The Ups and the Downs

In my recent quiet times, my mind has settled on the very familiar passage found in Philippians 2. As I quote it below, pay attention to the "ups and the downs" of our Master-Teacher, as well as His followers:

(UP) Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God,

(DOWN) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant... He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross.

(UP) Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.

(DOWN) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,

(and UP) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father... for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:6-13)

I think we as humans would always choose to be on the up-and-up of life, experiencing one high after the other concerning power, prestige, and pressure-free living. We sure don't like the "DOWN stuff", do we? Who wants to be put on the side-lines, or who wants to take the backseat, or who wants keep silent when there is an opportunity to boast? But if our Teacher was willing to empty Himself and humble Himself, shouldn't we as well? Let us remember just how UP there He was: Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool (Is 66:1).

I thank my Jesus for coming DOWN. How I pray that I will learn from Him. He humbled Himself. How? By becoming obedient. Then... so must I. I must choose to obey God's word even when I really really really would rather "do it my way" or "have it my way". Friend, if you are struggling right now with feeling forgotten, or overlooked, or cheated, here is a promise for you:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time (I Peter 5:6).

In humble obedience, you and I learn more about our Savior, and we become more like Him. So that at this "proper time" that God chooses to lift us UP, we will both joyfully and selflessly proclaim, not our names, but One who is above all... JESUS.

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