Been thinking about Christmas...Jesus's humility and obedience.
It's not just little children who are called to obey someone. Everyone is under somebody's authority. It might be your boss, the police or a judge. It might even be your neighbor, as God calls us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. No one, at any time in their life, is free to live for themselves, as long as they are called a Christian.
Jesus came in this spirit. He left his high position and comfort to come here and serve us, under His father's authority. A grown man, God himself, obeying His authorities to the point of death. I cannot think of anything more difficult. To humble yourself, when you know you are justified or worthy of more. To submit, when all around you are telling you to fight..you deserve better. It's inhuman. It's divine.
Why would I do this unnatural thing?
Because Jesus did.
His example is there for me to follow, not just to see, be profoundly moved by or cried over. The Christmas story is focused on each year because we forget...or still haven't got it at all. My life, if I am a Christian, is not mine to live for. I was bought at a price and am always under authority...a good Master...with nothing to fear...but my own flesh. My proud feminism or adult position beckons me away from the manger and the cross. Giving in to wilderness temptations are anti Christmas.
Because faith requires doubt.
Doing this is a leap of faith...because it goes against my flesh, worldly instincts, status quo and comfort. It won't ever feel right...but it will always be right. It's the trust that Jesus had to have and he asks as to have in the same Father.
Because I'm new.
This is impossible, if you do not have the power of the Spirit in you. A new creation...a child of God...has the transformed heart, capable of inhuman actions...like selflessness. I can't heal someone or pull a rabbit from a hat...but now I can submit...ta da! Regeneration creates freedom...to do the impossible...live like Christ. More than that, it makes you want to...
Because I want to.
The biggest miracle is a desire change. Motivation is everything. Anyone can act a part, but sincerity is from the heart. Obedience and submission lose there difficulty when you want to do something...when you are in love. No longer the hard part of love, now the easy kind...the feelings kind. Once I have done the hard work of submition, God rewards me with new desires making the relationship the fuel to burn my passion. The words "obedience " and "submission" are no longer bad words, but words I have conquered and made my subjects. Meekness is mine...power under control.
Excerpts from Philippians 4...with personal application:
"Although he existed in the form of God He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the form of a bondservant."
Although I am a divinely created person, just like men, I do not consider my equal value as men, something to be grasped. Instead, I will set my mind to helping, respecting and being loyal to my fellow men.
"He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
I will humble myself by becoming obedient to God and my authorities, even when it is hard...even if it kills me.
"For this reason, God highly exalted Him..."
I know that if I do this, God, being perfectly just and righteous, will honor me and take perfect care of me, both in this life and eternity.
"...to the glory of God the Father."
...for the purpose of glorifying God and proving that His ways are right. There is nothing I would enjoy more than this.