I have just finished two of my least favorite chores: washing clothes and cleaning the kitchen. I think the reason that I dislike them is that they are relentless. As I am writing this, I’m drinking a cup of tea, and an attempt at making peanut brittle is cooling in a pan in the kitchen… That means that, while I say I’ve just finished cleaning the kitchen, there are actually already three items to be washed again…
As I thought of the never ending cycle of washing (whether clothes or dishes), I realized how often that is the case with my thoughts too. I taught last month on finding identity and purpose, and a large portion of the lecture dealt with how we often have to take captive the same lies in order to walk in the truth of who (and Whose) we are.
The lies that keep us from the freedom to be ourselves are often lies about ourselves. Despite the fact that I teach others about finding their own identity and purpose, (and some think that means I’ve got my life all figured out), I still fight lies that I am insignificant or ‘less than.’ This fight isn’t constant, but there are days, or even seasons, where I am very nearly convinced that I am not worth notice and certainly not worthy of any of the things I believe God has promised.
The lies may also be about God. What better way for the Enemy to keep us from walking in the truth than to make us doubt the Source of all truth, the One Who is Truth itself? This was the original temptation in the Garden, and it has been tripping up all of humanity ever since. The lies may whisper to us that God is holding out on us, that He cares more about everyone else, that He is not faithful or worthy of our trust. Maybe they tell us that He doesn’t really understand what we’re going through, that He just doesn’t ‘get it’.
To me, that is the beauty of Christmas – or at least one of the many beautiful things about this season of celebration. God became one of us. Instead of holding out on us, He gave all He had. He stepped out of heaven, lived a life like yours or mine, and understands every ache, every longing, and every temptation. Emmanuel, ‘God with us,’ is the Truth that can put to rest every lie, not just about Himself, but about us too!
We have this wonderful season every year when we are reminded of just how far He came to be Emmanuel, but it is so easy to forget even with all of the reminders around us. We so often get busy with the events and shopping and whatever else the season brings, and forget to take time to remember why we are doing all of those things.
When we lose sight of the Truth of Emmanuel, the lies sneak in again to steal our joy and peace and hope and victory and all that Jesus came to bring. It seems like a never ending battle to keep the Truth in focus and take captive the thoughts that would bring doubt. I encourage you to take some time each day throughout the year to refocus on Jesus, God with us, and the freedom His truth brings… Maybe you can do that while you’re washing up after dinner! 🙂