In this season of Advent our thoughts turn again to the miracle of that first Christmas. One starry night, in a remote stable, the Son of God stole into the world to begin His earthly journey to reconcile mankind to God. The town of Bethlehem was unaware of the angelic host heralding His birth to the humble shepherds on the hillside. They came to pay homage to the babe of Bethlehem who was to be the Saviour of the world. The wise men travelled from afar, following a guiding star to the little town where they found the Christ child. They rejoiced with exceeding joy at the young child and fell down and worshipped Him, opening their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
We remember the words from the well known Christmas carol:
“How silently, how silently, this wondrous Gift was given,
And God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of His heaven…..” Emmanuel!
Our hearts rejoice in thanksgiving to our Father God that He sent His beloved Son. Christ came, and the whole of creation is groaning as we approach and anticipate His second coming……but He comes, before He comes! Every day the Lord Jesus comes to us in the form of His Holy Spirit, seeking a humble heart that will bow the knee to Him, as He teaches us His ways. This is the worship He requires of us, not just in word, but in the deed of surrender to Him. This is the greatest gift I can bring Him, a surrendered heart. Every day can be an advent season as the Indwelling Christ seeks a channel of outflow from my heart.
SURRENDER IS ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT.
Ephesians 4 is the birthright and destiny of every born-again Believer in Christ. Verse 13 is the end result and on-going work in our hearts of the Holy Spirit:….”Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The Lord Jesus has done everything from heaven’s side. Calvary is a finished work, our birthright is set before us. The fullness of God is available to all who will “die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31), die to self will and surrender to God’s will, “take up your cross and follow Him.” I am the only person who can prevent me from walking in all the fullness of God. I do this by the choices I make daily as the Lord comes to me. I can limit the Holy One, or I can bow the knee and surrender and let Him live His life through me, to Him and to others.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”….and in verse 24, “…the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Do I value or understand, from God’s perspective, what the cross is in my life? The “cross” in my life’s circumstances can be the means of releasing God’s “power and wisdom” to me if I bow and yield to Him and “take up the cross” and follow HIM. The “cross” God installs in my life’s circumstance can be the means of my coming to another measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (Ephesians 4). Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Of course He did not enjoy the agony of His trial and crucifixion, but He saw beyond it. There is a joy and destiny in the beyond of God for all of us. When I see things from God’s perspective, it changes how I pray. Deliverance from my circumstances is not at the top of my agenda anymore, worship is. Worship is deliverance IN my circumstances. The 3 Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were delivered IN the fiery furnace, not FROM it, (Daniel 3.) Deliverance IN, brings greater glory to God, than deliverance FROM my circumstances. As I learn to bow and yield to the wisdom of God, the life and power of the cross manifests in my life.
Every day is a time to celebrate His coming to me, as the Lord Jesus invites me to travel along with Him. Only when I am yoked together with Him do His words become truth to me, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light….” Matthew 11:29-30. Here I enjoy all the peace and beauty of surrender to Him, not because the circumstances have necessarily changed, but because His presence changes everything….and most of all, me! All praise and glory be to our wonderful Saviour!