Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you! Psalm 27:14
An elderly man was waiting . . . for this reason the Holy Spirit had moved him to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered. Luke 2:25, 28 TPT) It is May and I am reading the Christmas story. I know our culture likes to rush things, but maybe this seems a bit premature even for that mentality. However, I was struck by how pertinent every aspect of that account is to my current life and not just mine but to the world. Of course, Zachariah and I are soulmates and the idea of an angelic choir appearing in the night sky sounds thrilling – or maybe chilling, but the arrival of Jesus on the scene was transformational. The dynamic change that came with the birth of Jesus did not end with His accession.
It is so easy to get sucked down the hole of disappointment and disillusionment. Everything in our world screams that God is absent or at least distant. We are led to believe that our prayers fall far short of the necessary amount required to get God to move – after all He is seated on the throne and resting. This “good-news” is really not all that great if it has nebulous parameters that are largely unknown.
I know this sounds so encouraging! But, the key to life isn’t in making judgements based on what we see and know, it is found in the encounter. Simeon was waiting, a really long time, to see the Messiah. His life was spent with full expectation even as the calendar pages turned and his hair turned to silver. The length of the wait, did not change the truth of what God has promised.
Simeon which means, “the one who hears” was waiting. He was moved by the Holy spirit. He was obedient to go. Often we hear, and sometimes we are moved, but often we miss our divine encounters because we fail to obey. There is no judgment in that statement only a recognition, that perhaps the times we believed that God has failed to follow through, it was actually the lack of obedience on our end that caused us to miss our visitation. Now there are times, because of the “Heart melting kindness of God”, as David would say, that He appears anyway.
The message isn’t shared as an invitation to beat ourselves us over past misses, but to challenge us that God’s promises do not expire. We can be at the right place at the right time to receive. A visitation from God isn’t a lost expectation – it is a present reality. We should never really step in and out of His presence, He lives with us, but our perception is reality and sometimes it feels like we need a “visitation”.
There are times in history when the active, undeniable presence of God shows up and makes a mark. This is one of those seasons. There is a wooing of the Holy Spirit that is gently, or not so quietly rousing us out of our sleepy, lethargic state to a new level of revelation and action. We are about to experience some of the greatest moments of our lives.
Simeon, saw, cradled the baby in his arms, praised God for the promise fulfilled and prophesied to His parents. He wasn’t the only one that saw Jesus that day. Anna, who was also, old and had been waiting for a long time, experienced the thrill of holding the Baby. She went on to continue to share the story of her encounter and she was at least 100 years old.
Just like Simeon and Anna we are going to receive what has been promised. The time of His visitation is now. What have we been waiting to witness, hold, experience? Where is the Holy Spirit moving us to invest our time, energy and resources? What is the action that He is asking us to take today? This is not a spiritual productivity exercise, this is a light the fire under our bottoms, get ready to see something unexpected in the places we always go, kind of season.
“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace goodwill to men”. Let that be our meditation. His glory is covering the earth as the waters cover the sea. We are not doomed to darkness and curses – we are alive to Him and to manifest the power He promised and provides. What if our renewed expectation for God, brought with it glory that began to squeeze out evil and filled in those spaces with the kingdom? That is not a far off fantasy, it is a current day reality.
This visitation, this sky-splitting, earth-shaking manifestation of God’s glory is long-awaited and will produce everything He promised. Every day, every sunrise speaks to the unlimited potential of God to remind of His new mercies for a planet in desperate need of restoration and redemption. We say to you Lord, we are listening, we are being moved and we will follow.