Humbled In Order To Be Exalted?

How would you like to be in an airplane flying at 20,000 feet when the pilot says, “We are now going to climb to our cruising altitude of 32,000 feet.” Fine to this point.

Then you look out the window and the plane is pointed downwards. An optical illusion? Who knows, but it looks like you’re going down to 15,000 feet, then five thousand, then boom!

And you open your eyes and you’re cruising at 30,000 feet.

“There’s got to be an easier way to do this,” you think.

In this world you don’t get down to get up; you don’t go left to get to the right side of a thing. In God’s Kingdom, though, things go exactly the opposite of this world (because we’re a mirror-image of his reality and a mirror image reflects left as right).

Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11 NIV)

Who would have thought that the Cross was the way to glory? What mama tells her son, “Listen, boys if you want to be good and remembered as someone important and famous in a good way, you’ve gotta rob, murder, rape and destroy. People will really like you, then. They’ll hang you.”

Maybe the mama of the Dalton gang did that, but the rest of the mamas probably encouraged their sons to be the president or the boss, and to accomplish great things so that they would be respected and admired.

So, who would have imagined that the way to eternal glory for the Son of God would pass by the ignominy and horror of the Cross? Who would have imagined the promises God made to Joseph would first pass through the prison or that the anointing of David to be king would be confirmed by years of running and hiding in caves?

Just to remind you, don’t be so quick to think that God has forgotten you if you feel like you’re being crucified. My experience is that the promises of God have to die before they can live.

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.” (John 12:24, The Message)

You may feel like you’re crashing today, but don’t be surprised if you don’t eventually end up cruising at 32,000 feet. God’s Kingdom marches to a different drummer.

“Check your list one more time. Is there any impossible thing in the works?” —by Steve May, author, speaker, preacher

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