Advent of 2020. Much of the western world is heading back into a time of isolation and governmental restrictions, and we are growing weary. The yoke chafs against our God-given desires for freedom of movement and gathering with friends and families, especially at this time of the year. Tiny fissures in our defences are starting to reveal character flaws and fears that we kept hidden by social niceties. The Bible states that God turns all things around for our good. In this most unusual Advent season, God is inviting us into wholeness. He never exposes cracks and fissures, weaknesses and fears, without a plan to heal and restore us into His Wholeness. I invite you to meditate on this famous passage from Isaiah this week.
Isaiah 9:6 (MSG) – “His names will be: Amazing Counsellor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.”
Take each attribute of Jesus mentioned in this verse and ask yourself the following questions.
1. How can I take advantage of Jesus’ extraordinary counselling skills? What am I struggling with that I can’t figure out on my own? A good counsellor is one who knows how to ask leading questions. Sit with Jesus long enough to hear his questions. Why did I blow up at the cashier the other day? Why am I laying awake at night, worrying about provision?
2. Am I relying on God’s strength in my weakness or am I wearing a brave mask while slowly crumbling under the weight of the isolation, the unknown, and fear that swirls around me?
3. Am I approaching God and taking full advantage of what it means to be His child? Am I seeking his counsel? Am I spending time being with Him? Are my times spent with Him more like dropping a shopping list of needs, wants, and concerns on His desk, or am I seeking Him as a child would, who wants to spend time with their Dad?
4. Prince of Peace, Prince of Wholeness. Peterson uses the word “Wholeness” in place of the familiar Prince of Peace. I like that; it makes me think. A good sign that we are not living in the wholeness made available to us through Christ is a lack of peace. A good sign we are not living in the peace made available to us through Christ is that feeling that something is somehow missing, despite having everything we need. Vague discontent should lead us to intimacy with God and not away from Him.
I wrote the following prayer in 1997, but I pray it afresh over both you and I today.
I pray for wholeness.
Wholeness that invades every corner of your home,
Every hidden place in your heart,
Every broken place in your life.
Wholeness that chases away the darkness and makes way for deep joy.
I pray for wholeness
That is birthed from a certain knowledge that…
You are loved, and not only loved; but cherished by your Creator, God.
I pray for wholeness
That expands from the inside out
Until you burst forth in
Holy, exuberant explosions of goodwill.
I pray for wholeness that catches your family, your loved ones, your community, and your nation up into the breathtakingly beautiful and glorious adventures that await all those who follow His ways.
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From November 2020 forward, all Bible verses attributed to the NASB version unless otherwise indicated. Prior to this date, ESV was the common attribution.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden