Friday, December 20, 2019

The Value of Dependence

We get caught up in our own everyday lives and seldom see past the end of our own nose. Jesus knew that. He knew the heart of man, the thoughts of man, the tendencies of man. We simply don't get it. That's why it's such a miracle when God reveals what's there but beyond our grasp. We won't see it, we won't see the truth of who God is in and through it, apart from His help.

"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Did you get that? You're not hot stuff. I'm not hot stuff. We don't "got this." Jesus does. When I have a revelation into God and His character, it's not about me, it's about Him. It's not my insight and wisdom, it's His. If I have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, it's not because I'm an outstanding individual or have something to offer. Jesus had just said,

“I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."

Jesus thanked God that we are not wise or intelligent. Instead, those of us who see, know and come to Him are "nepios," infants; children. If you "get" God, that describes you. God is pleased when we see our need, rely and depend on Him, cry out to Him, call on Him, rest in Him. He is actually not impressed with individuals who are characterized by taking care of their own problems their own way. God is not impressed with clever people, hard-working people, or problem solvers. He responds to those who cannot. Who see and admit to their limitations and ask Him for the grace to accept His hand and purpose in and through infirmity.

That's the beauty of Jesus' birth. In the art that abounds this time of year we see the Madonna figure with the Christ child. Jesus was dependent. His birth in a cattle stall was humble: Jesus never had a place of His own. He was constantly dependent on others--first His parents, then those who followed Him (including women) and provided for His needs.

The story of Christmas, the revelation of Jesus Christ, is not about insight or character. It's about innocence, desperation, and dependence.

How dependent are you today?

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life... (Philippians 2:5-16)

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