Once again we find ourselves in December as the Christmas season begins.  Excited children are tucked into bed each night, counting the number of sleeps until the big day, anticipating all they hope to receive.  “Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming”, they chant to each other, but for us, as Believers, Christmas is already here as a constant in our lives.  Every day we meet, not the Christ child, but the risen Christ in our lives.  He is our constant companion and daily beckons us to journey through our day WITH Him, walking the narrow pathway He desires us to accompany Him on.  Here in any circumstance, mundane or uplifting, the fellowship of His presence meets my every need.

Psalm 16: 11 declares “You will show me the path of life, in your presence is fullness of joy”.  The joy of God is indicative of His presence found in fellowship with Him, walking in His ways and paths, independent of any circumstance.  The state of happiness depends on circumstance, happenings, but the joy of His presence found in fellowship with Him enables me to soar with Him above any circumstance.

1 Corinthians 11: 28 “Let a man examine himself……”.   Verse 31: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged”.  Matthew 6: 15,  Jesus said:  “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours”.

Let a man examine himself……..  When I make my requests known to God on my prayer list, what is my number one need?  So often I focus on what I consider is my biggest need, yet losing sight of my greatest need, which is to be nearer to God.  As I walk more closely with Him, I find He meets my earthly needs in unexpected ways I could never imagine.  Here I find the joy of God in discovering His ways, thoughts and plans are so much higher than mine, (Isaiah 55: 8-9).

God’s greatest desire is to give me more of Himself than I could ever imagine.  The sticking point does not lie with God, but me!  My choices limit the unlimited One!

The spending power of God Almighty is limited by the choice of His children!

Psalm 78 is the tragic account of the children of Israel in the wilderness, how they continually turned back from following the Lord when adverse circumstances prevailed.  Verse 41: “They turned back, tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel”. 

Verse 37 records: “For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant”.  A covenant is two sided.  God was faithful from His side, but they were not steadfast in their side.  They complained and murmured resulting in doubt and unbelief against God.  Their hearts were not right and not steadfast.  Do I recognise that when I murmur and complain about things I do not like, that I am complaining against God?  Just like the children of Israel I am limiting God!  He desires to give me more of Himself, but a complaining heart is a heart out of order.  Until I humble myself and repent, I cannot receive another measure of the fullness I desire of Him.

We can always find something to be thankful for.  1 Thessalonians 5: 18 “IN everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.  The scripture clearly states IN everything, not FOR everything.  God is seeking a people who choose to stay steadfast to Him in adversity.  This is where we grow and the life of His Son can be received in another measure of maturity…….out of ourselves and into another measure of His fullness.  John the Baptist declared of Jesus:  “He must increase, but I must decrease…”  John 3:30.

Throughout Christendom this season the following scripture will be read in many churches as Christ’s birth is celebrated.  Jesus’ birth was prophesied by Isaiah hundreds of years before the event finally took place:  Isaiah 9: 6-7  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end….”

In the light of all we have shared here together, when my complaining stops and my heart is fixed steadfastly with God’s heart, then there will surely be an increase of His government and peace without end in me, as I continually make Jesus Lord of my life.  Choice governs!

At the birth of Jesus the angelic host sang out : “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, goodwill towards men”.  As we celebrate the Saviour of mankind, our Saviour, may we glorify God with our life choices and enjoy the wonderful benefits of His peace.

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash