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August 17, 2016

When Christ is Commander in Chief: Part 1

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end….” Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV2011) 

Isaiah reveals four titles for Christ that give us insight into what we can expect when Christ is Commander in Chief.

“And He will be called Wonderful Counselor . . . . ”

When Christ is Commander in Chief, there will be no need for a cabinet of advisors.  Because He is the source of all wisdom and truth, He will rule with justice and righteousness.  Thankfully, you and I don’t have to wait until He comes again to benefit from His wise counsel in our lives.  As the Wonderful Counselor, He offers Christ followers direction in every decision.   He does that through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God.  Like a compass that points true North, Jesus comes today by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to reveal the will of God in our lives.  We don’t have to wander aimlessly through life, waiting for Jesus to come again!  We can trust Him to lead us and give us clarity in the midst of a confusing and chaotic world.  Unlike today’s politicians, Jesus will never lie or withhold the truth.  The Bible says,

“God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19 (ESV)

Repeatedly, the Bible assures us that not one of all His good promises will fail!  Wouldn’t it be great if politicians did that today? If you need direction in every decision, make Christ the Commander in Chief of your life.

“And He will be called . . . Mighty God . . . . ”

Isaiah says that this child that was born at Bethlehem was the Mighty God Himself!  Jesus claimed to be God.  In fact, this claim is what led the religious leaders to crucify Him!  They thought He was committing blasphemy punishable by death!  Yet, He was indeed the Son of God given for all mankind that, through His death, we may be reconciled to God.  John said,

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NLT)

Because Jesus is the Mighty God, He offers His followers strength in every storm.  No matter what storm you are going through in life, what impossible and hopeless situation you are facing today, or how weak and incapable you feel, God says, I am your strength, and I will never leave you!  Jeremiah, a prophet, lived in perhaps one of the most difficult times of Israel’s history when they were under Babylonian siege and about to be taken captive.  In the midst of that storm he wrote,

“Ah, Lord GOD!  It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too hard for You.” Jer. 32:17 (ESV)

When you feel powerless and cry out to God that you can’t go any further, look to the skies above you and hear His gentle voice say to you, “You can’t, my child, I never said you could.  But, I can and always said I would.  Go in My strength, and experience the risen power of Christ!”  It was with that kind of faith that led the Apostle Paul to write from a prison cell,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

These are just two of the four titles Isaiah gave for Christ.  Consider them for a moment and apply them in your life today before we examine the other two tomorrow.