Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! Gift giving is not a regular Christmas tradition here in India. Nevertheless, as a child, I used to eagerly listen to stories of Santa Claus bringing gifts to children on Christmas eve. I was fascinated by Santa and looked forward to him bringing me sweets and gift packages (which he never did, by the way!).
I recently noticed something glaring in my personal prayer life - I was treating God as my personal Santa Claus!
My prayer lists are usually a mile long, covering everything from my personal needs to my family needs to specific requests for friends and relatives. I pray for my family's salvation, my husband's job, my son's studies, my business, etc. just to name a few. But my prayers are mostly requests - demands for God's gifts and blessings.
I had to ask myself few tough questions: Do I spend time with God only to submit my prayer requests, my endless needs and wants? Am I really seeking His presence.... or just His blessings?
I realized I had been treating God as Santa Claus in every season (not just at Christmas).
But God is NOT My Santa Claus! He is My GOD!
And He wants me to have a real relationship with Him - not just seeking Him, looking for His blessings alone. This is the lesson God is teaching me in this season of gifts and gifts giving. To seek His presence just to be with Him - enjoying and delighting in him... Not expecting anything from Him but simply remaining in Him. I've found that instead of requesting something from God, I can submit all I am and all I have to Him and He will do wonders with it.
I have experienced it in the past when my marriage was in shambles. My husband and I had been doing a lot of things to fix our marriage, but it still seemed to be doomed. I surrendered my marriage into God's hands at that time, and what He gave back to me was a miracle. He transformed my relationship with my husband, making it much better than I had ever hoped it would be.
I want to urge you, dear friend, to submit yourself to God. All your pains, your struggles, your strengths, your knowledge, your hopes, your worries and your dreams - leave it as a burnt offering on His altar.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:4-6)
When you give it all up to Him and choose to delight in His presence instead, He will give you the desires of your heart. You will, in fact, see them fulfilled in a way that you would not even have dreamed possible!
Ask yourself these questions today: Are you seeking God or His blessings? The King of kings or His riches? Jesus, our King desires an intimate relationship with you. That is the only offering He needs.
My challenge to you today is this:
Can you gift yourself to God this Christmas?
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Sunu Philip ~ ClothedInScarlet.org