VICTORIOUS IN HIM
You were slaves and now you are free.
You were walking in a valley of sorrow, now He has brought joy to your steps.
You were living in fear and in darkness, now you are invited to step into the light.
FOR: what happened 2000 years ago didn’t remain there. Tonight we celebrate, not what was, but what is!
If He was born in a manger 2000 years ago, He is born in your hearts tonight.
If He came, God, as man for all mankind back then, He comes for each man, woman, and child, to live, not among, but within.
The invitation is not simply to remember the long past, but for you to invite Him whom you have passed, and have longed for, to invite Him to dwell under your own roof, in the heart of your home, in the sanctuary of your temple, tonight.
There is a story of a poor little blacksmith, who used to watch all the jousting men each day. Each day he would watch, studying every detail of their style, their build, how they rode, how they held their pole, where they were protected, where they were weak. He knew everything about each of them, and would work each evening, fashioning saddles, armor, helmets, poles, custom made for each rider. But none of them knew of him.
These men were always looking for new gear, supplies to make them stronger, more agile, more protected, better than before. They would go from shop to shop and try the products, none of them made to fit, but made none-the-less for them to buy, for them to use. No one came to the shop of the poor little blacksmith, because it wasn’t much of a shop. He wasn’t much of a business. In fact, his things were not for sale.
One day, a young knight ended up near his shop, not knowing he was near, and he saw a simple little sign above a simple little door: “MADE FOR YOU”.
He was going to pass by but decided to drop in. The young man greeted the poor little blacksmith, the man who had been watching his every joust without his knowing. The young knight introduced himself and asked what sort of shop this was.
“I make jousting gear, custom designed for each man, for each knight, to fit like a glove, to protect better than any steel, to strengthen him and give him every advantage in the battle.”
The young man saw the simplicity of the shop, the plainness of the older man, and was about to dismiss the idea completely, when the older man added, “and I don’t charge a penny.”
The young man was finished with the fool. He laughed at the poor little man and politely excused himself from the shop. The older man called to him as he left: “would you not at least like to try yours on?”
“What do you mean?”
“I have yours here, ready to go.”
“How do you…”
“I have been watching you in each battle. I know everything about you: your style, your strength, your weakness.” And he held up a piece of body armor.
The young man tried it all on, each piece fit more perfectly than he could have imagined, lighter, stronger, better. He turned to the man and asked slowly:
“What is the catch, sir? It is free, it all but guarantees me victory, it is made to fit, just for me, and you ask for nothing? How am I the first to know about you?”
“Oh, you are not the first to know about me,” replied the poor little man. “Many knights have come before you. They have found the same armor like yours, amazed at their fortune, and I have seen their starry eyes, thinking of their victories.
“But just as many as have come in have left all the same, leaving their armor with me, or if they take it, they bring it back after a few battles.”
“Because there is a catch, and it is this: they don’t get to take the credit any more for their victories. Their trophies, their prizes, their honors, all have to be given to me. I do not keep any of it; I give it to the needy. But these men cannot stomach it.
“Even though they are better with me, even though they are victorious with me, even though I know everything about their ways and have made each suit to fit them, they go another way, to joust for their own glory, even if it means their defeat.”
Brothers and sisters, there is Someone out there who knows everything about you. He knows your strengths; He knows your weaknesses. He knows everything about you. And He has made a way for you to come to victory. His name is Emmanuel. His name is Jesus. He is the desire of every human heart. No matter what shape the heart is, no matter how big or small, strong or weak, cold or warm, praying or not, loving or not. The fact is that He knows how to fulfill us, and He alone.
We have been searching, running, hoping. We can stop searching. We can stop running. He has come to us, and He says:
I am with you now
Not was; not will be – NOW
I made Myself Who am God to be a baby, small.
Do you not think I can make Myself small enough to fit inside you, to make My home inside your heart?
As easy, and as sure, as breathing in air, so can you bring Me into yourself.
As you open your mouth for air, open your heart for Me, and invite Me!
I desire to be in you. I have already taken you into Me. When I took on flesh, I took all of humanity into Myself. I wasn’t human, but I took on humanity to save you; I took you into Myself – now, take Me to yourself
Tonight is Christmas, and Jesus has come to us. In a manger on that silent night, His desire is to come to your hearts this night. And when we welcome Him we will be victorious. And when we acknowledge Him, we will be victorious. And when we bow to Him, we will be victorious. And when we lay everything down at the feet of Him who loved us to the end, we will be victorious.
This night is Christmas, and the Victor has come to bring us victory. Come, Lord Jesus.