Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"The Word Made Flesh"

God's spiritual doings often come to us in tangible expression and fulfillment.

"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).

One reason the Lord Jesus Christ was made flesh is because our humanity required a revelation of God in a manner we could perceive. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared (revealed) Him" (John 1:18). The same principle presently involves our Lord meeting us spiritually in ways and modes that may seem very earthly. Believers in the Lord Jesus are spiritual beings in the essence of our personhood. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9). We nevertheless possess souls and bodies inherited from our original forefather Adam, who was "of the earth, earthy" (I Corinthians 15:47). We therefore require the Word to be made flesh, as it were, if we are to consistently perceive God's working in our lives.

For example, we might pray for God's promised provision. "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Certainly He might at times provide in an almost miraculous manner, bestowing on us provision that seems no less heavenly than the manna received by Israel. However, the norm of God's working involves us in the answer to such prayers. Perhaps He leads us to work more, or better. Or He grants wisdom whereby we adjust our stewardship of the things we have. He might simply enable us to think better, and analyze how we can more efficiently and effectively allocate our resources. Finally, He may cause us to be far more "content with such things as ye have," an answer that may often be the most blessed provision of all (Hebrews 13:5).

Such answers to prayer are intensely spiritual, but in "the Word made flesh" dynamic that comprises the very heart of God's eternal purpose in Christ. If we have eyes to see, we rejoice and give thanks, recognizing that our Heavenly Father honors us by involving us in the bestowal of His provision. He "worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure," and we "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12-13). Heaven and earth unite, as in the person of the Lord Jesus, and God is greatly revealed in both realms.

A man came in from the fields one evening, exhausted from the day's labors. With his family, also weary after a day's hard work, he prayed at dinner time, "Dear Father, how You have provided for us in this day! You gave to us life and breath and all things, and You enabled us with the wisdom and strength You provided to work hard in the fields and in the house for the bounty You so abundantly provide. We thank You for this, Father, and we thank You that the tiredness we feel is the vivid evidence that You honored us to be a part of Your supply in Christ. What a joy and privilege, dear Father, and we praise You that this day has so plainly revealed that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!" Such is "the Word made flesh," in strength for our labors, and in a joyful heart that sees the Unseen in all things.

"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead."
(Romans 1:20)

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