Run for it!
Reading: Mathew 2 v 13 - 23
As a church we love to baptise new believers in Jesus. Our baptism service is a highlight in our calendar. There’s nothing so joyous as watching people who have had their entire lives rearranged by Jesus fall back into the water only to rise up with their hands in the air thanking God for all He has done.
Every baptism is preceded by teaching classes and we are always careful to remind our candidates to be on the lookout for weird, annoying stuff sometime after their baptism. It’s not uncommon for the enemy of our soul to try to shake the foundation of our faith as he tries to undermine the power of what God has birthed in us especially during times of great spiritual occasion.
Immediately after his baptism the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. In the Old Testament we note the sheer suicidal posture of Elijah after receiving death threats from Jezebel. Never mind his miraculous victory over the priests of Baal!
It seems that after times of great spiritual activity we are susceptible to attack from the enemy. As we read our verses today for the second time this week, we see the same pattern. Threatened by the new baby king, Herod issues an order of infanticide on an epic scale. Jospeh responds to another dream and the baby is saved.
The enemy will always try to limit the ability of what God has birthed in you to grow. He knows he can’t steal it, but he will try to minimise it’s effectiveness. As this year comes to a close, there are times in 2016 we know this has happened. You know you should have persevered, you could have said sorry, you lingered too long in your anger or offence, you withheld blessing others, your love and commitment was conditional on being seen or gaining a position - whatever it might be you know the gifts God has given you didn’t reach as far as they should have.
Thankfully, we learn again from Jospeh. Sometimes, you just have to run for it. Instead of fighting - run!
In 2017, lets run from everything that keeps us small, that tries to reduce the gifts God has given us. Let’s run from be offended. Lets run from holding grudges. Let’s run from stinking thinking about other people. Let’s run from a negative mindset that's at odds with God’s word. Next year be bigger in your soul, bigger in your grace, bigger in your generosity, bigger in all the ways God has gifted you to help your world see Jesus.
You just might have the year you’ve always wanted.
‘Dear God, please forgive me when I’ve been small in my thinking, small in my praise, small in my generosity. I don’t want anything to reduce the size of the gifts you have given me. I want the world to know Jesus through me. Holy Spirit, make me bigger in my heart, bigger in my faith, bigger in grace, mercy, love and hope. Thank you for teaching me to run - to run from small and towards big. In Jesus name, Amen.’