birth of Jesus
From the moment we gasp for our first breath at birth we announce our need for a Savior. With the second breath our struggle begins with embracing it. Instead of embracing this need we strive toward building a self-sufficient lifestyle that conveniently obscures our view of the One who has known us since before we were born, who saw our unformed substance. (Psalm 139:13-16)
The crazy belief around building a life of self-sufficiency is the false belief that independent living is possible, that creating enough resources to get along without help is obtainable. And yet we find that in the last chapter of our lives we suffer regret over relationships that have been sacrificed for gain in life.
We were created for relationship and dependence upon God from the beginning.
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
God also provided the resources that we would need during our life on earth and the abilities, gifts and talents to bear fruit, to live a prosperous life balanced in spirit, soul and body.
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 1)
In our pursuit of self-sufficiency we presume that our resources have come about from our own hard work, gifts or talents. God warns us that when we trust in our own ways all that we build for ourselves will be destroyed. (Hosea 10:13) He encourages us to turn from pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle to one of dependence upon the One who owns it all.
“For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10)
At the age of 14 God showed me my need for a Savior and the futility of trying to build a self-sufficient lifestyle. I believed falsely that it would protect me from being betrayed by others and the world in general. God was inviting me to journey through life with Him as my provider and One in whom I could depend on for provision that would result in works that would not be destroyed. His invitation was simple;
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Everyone needs a Savior and His name is Jesus.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Have you ever experienced a blessing just because you believed what someone said? As a child my mother spoke often of my potential in life and I believed her. Although at the time I didn’t have much to show for what my life would become, I knew that her opinion was sincere and from the heart. I also knew that she believed that nothing was impossible for God.
After Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel announcing the birth of Jesus she set out to visit Elizabeth who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth was a picture of faith and God knew that Mary needed to be encouraged and affirmed in what was being asked of her. She probably had no idea of the depth of affirmation that she would receive from Elizabeth.
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)
Mary believed the message sent from God by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive and bear a son who would be great, the Son of the Most High, the Savior of the World.
Mary asked in faith how this would come about, knowing that she was a virgin and the angel Gabriel explained. Then she submitted herself to the process that God had chosen.
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38)
Her blessing began with believing in God’s promise, submitting to His process and trusting Him to fulfill His words.
What has God promised you? Whatever the circumstances He gives us faith to believe and will bless us as we submit to His process towards fulfillment.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)