Last night we took our ten-year-old grandson out to a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Our cook was particularly entertaining, and at the end of the meal he asked the children around the table if they wanted to play catch. They shared grins and shrugged shoulders and nodded. He proceeded to chop some scrambled egg into small bites and, one by one, lofted those tidbits into their open mouths. To everyone’s delight most of them were caught quite easily, and there was laughter and cheering for each success.
Obviously, the cook’s skill was required, but the young ones also had to watch carefully and move their heads to make the trick work. The other important factor: the children needed to have nothing else in their mouths. In order to be “fed,” they had to be empty.
During these last three weeks of Advent, we have focused on awakening our souls to the presence of God, turning our hearts in repentance toward the giver of life, and preparing to embrace what He is offering. As we enter the fourth week of Advent, we move in posture and position ourselves to receive our King. Anything we have been turning to instead of turning to Him we must relinquish so that we are free to take in all He has promised.
This divine exchange of releasing our own preferences, interests and agendas to receive His word, His love and His will is the rhythm of our lives as we continue to follow Him. We acknowledge the poverty of our own human nature and believe on Him for eternal abundant life. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 NKJV)
In 2 Peter 1:2-4, we are encouraged with these words: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Dear one, amidst the clamor and noise that often accompanies this merry season, pause a moment and pray a prayer of relinquishment. Offer Him those things that have tried to take His place in your heart. Ask Him to fill you anew with His Spirit and His love. Be willing to be empty to that He can pour into you all He desires.
Until next week, beloved, surrender your heart and receive your King.