Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fully clothed...

The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do HIs work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.
(taken from My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers)

I'm currently sitting at my desk and thinking about Christmas. I wanted to send a Christmas greeting to the wonderful people who follow this blog, but somehow 'Happy Holidays' just wasn't cutting it. I wanted to expose some deeper truth, but I seem to be short on wisdom. Nevertheless, I'll share some random thoughts.

There are 2 cards sitting on my desk; one depicts a manger emanating light and the other is a gaily decorated church with a snowman out front. Both are lovely and both share a piece of what this season is about. But here's what I'm thinking: the purpose of Christmas is simply preparation for the Cross. All roads from Bethlehem lead to Calvary.

I sometimes try to find spiritual meaning in physical experiences and, as I was thinking about it, I think I may have stumbled upon something. This might get murky but stay with me...

My early experience with God was like Christmas: unmerited favor, shiny toys and gifts of grace beyond measure. There was nothing I did, or could have done, to deserve the forgiveness and peace that He granted me. Salvation was like Christmas morning.

I'm not sure what I expected, but 'walking out my salvation in fear and trembling' has been more rewarding and more searingly painful than I could have ever imagined. Discovering truth, separating soul from spirit and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus has taken more sustained effort and energy than I possess. Without the glitter and glam of Christmas morning, God continues to give me precious gifts of peace and endurance along the way. He is the author and perfecter of my faith.

Some part of me thought that getting saved and living for God would bring joy, hope and love. It has, but it has been liberally mixed with pain, doubt and occasional hysteria. The joy has come after surviving the nights of sorrow. Hope is made visible when the light of God's truth exposes the lies of fear. And love is as present as breath, understanding that God so loved the world that He ransomed His Son for my once miserable soul. Living for God is joyously painful as God surgically removes the broken areas of my life with His sword of the Spirit.

Oswald Chambers states that we should not complain and God does not explain. How that burns the flesh!!! When God found me I was like the demonic man that could not be bound by chains. Jesus set him free and then the man, fully clothed and in his right mind, sat at Jesus' feet. That is what I am called to do.

The greatest gift I've received is the ability to sit, fully clothed and in my right mind, at the feet of my Lord Jesus. What more could I ask for?

May God's mercy and grace envelop you and your family this Christmas. May you live in peace, fully clothed and in your right mind, at the feet of Jesus. Be blessed. All glory to God.

Merry Christmas.