This is a continuation of Unintended Destinations an excerpt from Chuck Foreman, Teaching Pastor at First Christian Church of Phoenix
It’s Christmas Time, so I’m gonna throw in a little of the Christmas Story here. Remember the part about the Wise Guys? I mean the Wise Men? It’s in Matthew 2:1-12
The Star— We actually have software now which enables us to look at what was happening in the sky around the beginning of the 1st Century. What the Wise Men saw was Jupiter (King Planet) & Venus (Mother Planet) aligning. This would have looked like the largest star you’d ever seen! By God’s design, the Heavens were telling about the birth of a King.
When this alignment of the King & Mother planets occurred, it happened w/in the Constellation Leo (the Lion). The Lion, is the symbol of Judah, which told these eastern astronomers right where to find this new King.
On Dec. 25, 2 BC, Jupiter went into retrograde motion, which from a person’s vantage point on earth, who might just happen to be in Jerusalem, would appear that Jupiter had actually stopped in the evening sky right over a little Judean town called—Bethlehem. The Heavens were telling God’s Story, and Jupiter, the King Planet led the Magi all the way to Bethlehem. Pretty Cool.
But now these guys are stuck in Judea. They can’t go back home thru Jerusalem because Herod will figure out where Jesus is and go kill him. Matthew is very specific that, “…having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” They couldn’t get back home they way they’d come.
I know that’s not Matthew’s main point. He’s just telling us the story. But I’ve been thinking about that—These astronomers found themselves in a real pickle, a long way from home. And getting back required a change of direction.
If we’ve found ourselves distant from God, far away from Him, we’re never going to get back to Him on the same route that led us away from Him! We have to get back home another way!
If we’re honest, we know what sin it is that has us in its clutches. We keep going back to it and we know it’s become like a brick wall between us & God. We won’t let go of it and therefore, it won’t let go of us.
- Sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend before marriage
- Porn—It’s as addictive as any drug isn’t it? And it’s everywhere. You have to decide ahead of time what you’re going to do.
- Anger or Critical Spirit—you do more tearing down than building up.
What’s the thing you won’t let go of?
What’s the thing that won’t let go of you?
Sometimes our sin isn’t that obvious. Some of you are sitting here right now thinking, “I don’t do any of those things.” But you still feel about as far away from God as you can get. It’s because for you, SIN has masked itself as—SELF. But you can’t see it because you haven’t stopped to take a long, hard look in the mirror since who knows when!
The thing that’s separating you from God isn’t any particular heinous sin that you can put your finger on. You’re not a bad person. You’re just a self-centered person—however subtle your self-centeredness may be.
If those who know you well were interviewed by Fox News, and asked these questions about you, what would they say?
- What does (your name) do?
- What does (your name) love?
- What does (your name) stand for/believe in?
- What defines (your name) ?
How would those who know you well answer these questions about you?
What are you hanging onto that you need to let go of so God can change it into something that will help you serve Him?
What has a hold on you that you need to be released from so that you can be close to God again?
You see, our problem is either SIN of SELF. What’s keeping you away from God? What aren’t you letting go of? Are the habits & patterns in your life driving you to God or keeping him at arm’s length?
God wants you home for Xmas. He wants you back home with Him. But like the wise men—you’re not going to get back home the way you came. You’re gonna have to get home to God another way. Living life the way you have been & doing the same things you’ve been doing isn’t going to get you back to God. You’re gonna have to make a change in the way you live & in the way you think.
Seek, Reach Out, Find Him— Acts 17: 26-27
Everything God has done in your life has been so that you would find Him. The good and the bad happen to drive you to Him! He’s not far away from any of us. If you seek Him, you’ll find Him. If you reach out to Him, He’ll reach out to you…and lead you home!
Let Him take you home, back home, where He is, where you belong— this Christmas.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Award-Winning Christian Author
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