It’s that time of the year again – Sleigh bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting by an open fire somewhere and the weather outside is frightful. Well, maybe the weather isn’t frightful for you depending on where you live, but you get the point. Anything below 70 is frightful to me. Nonetheless, grab your cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider, snuggle up with your favorite chunky knit blanket and let’s talk about Jesus.
Around this time of year, some people get caught up in the logistics of when Christ was born, if you should have a tree or not or if it’s sinful to even say Merry Christmas, but let’s just focus on the fact that Christ was born!
One of the basics of Christianity is that we believe that Jesus was born both fully man and fully God. I don’t know about you, but, if we are honest, that is enough to make anyone’s eyebrow raise, but I digress. No matter how hard it may be to conceive, Christ came to this world, born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling cloths, just like every other human. A holy God chose to lower Himself, put on the flesh that He created for us, and redeem a fallen world. What we couldn’t do ourselves, He chose to do for us.
He came to this broken world to save us. Let’s meditate on His kindness.
Obedient Servants and a Sovereign God
Jesus didn’t enter into the world as some kind of boss baby. He wasn’t talking and giving directives, He was dependent – dependent on the obedience of flawed humans and dependent on the sovereignty of his Holy Father. All throughout the life of Christ, you will find willing, dependent and obedient servants of God and a strategic, intentional and sovereign God. By no means did God need to use humans to bring about His plans on the earth, but He chose to partner with flawed humanity. Over and over again, we find this interdependence between God and man. Again, not because God needs humans, but because He chooses to honor his commitment to partner with us in fulfilling His works on the earth.
In our American culture, dependency is everything but celebrated, and it is definitely not advertised as something to aspire to grow in. Yet, it is the very thing that Christ calls us to – a life dependent on His goodness, His abilities and His plans. He modeled dependency perfectly so that we could have an example to model our life after. But, how can we learn to be dependent?
If I’m honest, this is probably the most hypocritical blog entry I will ever write. Dependency is definitely not my forte. I am still learning every day what it means to be dependent on Christ but let’s look at Jesus, not me.
Jesus highlighted God’s goodness, His abilities and His plans as a pretty reputable resume for us to look to as we wrestle with this concept of dependency in our walk with Christ.
To grow in dependency in our walk with God we first have to believe that He is good. Without this basic belief, we will always struggle to let go of our feeble attempts to control our lives. I will go out on a limb to say that this one statement, “God is good,” is the most unbelieved statement in the world, even amongst those who claim to be Christians. At the root of our persistent grappling for control is the struggle to believe this statement. Don’t believe me? The next time anxiety rears its head in your life, the next time you’re stressed, follow the rabbit trail of emotions to the lack of belief and there you will find yourself wrestling with this truth.
To grow in dependency in our walk with God, we also have to believe that He is able. We have to trust that He has the ability to carry every load, calm every storm and contain every uncontrollable fire in our lives.
Lastly, to grow in dependency in our walk with God, we have to believe that He has a plan. God is not a mapless God. Even in the most seemingly haphazard events, He still has a plan. I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy for me to enjoy the ride when I’m using my GPS on a road trip. I don’t have to worry about where we are going, or if I missed my exit or not. I can just ride and trust that my GPS will tell me where to go. If I could let go of my plans and trust in God’s plans for my life, for my family, for my community, for the world, maybe I could enjoy this life He has given me.
The truth is, we are all born in dependency. Dependency is inherent. Independence is learned and is a survival tool. We know how to depend. We depend on Siri, on our cars, on our global positioning systems, on tables and chairs, and on ourselves. But, what would it look like to truly believe that God is good, that He has the ability to lead our lives through His goodness all while carrying out His plan to release His goodness throughout the earth? Christ came as a baby. He was consoled, He was nurtured, He was led. Let’s learn from Christ, grow in dependency in our walks with God.