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Take Refuge

November 26, 2011

     INCOMING!!!!!  The very word sends us rushing for cover.  We seek protection and every person’s first instinct is to cover their head.  Covering your head is a good plan because that is right where the enemy is aiming.

     Now I do realize that a good clean heart shot would make our foes just as happy; so my suggestion to you is to guard your heart and guard your mind.  This one statement is so vast.  The degrees and levels at which we should guard our hearts and minds are the topics of countless Sunday sermons.  Today I will try to zero in and keep my focus relevant to my ongoing topic.

     The Christmas season is upon us.  Although we yearn for a nostalgic season complete with crackling fires, Christmas carols and even sleigh rides; few of us have experienced the holiday we dream about.  Thomas Kinkaid, Hallmark and every old Christmas movie sets the mark high for a perfect Christmas.  The unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves due to these yuletide visions can cause many “incoming” exploding shells all about us.

     So here comes the first missile.  It is a whopper and the name engraved on the side is “expectations”.  These missile’s origins come from many places; society, our families, the world, but most often we shoot these missiles off ourselves. Our own expectations set us on a course of rushed, frenzied striving.  Our lists at this time of year will increase exponentially.  The peace of our households will decrease in direct proportion to the length of our list and “peace on earth, good will toward men,” are meaningless words in a Christmas song.

     So what is the first step in self defense against this missile?  I’m hoping to figure this one out as I try to help you, for I too am a victim to this great and mighty missile.  We romantics are a prime target for this weapon. We believe the ideal Christmas exists and “we” are going to create it.  A tree in every room, home baked treats, multiple gifts for everyone you know and perfect holiday memories are items that are now shoved into our already crazy lives.  I get a vision here of Cinderella’s ugly step sister trying to cram her humongous foot into the dainty glass slipper.  It just won’t go!

     Every task and every season should always start with prayer.  It is God’s will and His plan that we should be living.  Our expectations should be in line with what He desires for our lives.  The crazy stress that we feel at Christmas time is not on His list.

     As difficult as it will seem, we need to do some list swapping.  It is time to exchange our “To do” list for His list.  There are some main items that will be the same on everyone’s list and I will list a few of these here, but there are also items that should be on your list that God will reveal to you.  OUR lists are a direct result of what we want, desire and expect.  As we enter this “joyous” season let’s make sure we haven’t shot a missile at ourselves.  Let’s take the time to ask God what is on HIS list for this season.

God’s List

  1.  Submit yourself to God.   James 4:7
  2. Love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength.   Matt 22:37
  3. Love others!   Matt 22:39
  4. Be peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere.          James 3:17
  5. Look after orphans and widows in their distress.
  6. Keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

     If we spent time focusing on these items, I feel that our list would look quite different.  If we intently attempt to do #1, we will never cross it off our list.  As we submit to God we will continually find new levels of submission.  We will find how deep the word “submit” is.  We will realize that there is always a new level of submission.  The same is true for love.  When God tells us to love Him with ALL our hearts, do we understand the complexity and completeness of the word ALL?

     We will spend the rest of our lives learning new levels of love. We will complete this life never reaching the fullness of loving him with all our minds.  But I plan to die trying.

     Look up the scriptures that I listed.  Read them in their entirety and in their context.  Dwell on them and meditate on them.  Ask the Lord to give you revelation about them.  Then look at your Christmas list again.  Your plans and designs might be quite different.

  The only way that I see that we can have a God designed Christmas is to change our expectations.  This will happen when our focus has been changed from the holiday to the God of the holiday.  This is a challenge that will take the first step every day; submit.

     I know I am tired of the mortar barrage.  I’m taking cover and I know where I must hide.  “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”  Psalm 91:4

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2011 11:47 am

    Great words of wisdom! We all need to be reminded of the things that matter most during this holiday season. Thank you!

  2. Mama Metz permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:09 am

    Thanks Debbie…one of your best!!

  3. Noah J. Cicalo permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:33 am

    That definitely makes it easier to understand but certainly hard to do. But I’m thinking that doing so will make the holiday that much smoother and that much better! 🙂

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