For They Shall See God
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:6
Over 2000 years ago, a tiny baby entered the world in the quiet of the night, perfectly protected from the elements by the warmth of his mother’s arms and the shelter provided by a quaint little room full of animals and straw. It had been foretold, this moment, so many years before. But those prophetic words had been forgotten and twisted-swallowed up in the fear and hopelessness that infiltrated and hardened so many hearts as the darkness of the world overwhelmed.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
It was in the midst of that darkness that God whispered. In that moment hidden by the dark of night, he brought forth the plan that had been unfolding since the beginning of creation. His unfathomable Love, although always there, would now enter the world in the physical form of His beloved Son. This sweet, innocent, cherub-faced baby boy was the Hope for all mankind. God incarnate. And while the Heavenly realms would burst with singing and praise for this beautiful divine light that would overcome the darkness, the world slept.
“God in his infinite mercy foreordained His plan of redemption for sinful mankind through Christ.”
I Peter 1:20
The truth is, not many knew that God had come to the world at all. But those who did, were changed forever. They were a part of something bigger than the world had ever known outside of creation. They were witnesses to God himself moving among them and to the dawning of an age ruled by the Son of God himself!
“Blessed is she who believes that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
Think about those God allowed to become a part of His plan – a young carpenter from a forgotten town, an old priest and his wife clinging desperately to seemingly unbelievable expectations, lowly shepherds and strange men of wisdom from foreign lands, and of course an ordinary young girl with ordinary dreams who was “highly favored” by God Almighty. All were moved from the ordinary to the extraordinary because they recognized that God was moving and heeded the call to go with Him.
Any fear of the unknown was vanquished by the grace of God as they trusted in Him to fulfill all that He said He would do. They became a part of the beautiful thread of the faithful used by God to bring forth the redemption of mankind. And they saw God in a way that others did not – because they were looking for Him.
“[Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8
That sweet baby boy born in Bethlehem is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty GOD, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); the Great I Am (Exodus 3:14), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8), the Savior of the world (Titus 2:13). Jesus left behind the divine glories of heaven to come to this earth and live and die out of love for us. Through Him alone would all things be made right – every injustice brought to judgment, every dark place illuminated with light, every soul held captive by the frailties of humanity given hope for redemption. Jesus gave every part of himself to heal every part of this broken world.
“We have found the Messiah.” John 1:41
Five words that hold such profound implications. After Andrew encountered Jesus, the first thing he did was run to tell his brother Peter that the One mankind had been searching for since creation, the One that caused the earth to shake with anticipation of his arrival, had been found. He was here!
Hope had come. They were looking, and they found Him – and they would become washed in truth as they followed Jesus on the path he was here to take. Their trust and their obedience would lead them to become the flames that set the world on fire with the truth of the greatest story ever told of reconciliation with the God we were created to love and redemption of beautiful souls longing for abundant life.
“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-8
Right this very moment men, women and children all over the world need to know that the Lord of Lords and King of Kings has come for them. Just as the world slept during the most important event to take place in history, so many are sleeping now as an entire world of people need to hear the Hope revealed in the message of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. He came to earth in the quiet of the night, he spoke words of truth and life, he loved the unlovable and healed the hurting, he died violently so that we could live abundantly, and He rose from the dead, conquering death for all and now sits on his throne once again.
We who know Jesus have the Spirit of the Living God within us to shine the light of truth in the darkness. He is here. He is moving. And He is calling us to come with Him. Only those who are looking for Him will recognize what He is doing. Only those who trust Him and heed the call will become a part of His miraculous works that shift the trajectory of entire nations and transform souls for eternity.
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:2-3
I get the privilege of fellowshipping and walking with women missionaries all over the world who have not missed God. They are living abundantly right in the center of God’s will for them as they shine like the stars in the Heavens with the truth of God’s loving and merciful plan of redemption for all. They trust Him as they walk unfamiliar paths and tread into the dark places to shine that light. And they see God.
They see Him in the eyes of the man overcome with loneliness and grief who hears the truth of God’s unfailing love and the darkness is lifted. They see it when a young woman, enslaved for years by human trafficking, runs into their arms to collapse in freedom, clothed in the righteousness of her God as the Gospel of Jesus becomes life to her soul. They witness God’s faithfulness to lead and to provide and to reveal himself in a way that cannot be seen except by those who are looking desperately to Him for everything. They see the sick healed, the deceived receive truth and those dead in sin brought to life in Christ. They trust and they obey, and great is their reward: knowing the God of all creation like no other.
“Those who walk righteously and speak what is right…they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them. Their eyes will see the King in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.” Isaiah 33:15; 16-17
As I celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, my prayer is that my heart will always be full of a profound understanding of the significance of that moment and will always beat with anticipation of what God is going to do next. I am challenged by those who see God working and choose to go with him, when others continue to stay comfortably where they are. Because of Jesus I am a light, and light shines the brightest in the darkest places. I want to be where God is. I want to see Him as His presence collides in extraordinary beauty with humanity to change lives for eternity.