Psalm 119:27-45 (Amplified Bible)
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on and talk of Your wondrous works... And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I hope in Your ordinances. I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. And I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for [and desperately required] Your precepts.
It is easy to skim over scriptures that are so familiar without pausing to receive fresh insight. One thing I do before I start to read the bible is to write a one sentence prayer in my journal. This is what I wrote today, "Father, refresh my heart through Your word."
So turn with me to Luke chapter 2 as I share with you how our Father refreshed my heart with fresh insight to my soul today.
Simeon, a man with a promise from God.
Simeon had received a promise from God, that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. How long had he been waiting for this promise? The bible isn't clear on the time frame.
- Have you received a promise from God?
- Have you been waiting a long time for that promise?
- It is in the waiting that we often get in to trouble as we try to make something happen. Or, we try to help God along.
- Waiting may be easy at first but as time goes on it is a very difficult thing to do.
- How about you, are you finding it hard to simply wait?
- Is your waiting with eager anticipation?
- Is there a sense of expectancy or has that worn off after the years of waiting and waiting and waiting?
- This is where Simeon was alert to the nudging of the Holy Spirit to act.
- Did Simeon know before this day that he would hold the Messiah in the temple? Probably not, so whatever he was doing he quickly turned to go.
- There would be the rise and fall of many people
- The Messiah would be spoken against: opposed, refused, disbelieved
- The Messiah would reveal thoughts of hearts (future judgement day)
- The Messiah would cause anguish to Mary's heart - this promise was one of hope but also of rejection and ultimately crucifixion. This would be like a sword piercing her heart.
When God gives you a promise
When God gives you a promise how do you live your life while you are waiting?
- You live it as Simeon did, day in and day out.
- You develop the characteristics Simeon did; he was just, righteous, devout.
- You wait with a gracious spirit before God
- You keep your heart sensitive to hear
The answer is found in Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance...
Above all we cannot let our heart become bitter. We still follow the 4 points listed above and with an eager anticipation. What greater honour can we give Him than to be "living by faith" at the point of our natural death.
The Christian life is not seeking experiences or promises but it is seeking God Himself.
May your heart be refreshed and renewed just as He refreshed mine early this morning.