John 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
The enemy will always call us to self. The serpent called Eve to self in telling her that if she ate from the tree she would be like God. Satan tried to call Jesus to self by offering him the kingdoms of the world. John resisted the devil by quoting the words of Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
John had a word to stand on.
John had been sent by God for a purpose and he was equipped with Isaiah 40:3 as a word of knowledge and he had a prophetic sign to identify the Messiah given to him by God. John was focused on what he was sent to do. He preached repentance and prepared the people for the coming kingdom.
John 1:24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
When we as believers are focused on the purpose to which we are sent and not on ourselves we have no problem recognizing Jesus. It is only when one is bound in self that we can't see or even bother to look for Jesus.
I urge you to take yourself regularly to the cross.
Everyday we need to lay down our problems and seek the kingdom and the kingdom purpose in our lives. We need to lay down our own agendas and pick up the cross. We need to embrace the fact that God loved us enough to give his only begotten son and take that same love and show it to the lost and dying world on a daily basis. We need to tell the world about Jesus but we also need to show the world Jesus in the way we conduct our lives.
The enemy calls us to self and the Lord Jesus calls us to selflessness in the name of the kingdom.
When we embrace the selflessness of the cross.
Thats when we truly recognize Jesus.