10 Days of Christmas Truths to Live All Year

Day 5 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Caesar Augustus:

Imagine if this happened today. How would you feel about having to interrupt your life to make a trip back to the city where you were born so you could register to pay taxes? 

As much as it would inconvenience us, they had even more complications back then. I’m sure many of them had crops and livestock to consider. There weren’t planes or trains. Travel meant walking…or at best, riding on an animal. 

No doubt, this wasn’t a very popular decree. But God was doing something bigger. 

Prophecy in Micah 5:2 indicated the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Because Joseph was from Bethlehem, he and Mary had to travel there for the census.

See the big picture? In God’s perfect timing, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy. 

God used a decree from a secular ruler to keep His promises to His people.

This isn’t a political statement but a biblical one: No one has more control than God does. 

Despite circumstances, we can trust God. Even if we can’t see the outcome, we can always trust His ways.

But let’s go just a bit beyond merely trusting God today. Hear the testimony of a recovering control freak:

Taking control of my life creates immense pressure I was never meant to bear. Giving God control of my life creates peace I can’t fully understand.

So, I have a habit that I started a few years ago. Each morning, when I get out of bed, I simply lift my hands up. 

I know it may sound silly, but it’s a physical demonstration of how I want the posture of my heart to be – total surrender to God. 

If this is a struggle for you, I’m going to encourage you to begin your day the same way. Just lift your hands up as a silent prayer to show God you’re letting go and releasing full control to Him.

God, help us surrender everything we are to You. Don’t let us fear the small worries of the world. Don’t let us get wrapped up in circumstances. And even when we can’t see Your hand, help us to trust Your heart. We know that, no matter who is giving orders on earth, You are ultimately the One in control. We love You. Amen. 

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