish the assignment when they become the person who can finish. The process of perfection is one measured by passionate submission, and at some point, the process will demand everything.
We misunderstand Judas and the spiritual condition behind his actions. Every disciple had an awareness of betrayal because they recognize when Jesus announced the betrayal that their obedience wasn’t based upon tested submission. They were still wondering “what’s in it for me?”
Sacrifice Destiny to Fulfill It
At some point, God will demand the total sacrifice of your destiny to His purpose so He can put that destiny into a person perfectly prepared to fulfill it.
Until that moment, some measure of Judas lurks in the closet drawer where the secrets of the soul are stored. Certainly, God has visited that depository previous to the test that arrives, the test that will measure the priorities of our passion.
God tested Abraham. “Abraham, take your son, your only son…” God is fully aware that Isaac is destiny fulfillment for Abraham’s assignment. The test of faith is always the test of faithfulness.
When the revelation of destiny arrives, God will ask for destiny to die, a seed planted in His purpose that can never take root, grow up, branch out, produce fruit, and become mature fruit until it has died. The vision comes. The vision dies. The vision is resurrected for fulfillment. To fight the death of your vision is to withhold the only sacrifice that can prepare you and the vision for fulfillment.