Advent Series Part Two: Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)
Learning to live with Parkinson’s Disease has been a crash course in acknowledging my limits. I’m grateful for brain-training exercises from my physical therapist designed to counteract the drawing inward and the self-protective shrinkage of movement that comes with uncertain balance, joint pain, and the unpredictability of one hand continually going rogue.
“Don’t stop doing something just because it’s hard,” she counseled. “Get down on the floor to do those exercises as long as you can so that you will have to get yourself back up again.” So I extend my limbs half a dozen different ways, stretch out my fingers to their limit, and, at least for that half hour of exercise, I’m taking up ALL my space these days.
Even as I fight my limits, this new diagnosis is tutoring me in the wisdom of accepting my creaturely dependence upon a limitless God. While I am contingent, derived, and limited, God is self-existent, uncreated, and infinite in all his perfection.
Mighty God–Powerful Warrior
God is a mighty warrior who fights for his people. Much of the military terminology in the Bible is lost on me, but I recently spent time at a women’s retreat sharing the beautiful imagery of God as our rear guard.
I loved remembering that Israel escaped from slavery with the wealth of the Egyptians and the clothes on their backs only to find themselves suddenly trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. It was then that the fugitives experienced God’s guiding presence, as their rear guard: “…the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.”
God moves to protect us at our point of greatest vulnerability. Our Mighty God wraps up and bookends history as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.
Mighty God–Completely Unlimited
God’s omnipotence asserts that there are no limits on his ability to act.Jen Wilkin–None Like Him
God’s sovereignty asserts that there are no limits on his authority to act.”
Whatever God wills, he does. All that power would be frightening if it was not bound up in One who is infinitely wise, utterly good, and perfectly holy. Even when God is behaving in ways I can’t comprehend, his intertwining goodness and sovereignty have been my comfort.
Even when God is behaving in ways I can’t comprehend, his intertwining goodness and sovereignty have been my comfort.Tweet
News commentators and off-the-mark theologians bend over backward either to exonerate or to implicate God whenever tragedy strikes. Orthodoxy requires us to look squarely at the truth that God could have stilled the storm, kept the bridge from collapsing, prevented the earthquake, struck down the despotic dictator, and spoken peace to our troubled world.
But, often, he does not.
If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”R.C. Sproul
God is free to use his power according to his own design. He announced through Isaiah that his Son would come to us in the same way–as The Mighty God.
This is amazing news for those who are weak.
Two great gifts of Christmas come to all who greet this knowledge with joy:
- Reverence: Believers experience a combinate of admiration and fear that we were created to know. In its absence, pallid substitutes strive to provide a temporary thrill, but there are only so many roller coaster rides, and then it’s back to humdrum dailiness. Knowledge of the Mighty God in his role as Creator and Keeper of our lives is our one lasting connection to awe.
- Refuge: The God who has delivered his people in the past stands ready to rescue again–not necessarily from suffering and death, but from final and ultimate defeat. No matter what happens on this planet, no matter what happens to our bodies, we can take refuge with confidence in his power.
How does the reality that the Mighty God is a powerful warrior and unlimited in his ability to do what he wills comfort you personally?
Holding you in the Light,
God is free to use his power according to his own design. He announced through Isaiah that his Son would come to us in the same way–as The Mighty God. This is amazing news for those who are weak.Tweet
This is Part Two of a four-part series for Advent featuring Isaiah’s prophecy of a coming Messiah. Join me next Sunday for Part Three where we remember that our Everlasting Father cares for you perfectly and is a giver of good gifts. If you missed part one and want to catch up, click here on Wonderful Counselor to read and consider just exactly where YOU go when you need wisdom or comfort.
A Dose of Truth for Your Advent Season
This is your invitation to join me and my newsletter subscribers in memorizing and meditating on Isaiah 9:6 during the Advent season. Obviously, all you really need in order to do this is a Bible and the willingness to put in the work. However, if you’re interested in some help and encouragement, I’ve created a PDF for you that includes printable resources including:
- The text of Isaiah 9:6 as pictured above
- First letters of the verse to push you along in your memory work (Have you ever tried this method? It really helps me!) The first letter of each word triggers your brain to say the right word without actually giving you the word in print.
- A Meditation Guide for each name of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Each little card invites you to think about the Name in terms of who Jesus promises to be for you and what he wants to do in your life.
If this sounds helpful to you, get your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…
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