It’s uncommon to speak of the wise men mentioned in the narrative of Christ’s birth, after Christmas, but as I contemplate moving through this New Year, their wisdom comes to mind. No other group captures the essence of what it means to be wise as these philosophers and experts in their field. They were filled with power and influence – still they allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them to the true King in a time when even God’s own people were focused on a different king. My deep desire for you is that the same wisdom that governed the wise men years ago sets your course of action for this New Year.
These wise men were anxious for the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. “They had studied prophecy, and knew the time was at hand when Christ would come; and they were anxiously watching for some sign of this great event, that they might be among the first to welcome the infant heavenly King, and worship Him.” When they saw the bright rays of the star in the sky, “they consulted priests and philosophers, and searched the scrolls of the ancient records” just to be sure that they were looking and searching in the right direction. This year, be like the wise men and do not be afraid to search the scriptures and rub shoulders with like-minded believers to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your King. The bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend – Proverbs 27: 17.” Choose relationships that will practically sharpen and stimulate you to be better spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. And move one step further, saturate your own spirit in the word of God, daily. You will find that the deeper you delve into the word, the more faith-filler sharpeners will be drawn to your life.
The wise men knew that the star, which they saw in the sky, was unlike any other -it was the Messiah’s star. “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was” – Matthew 2: 9. They followed the star and knew that they had found Jesus as the rays of the star revealed and covered His location. This is the same way we will know that we have found Christ, after our search for Him: we will experience the rays of His love and stand surrounded by His presence. But we must first be willing to be led by the light of Christ through the leading of His Holy Spirit. “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble” – Proverbs 4: 11, 12. Following God’s light sounds easy but what if God’s light leads you to people whom you’d rather not associate with or to places that you believe you have outgrown; would you still follow where His light leads to give your gift of service? Make the light of the Holy Spirit your primary guide. Follow where He leads…even in crooked, unknown paths. Sidebar: Following the light of God means that you will not follow another ‘star’ within God’s kingdom who is shining and twinkling for His Glory or even follow your own bright stardom. You will open up your heart to His bidding and allow Him to enable you to move according to His leading.
When the wise men found Jesus, they worshipped Him. These intellectuals of their time with impressive social standing put aside their power and prestige in the presence of the newborn King – the Son of God and paid homage to Him. They bowed in worship, and offered Him their best gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh. Your King wants your best for the New Year. Put aside that which defines you and worship Christ wholeheartedly giving Him the throne of your heart. He deserves that position. And don’t forget that the wise men searched for the Promised One on a two-year journey. They eventually found Jesus, after His birth. This is the truth no one speaks about regarding faith journeys – finding God takes TIME; finding your gift will take TIME; courageously sharing your gift will take TIME. Be determined to find God but be patient. Be willing to find our gift but be patient. And remember to allow the Holy Spirit to work His wonder in your life…at His own pace.
When the wise men learnt of the location of the new King, in good nature, they prepared to return to Jerusalem to inform king Herod the great. But God revealed a divine message to them in a dream not to return to king Herod but return to their country by an opposite route. After all, God knew that King Herod was more interested in remaining king than finding or learning more of the true King. The wise men obeyed the warning to flee by another route. Likewise in the upcoming months, determine to obey God’s divine instructions without delay for “what seems to be God’s foolishness (asking you to trod a new path and walk away from that which is familiar) is wiser than human wisdom….” – 1 Corinthians 1: 25. (When we encounter God’s presence, we will be asked to walk away from certain situations and situationships (unhealthy relationships that are without commitment, accountability, or responsibilities; they are defined by conflict and toxic emotions).
God chose the wise men to do His will and similarly has chosen you to experience a deeper encounter with His greatest gift – Jesus – in 2016.
If like me, you deeply desire to hit the ground running, maintain your pace and jump over hurdles throughout the opening chapters of the New Year, then you need wisdom like that exhibited by the wise men. Obtaining this wisdom comes only after one attentively sits in the school of the Holy Spirit and embraces and holds wisdom tightly (Read Proverbs 3: 18) and determines to realistically use her in everyday experiences. Seek this God kind of wisdom and hold fast to her this year.
P.S. Don’t forget your wise acts: Wise act 1: Make time to search diligently for your King. Wise act 2: Allow the Holy Spirit to be your only guiding light. Wise act 3: Put everything aside and worship your King with your best presents in His presence. Wise act 4: Without hesitation, obey His divine.
Many blessings to you, wise one, in 2016!
Love, peace and light,
Scripture of the week: Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, because they are mine forever. I am wiser than all my teachers, because I think about your rules. Psalm 119: 98, 99.