The essential message of Christmas is that God chose to come and dwell with man. Jesus was not a “fall guy,” an angel or even a son in the sense of being someone other than God. Jesus is God in a way that humans cannot adequately explain. As CS Lewis said, it shouldn’t be a surprise that finite men cannot fully explain an infinite God. God decided to come to earth and live with us, and that decision has some amazingly practical ramifications in us.
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matt 1:23 NIV
Identity – There is a huge difference when I face the world by myself versus taking on life with Christ in my heart. God answers prayer when we get saved. But, when we enter the Kingdom, God works through our hearts to make things happen. It’s a mystery, even to believers, that God works through his people. We can do even “greater works.”
God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which isChrist in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27 NIV
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Cor 3:16-17 NIV
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Cor 6:16 NIV
Whose power? – Think about it. With Christ in our hearts, we can’t help but resurrect from every situation. I know God is all powerful, but when he and I have agreed that he can live in my heart, I just have to be more than a conqueror. Good things have to eventually come my way. The line between my power and God’s power gets a little fuzzy for us and those who observe us because it’s coming out of my heart. This simple experience of inviting Jesus into my heart and living as though it’s true is the essence of spiritual maturity…
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, Gal 4:19 NIV
… and it’s the reason the enemy cannot defeat us; we’re greater than demonic power and deception. We rise above our circumstances and roadblocks because we are greater than whatever might hold us back. It’s not just what we believe; it’s reality!
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 NIV
Practical power – The greatest leverage for our personal lives and for the Kingdom happens when my heart and God’s heart share the same desires. I can ask for the desires of my heart because Jesus is dwelling in that same heart. I have no doubts about the will of God and I can feel God encouraging me to step out of the boat and do exploits in his name. The desires of my own heart are now an expression of the will of God. We’re on the same page.
Can anything go wrong? I could forget that it’s because Jesus dwells in my heart that I am so blessed. But once I get recalibrated in humility, God turns right around and “gives me the ability.” Totally amazing! His power at work within us!!!
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deut 8:17-18 NIV
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us Eph 3:20 NIV
There are many promises in the Bible that belong to us. This is just one. God “gives you the ability to produce wealth.” You are naturally creative (like Him) and you can create value for others who are willing to pay for it:
- You, personally, have great value. We are treasures in earthen vessels.
- You can provide a product or service that has value to others.
- You can come up with a creative idea that represents value or savings to others.
- You can make other people successful and prosperous.
What does it look like – When God goes with us through life and dwells in our hearts, we turn out to be the head and not the tail. We thrive in every situation. God prospers and favors us in ways everyone can see. Joseph is a great example. His brothers sold him into slavery, but they couldn’t take the favor of God off his life. He bounced right back into favor and prosperity. God gave him success in everything he did. Circumstances could not change his identity.
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Gen 39:2-6 NIV
Promotion – Most believers have a servant mentality, and they are simply trying to survive through retirement until heaven. Kings have a totally different outlook. They realize God has been building His Kingdom on this earth since the resurrection. They realize there is an “indestructible” aspect to their personal life and to the vision they carry. Kings realize they have an opportunity to play a role in the Kingdom and they seize it. Without being careless, prideful, or presumptuous, they do feel bulletproof, called, resurrected, unshakable, assertive, determined and victorious. They pull others into the same exciting realm by their words and their example.
I love this phrase…
…the power of an indestructible life. Heb 7:16 NASU
You may have experienced a setback. You may know both the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. But, your story has to take a turn for the blessed because Jesus resides in your heart and He will be victorious and you will be swept into the same victories and abundant life sooner rather than later. It just can’t be otherwise with Jesus himself in our hearts. Expect it! Imagine it!