Grace Notes

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Act of Emptying

In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross!

Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Chris is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

The thought of Jesus having all the power above everything, in His divine nature, yet emptying Himself of His power to take the form of man; is a mind-boggling, awesome act! Imagine having power above all things, and setting it aside to just help one person.

Jesus, our Savior did this not for one person...but for the entire world!

Imagine facing temptation, pain, torture, and death, to save the world from sin; but also having the full Divinity of all power to escape it all. This is truly the ultimate sacrifice, that has only been fulfilled by Jesus. On the third day, Jesus rose again to offer us all His saving grace through the Holy Spirit. Ghandi, Muhammed, Buddha, and many other religious leaders did not fulfill this incredible feat. Only One can save us, and His Name is above every other name, Jesus. Every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus sacrificed Himself in every way as a man, to glorify our Father in Heaven. He is God Who put Himself aside. He modeled for us the WAY to go to the Father, through love, prayer, and humility. Jesus performed many miracles as a man anointed by God, with complete dependence on His Father. He demonstrated the ultimate form of faith, in the form of man. Thus, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life....

We, as humans are filled with ourselves, but in direct opposition to the nature of God. When we are filled with ourselves, we become self-serving and end up miserable. I know, I had been so filled with self that I could not see anyone else.

A sure way to become filled with the essence of God through the Holy Spirit is to continually empty ourselves. Unlike Jesus, we are not Divine when filled with self. As Jesus, rendered void His power; we must shed ourselves of our own will. Like Jesus, we must become dependent on the Father. We must die to ourselves by coming to the cross...many times. We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind, as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2. He doesn’t say renew your mind once. It’s the “renewing” of your mind through the help of the Holy Spirit, which is daily and constant.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Everlasting life, salvation, redemption, satisfaction, peace, joy and love above all is found at the cross. We can not come to this place through our own work or will. We are not capable of saving ourselves. All glory goes to God and through Him all things were made!

So our dependency on God is essential. It’s one of the main ingredients in which we need to fill ourselves with once we start the process of emptying ourselves.

What we are capable of doing, is to make a move toward God through faith. We are capable of reading His Word and patiently listening for His guidance, seeking God in all things. God is faithful, and He wants to do great things for us!

I am so grateful that Jesus emptied himself for us. It’s hard to empty out myself of my own will and it’s a process that takes faith, time and deliberate daily prayer. Growth does not happen overnight, and each day Jesus’ grace is sufficient for the us as I believe He is doing the work on my heart as a believer. Which brings me back to the magnitude of the power and strength of our God.

It takes time, a long time for us to empty ourselves, and it’s something we have to do over and over again. But Jesus emptied himself at once to become man so that we can have eternal life. He left His power at the throne in heaven to experience everything we experience like pain, defeat, sorrow, struggles, temptation.... He did the unimaginable, and gave it all for us.

I am in complete adoration of our God who is capable of doing all things beyond our ability to even comprehend His greatness! Even the angels in heaven, who are supernatural beings created by God can only mutter the phrase “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”, when faced with God’s presence at the throne. The angels repeat this phrase over and over day and night because His Glory is just that incredible...too dumbfounding for us to put into any other words.... too astonishing to comprehend. The angels could only mutter a phrase that seems so simple but so very powerful, bowing down fully worshipping our Lord Almighty.

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and Who lives forever and ever. The twenty-four elders fall down before him Who sits on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” Revelations 4:8-11 NIV

Consider this:

When we think of Jesus while He was on this earth, do we think of Him as only God, or only man? Do we think that we cannot relate to Him because He is the Son of God, Almighty?

He came down to earth in the form of man, to show us the Way, the Truth and the Life by experiencing the trials that we all face. But most importantly He experienced the greatest trial and pain of all through His ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross to save us from sin and grant us eternal life everlasting. Jesus is the greatest teacher to ever walk this earth, modeling the Way for us and connecting us to our unseen Father in Heaven; giving all glory to God our Father.

We can bring all of our troubles to Him, for He knows what we are feeling and He will comfort us all the days of our lives.

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