After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, …
We can often discern when the Lord is moving in our lives, and we can discern how He intends to move by paying strict attention to the strange arrangements that He configures around us.
God intends to challenge all competing presences in our lives. God doesn’t intend to skirt around His unapologetic want for total supremacy in our lives. We never have to guess God’s motives. God wants lordship.
Nothing else gets to compete over lordship for our lives because no other connection in our lives has paid the same sacrifice that God has. We acknowledge that we love our life, but we belong to the Lord. We were bought with a price. Therefore, it is expected that we glorify God.
This is why we do not allow those who know the mess of our yesterdays to talk us out of chasing the brightness of our tomorrow. Between the mess of our yesterdays and the brightness of our tomorrow is the grace of our God. God’s grace has already paid the price for our sins. Thus, He now gets to make decisions about our eternal destination, which is going to be, as Paul said, “… in a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.”
God has a right to make decisions about our daily path because He is the one who feeds us our daily bread. He makes decisions about our path because He has ordered our steps according to His Word. Matthew comes along and adds this advent narrative to teach us how to discern when God is making these kinds of decisions in our lives.
We need to understand this because we don’t want to miss what God has created for our lives because we don’t pray, worship, or meditate on His presence or His word.
Here Matthew shows one of the ways that God shapes decisions for us. God gives confirmation by showing us how He works in a particular place: “Jesus, Born in Bethlehem of Judea.”
This is important because it is in Bethlehem: where Jacob was buried, where Rachael’s remains rest, where Ruth found her Boaz, and where David was born and raised. Today, we add that Bethlehem is where we Christians can say that Jesus was born.
When God is growing us and shaping us, we must learn to pay attention to how God is moving. When normalcy is stirred by a move of God in our lives, we must pay attention because whenever God is moving differently at any time throughout our journey, our journey becomes pregnant with possibility.
When what we think or feel about the place we are in suddenly changes, God is giving us a sign that He is about to birth something in us.