The Ministry Of Waiting

 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Luke 2:25-26...."To be devout is to be careful in the worship of God....Waiting is an active position of attentiveness and expectation....Simeon was able to see Jesus because he never gave up looking for Jesus." Alicia Britt Chole


I recently watched and listened to (we often only do the first) an online teaching by Alicia Britt Chole in which she made the above remarks. They really penetrated because I know the reality of what she spoke is so often lacking in my, and all of our lives, in what we call "worship." Space doesn't allow me to go as deeply as I need to, but that's fine as I believe He would have me ponder these things, and more that she spoke, in the days to come.

First off, how "devout" do you and I consider ourselves to be? If the definition is to be careful in our worship of Him, then how "careful" are we? In the OT, there was a process for coming before Him. There was a ritual of purification to undergo. I realize we are no longer under the law, but the expectations of God have not changed. His expectation is that when we gather before Him, we do so with "pure hands and a clean heart." We even sing songs about that. Yet is that our reality. Too many who would profess to come to worship Him have thought little or nothing of Him until the moment they enter the sanctuary, and then they, we, depend upon the music to get them into the mood. More, the preparation of those who are to "lead" worship are little better. How much prayer, time, and giving of ourselves have we put into the songs sung, the message preached? Do we follow the lead of what we think the people want, or in where He is leading? "devout" in our lifestyles of worship are we?


Secondly, how do we look at what Chole calls, "the ministry of waiting?" Someone has said that waiting upon Him is an active experience, as we cling to Him, literally are intertwined with Him through all the process. Our focus is not on getting what we want, but upon getting Him. We, myself included, have turned the message into one of telling people all that God wants to give them, do for them. Provide for them the desires of their heart. Yet we think little or nothing about the desire of His. We just want to get, and if we do live in expectation, it's an expectation of getting the thing we want. His expectation in our waiting is that what we truly desire will be Him. I think this is the true purpose of all the waiting that He leads us through. And Simeon, who waited a lifetime to see Him, experienced this. He knew the ministry of waiting. Do we?

Last, and most powerful to me, is that Simeon saw the Messiah, saw the Lord, because he never stopped seeking for Him. We do. Often. When we meet hardship, or delayed answers, oftentimes long delays, we give in to the temptation John the Baptist had concerning Jesus. We start to look somewhere else for relief, for the answer, for our "savior." Simeon didn't. He didn't allow the years of not seeing Him to turn him aside from looking every day for Him...fully believing the day when he would see Him was coming. He never stopped looking to see Him. And he did see Him. Where, in our lives, families, livelihoods, and ministries, have we stopped looking for Him?

As I said, a great deal to contemplate there. I intend to for myself. How about you for yourself? Do you know true devotion to Him? Do you engage in the ministry of waiting? Are you still looking in all places to see Jesus? Will you take the time to truly answer?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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