Monday, December 23, 2013

The Wise Men Traveled from Afar and Your Walk of Faith will Take a While

It’s Monday and the special day is nearly upon us. Not much time left to get things done. So much preparation and then the day gets here before you know it. Our pastor was talking about the wise men who came to see the baby Jesus. We see the entire nativity story as one day’s events. But the story actually was spread out over a while. The fact that the wise men came “from afar” lets us know that they had to travel a distance to get there.  It may have taken days or even weeks to arrive. Even if they traveled on camels it would take a while.  They had to find shelter along the way, they had to avoid enemies and dangerous places.  They had to plan the trip and hope for good weather and might have even encountered sandstorms or worse.

Everything worthwhile takes planning and takes a while. Not many great things are done in a hurry or with haste. Our walk of faith is like the trip of the wise men. We are born again of incorruptible seed. But we must grow into Christ-likeness. We learn the Word, we go through things, we become overcomers and we grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.  Experience teaches us that Christ is all we need. Time teaches us that God is faithful. Study teaches us what the Word says, but the trip we take in the flesh seals the facts for us. We walk out our walk of faith and it takes a while. To become wise men and women of God will take our entire life.

God knows your hearts’ desires. He knows that you want things to be just right. He also knows that you want to hurry things along, including your faith.  It often seems, doesn’t it, that just as you feel you have arrived at the pinnacle of your faith walk, another mountain comes upon the scene and you must make it over. You want to “arrive” just as the wise men did. You want to sit at Jesus’ feet and let the world go by. But it takes time to live this life. It’s a trip worth taking, if you remember that your arrival, your final destiny, is to be with Jesus in heaven forever. Until then, this is a learning experience that takes time and effort and planning. There will be mistakes along the way and perils and troubles and trials. There will be times when the devil will work against you. Other times your flesh will try to reign supreme. And there’s always other people who disappoint, discourage, disagree and pronounce untruths on your life. Friends walk away, loved ones quit loving and life gets rough. Hard times will make you want to turn back, but God is with you, guiding, protecting, interceding and caring for you all the way.

Oh beloved, rejoice in this most blessed season while there is time. You are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to be all He wants you to be, to go where He wants you to go and to be a living, visible sign that God has a plan for everyone’s life. You may feel unworthy, unprepared and undone much of the time along the way. But each and every mountain you face or valley you make it through is preparation for becoming more like Christ.  The Holy Spirit is guiding you, even in the hard times, for you have a destination just as the wise men all those years ago. Your destination is to live in heaven with Jesus forever. This is no demotion, this is your promotion.  So enjoy the trip, take plenty of the Word with you, along with peace, comfort, joy, abiding faith and enduring love.

Just as those wise men needed their travel needs to be met, you will need the whole council of God’s Word to make it, but beloved you are going to make it, because God loves you and He’s for you.  Because God’s plan for your life is surrounded and filled with His love and His care, you are an overcomer who will arrive at every checkpoint of faith, growing into His image on every turn. Keep traveling, keep walking and keep looking to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of your faith.

1 John 4:17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Colossians 3:10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

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