God has a plan for all created things. He has a plan for humanity; a plan for you and your family. It is not “if ” God will meet you and begin to show you the plan for your life, but “when” He meets you, for the meetings of God are inevitable. Christmas gives us great insights on how God comes and works with people. The shepherds, the Wise men, Mary and Joseph all have a personal story of God at work in their lives. God even demonstrated how He works with people through the conception and birth of His Son.
Scripture says, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Gal. 4: 4,5
God had a plan and when the timing was perfect, He sent His Son to the earth. Jesus was born of a Jewish woman, under the requirements of Jewish religious law. He was sent to purchase back or redeem the Jewish people who had lost their way. When He did that, He also opened the door for the Gentiles to be saved. That is the Christmas story.
How God brought Christ to this world could not be more earthy or personable. Jesus is God, yet He became a human baby. He became a microscopic seed and gestated in the womb of a young woman for nine months. To think that God struggled to be born through a human birth canal is almost alarming. It seems, He always does things in a way that is different from what we might expect. His plans for our personal lives are also unpredictable. We may receive prophetic words that help us see our future but more often, God’s work in our lives is unforeseeable. His plan for each of us is as original as the Christmas story. In the fullness of time, if we walk with the Lord, He shows us our personal destiny. We see God’s pattern of working with people repeated in the Christmas story.
I especially love the part that involves the Wise men. We can compare our life journey to theirs. When the fullness of time came, they embarked on a great mission. They moved in faith and eventually found the Messiah. Their journey was like an obstacle course that led them out of a pagan environment, through a deadly desert, to unfamiliar people. Along the way, they sought godly counsel but unknowingly, they sought it from a King who had an evil heart.
Finally, although it does seem a bit late, they arrived at the house where the young child Jesus resided with his mother and father. Although their journey was awkward, dangerous and tenuous, they arrived. God protected them, led them by a star, and gave them dreams to warn them of Herod’s evil intentions.
I know that your journey has many similarities to that of the Wise men. God works this way in all of our lives. In the process of partnering with Him, He allows us to reason, make decisions and travel as we think best, with often, what seems like, little guidance. When we veer off course, He corrects us and gives us new guidance. Through all of the twists of life, God gives us what we need to reach our destiny.
GPS is used to give directions when traveling in a car. You see the streets on the screen and it tells you when to turn. If you miss a turn it reconfigures, and still tells you how to reach your destination, only now by different roads. God guides us like that. He always redirects and puts us back on track. Then, however, we must use different roads to reach our goals. People
may think we are finished, but God is so personal and so caring that He reconfigures.
The Wise men reached their destination. They fulfilled their destiny but the journey was somewhat like an orienteering course or a global scavenger hunt; they followed the clues, made corrections and finally came before Messiah. God was with them on every leg of the journey. He is with each of us as well.
The word “when” is often used in telling the Wise men’s story.
We read: “When you have found him,” “When they heard the king,” “When they saw the star,” “When they came into the house,” “When they opened their treasures.”
The key word is “when” not “if.”
Wicked, King Herod said, “When you have found Him, bring back word to me.” Mt. 2: 8
Even the servant of Satan, Herod himself, did not say “if” you find Him, but “when” you find Him. At times, everyone around us knows that God is with us and is leading us, but we may still have doubts.
Herod knew that God was with the Magi. He sent them to Bethlehem.
Scripture says, “When they heard the king, they departed.” Mt. 2: 9
God used a wicked king to release part of His plan. Through Herod, God confirmed the Wise men’s path and pointed them toward Bethlehem. God will use many voices to speak to us along the way. He will even use people who are dangerous or unkind to us. If we continue to seek the Lord, however, we will reach our destiny, even though at times it may feel like we are on a detour.
The story continues, “When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Mt. 2: 10
The Magi had probably lost sight of the star and were a bit disillusioned. This happens to all of us from time to time. Perhaps there were too many clouds in the night sky. Suddenly, they saw the star again and rejoiced. We rejoice as well when a sign or a fresh word comes to us from God. We need to be reminded that God is with us; that His favor rests upon us. We need God’s personal reassurance.
Again, we notice the key word “when.” It is not “if” God will show up again, but “when” God shows up again. God is faithful to give us the signs we need, just when we need them; He will not forsake us.
Finally, the Wise men arrived. “When they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.” Mt. 2: 11
In the presence of the King, we are filled with gratitude. We may have struggled along the way, but when we see Him we fall down and worship Him. A fresh revelation of Jesus always causes us to respond with amazing worship.
Then we learn to do what the Wise men did. “When they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Mt. 2: 12
If we travel with God, our lives will line up with His plan. In the fullness of time, we will reach our points of destiny and we will worship Him. This includes opening our treasures. God has given us treasures. They may be talents, anointing for ministry, love for others, passionate prayer or sums of money. He will tell us what treasures we have and what we may give. Some will have one gift to give, others, like the Wise men, will have several gifts to give.
Giving to the Lord produces our greatest joy. In Spirit-led giving, we discover our personal Christmas story. As we give, we find the reason for our journey; we find the timing of the Lord in our lives, and we find what we were made for.