Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let God Hijack your Advent

There's a personal way that I can experience God when I open the Bible. On so many days, God hijacks my reading to show me a deeper truth about Himself.

I like it when I can walk right into an Old Testament story find myself on those pages and align my heart to hear what God is saying. I find it interesting in reading about the people of Israel , their days were somewhat hijacked too. I call those desert or desperate days but really we could call them Advent days. Those 40 years spent in the desert were days of preparation. They waited and traveled a long way before they arrived at the Promise Land.

In these Advent days, we are preparing too. "Let Heaven and nature sing, let Heaven and nature sing, Let Heaven and nature sing...Rejoice! We are preparing to rejoice about the birth of our Savior.

But why do we need to prepare to rejoice about Jesus?

I'm so glad you asked.

In our preparing, in our waiting, we have time to reflect and rest in who God is what He has done for us. From the virgin birth, to the flat-out crazy circumstances of Jesus being born in a stable, to three starry-eyed seekers of a really bright star for a very long, long journey just to give a baby boy some gifts, well...suffice it to say, the birth story of Jesus is full of miracles.

I know what you are thinking. You've heard the story, you've heard the miracles. There's nothing new in the nativity story that you haven't read or heard in kids church. There's nothing new on those pages.

Or is there? I'm so glad you asked.

Let's think about what the name Emmanuel means. Now think about yesterday when you might have said "I feel so alone in this". Why is it we can sing that God is with us but then when tomorrow's crisis or fear hits us, the feeling of God being with us is the first thing we forget?

When fear hits in these advent days, why do we think we are out in the "desert" to fend for ourselves?

We need to remember who God is and whose we are everyday.

…God is with us!
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel"—which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:21-23
Just like the days of the desert, in the town of Bethlehem, and like Mary and Joseph, we also need to know that God is with us, everyday, to help us, to strengthen us, to deliver us, to show his mercy to us. Emmanuel is with us like the great I AM was with the Israelites in the desert. And God hasn’t changed since!

God is with you…God was with you…God will be with you!

God, the great I AM, the LORD is with us. No matter where we travel, no matter where we have been, no matter where we are headed. No matter if we are breathing our last breath or whatever fear hits us today.

God is with us. We can’t be separated from God. The God of all comfort, comes alongside of us in our Advent days and doesn't leave us when Christmas is over.

Now I don't know about you but that causes me to rejoice. One of the big tools that the enemy loves to use against us is that we can be separated from the love of God, that we are the only one going through whatever temptations, hiccups, or hangups.

Don't buy into that lie.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35, 37-39

So if Jesus is with us everyday, then why can't we feel Him?

I'm glad you asked...

Sin separates us from God, so what's in your life that keeps you from being close to God? Maybe God needs to hijack your busy, flurry-filled Advent days to remind you that He is still with you. Maybe you need a reminder that you have a God who cares about every little detail that is going on with your life right now. Maybe you need to remember that He has never left you and is waiting for you to slow down a little and rest during these days of preparation.

Maybe you need God to hijack your reading plan so He can show some amazing things, say.... a few miracles today.

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