To Believe or Not to Believe
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 King James 2000
To believe or not to believe – that is the question of this Christmas Season.
The simple truth is that God draws us to himself (John 6:44). Then it is up to each of us to choose to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing we may have life in his name. John 20:29-31. This choice is an act of our will and it is a choice to believe that God sent to us a Messiah and His Name is Jesus.
If we make this choice to believe, then we have made a conscious decision of our “will”. As we journey in our faith, we must constantly choose to harness our will to be in line with that of God.
It is a choice of obedience. It is a choice of recognition that our will is trumped by His Will. His Will for us many times is determined through the reading of His Word, through prayer, through faith, through seeking and trusting that what He makes known to us is sufficient. And sometimes, it is an act of our will to accept that He has chosen not to reveal the “why” of something but we trust that it will be made known to us later – maybe not until we reach Heaven. During these times, it is an act of our will, to choose to trust that His plan for us is always good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
It is a choice of freedom – freedom from the false idea that we are in control of our own destiny. When we trust in Jesus as our Messiah, we acknowledge that He is in control and He can solve the pressing issues that surround us – our job is to believe that He is up for the task and to exhibit the fruit of His Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. Galatians 5:22-23
It is a choice of faith – to leap into darkness knowing God will provide – that nothing we have is ours, but instead it is His, on loan, to us for His determined period of time, to be used by us for His Glory.
It is a choice with consequences – consequences which are always eternally good but ones that come with trouble and heartache. Jesus told us that “in this world there would be trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
And so, it is a choice with struggles. It is a struggle to keep our eyes on Jesus and not to succumb to our own will. It is a struggle to stand firm against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12.
It is a choice with Heavenly back-up. We are instructed to tell satan to “get behind us” – Why? Because God has our back and He will deal with satan. Our job is to put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:13-18
It is a choice which opens up untold adventures – untold opportunities for seeing miraculous events in ordinary lives.
It is the choice of life over death – the only choice with a promise of eternal life – life that will continue after our earthly death – life that has been forged by the death of Jesus, the one without sin who became sin for us thus substituting his perfection for our imperfections making us acceptable to God and therefore providing us with entry into Heaven.
As we celebrate the Birth of The Messiah, let us contemplate our choice. If we have not made the right choice, let us reconsider and make the correct one. If we have made the correct choice, then let us strengthen ourselves in that choice by submitting our will to His – opening our hearts to receive God’s message for us in this day.