God gave me a huge download this last week. I had a birthday which can be exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. Smile. I guess that reality aligns with our actual birth days which were full of joy and full of pain. However one precious gift I received was a word from the Lord. An actual word: honor. I am still translating all that the Spirit poured out but I thought it was no accident to get this word right at Christmas time.
Honor is to elevate above, esteem, hold in high value. The Spirit brought to mind the verse, “he who honors me, him will I honor.” (1 Samuel 2:30) It’s an odd verse. But it is packed with promise. This isn’t a duty-bound, fear-driven demand. This is an invitation. From God. He is saying, if you honor me, it’s not a one-way street. I am going to turn around and honor you back. Selah.
I don’t know if you know this about God. But here is the word picture. A mom says to her daughter, “You go fill up your hands with candy and give it to me. And then I will fill up my hands with candy and give it to you…”
Who do you think has bigger hands?
Maybe a better question is why would God want to honor us? My husband summed it up beautifully when we were discussing this at small group the other night.
Out of sheer delight. He delights in us. It’s why Jesus came at all. He is offering us a big love exchange when He says, honor me and I will honor you. Be with me. Think like Me. Love like Me. Honor what I honor.
As I sat with Him in this, I had a holy pause and considered different areas of my life. And then one provactive question surfaced, do I honor Christmas? Do I honor what God did do and is doing through Christ coming to earth?
I don’t mean the counterfeit, or watered down expressions. Not a Hallmark movie, Santa, Elf on a shelf. Or even a manger scene or a “Jesus is the reason” sign. I mean, practically, sincerely, in my heart am I elevating, holding in high regard the gift of Jesus this year?
Since this download started, my heart is one hot mess. The words to Christmas carols wipe me out. “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother. And in His name, all oppression shall cease.” I can’t sing these words and not remember the many relationships that have been restored through Jesus in the last year. I can’t stop thinking about the great Hope we have in these uncertain days because God is — here.
I can’t sing “Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light, Radiant beams from Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,” without feeling shock waves in the spirit.
There was a dawn of new day, a new era. We can never, ever go back to status quo after the birth of Jesus. He ushered in a new dawn of Redeeming Grace. God honored us by sending Jesus.
I wonder. While you are wrapping presents, or maybe while you are unwrapping presents, will you re-think Christmas?
A holy invitation has been issued. If you honor Me, I will honor you. Can I just tell you that I am only beginning to unpack what it means to be honored by God. (More on that later.)
But let’s just sum it up this way for today. His hands are bigger than mine.