Today’s Reading: Click Here – Luke 1:5-25 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)
We have entered into the second week of Advent with our attention centered on ‘The Wonder of FAITH.’ Our passage today paints a picture of one being ‘righteous in God’s eyes.’ Zechariah and Elizabeth were well into their years and without children. They remained faithful in following God’s laws with an outward compliance stemmed from their inward obedience that was from the heart, hence being called ‘righteous in God’s eyes’. They were chosen to fulfill the prophesy and promise of a Savior. They would bear a child, name him John and he would be great, set apart for a special service to God, and prepare the way for the Messiah. It was here, when Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, both righteous in God’s eyes, were pregnant through the miraculous will of God, that Elizabeth’s baby, while still in the womb, rejoiced at the news of a Savior, Jesus. Luke 1:39-45: A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, we experience and witness answered prayers and God’s mighty work within and around us with a ‘Right Heart’ to be open to what God can do IN impossible conditions, and wait for God to work in His way and in His time. Waiting on God can sometimes make or break our faith, but when our hearts are right and tuned in to His promises, we realize that faith AND waiting go hand-in-hand.
One waits to hold their newborn child.
Some wait for their prodigal child to come and return home.
Many wait for that much needed job.
Countless wait for an eye-opening spiritual breakthrough.
All are waiting for the healing of our land, spiritually and physical, the hope of a Savior.
We all wait for something. It is the genuine embodiment of faith. We are to remain faithful in our waiting. Advent IS about faith and waiting. What are you waiting on God for right now? I’m sure most of us have the same prayerful mindset as 2020 looms to an end, anxious to put it all behind us. Waiting for a new day that will shine God’s light with healing and restoration.
As we recall the years of silence as God’s people waited for the Messiah, take time today, right now, to reflect on the fact that God’s timing is quite different from our own. When we recognize this, it eases the restlessness in the waiting and the rejoicing becomes that much more exuberant, which then fortifies and enriches our faith.
The story of Jesus’ birth gives us assurance and joy because even though the waiting lingered for decades, God broke through at just the right time, fulfilling prophesies and promises, bringing hope and eternal life!
Are you struggling with a questionable faith? That’s OK. It doesn’t take much faith to get God’s attention. In fact, he is always right there, just waiting, waiting for you. Jesus encouraged his frustrated followers this way: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Our mountains are our struggles, fears, doubts, challenges, even our sins. Every single one of these can be overcome by the faith we cultivate, the condition and claim of our heart, and the relationship we nurture and make personal with Jesus.
It’s our nature to start big, to try to grow a forest, so to speak, in one day. Jesus, however, invites you to begin with a tiny seed. Watch it grow and wait for it to become all that you dreamed it would be. Let faith be born in you, nurture it and watch it soar within your heart.
Today, examine how waiting affects you. How do you do in the waiting? Share with a friend or family member something you are waiting for. This opens a channel of communication through the waiting. Encourage someone you know who is weary and waiting to remind them of God’s promises, and wait together.
Evaluate and take inventory of your relationship with God. Are you struggling with His silence? Are you open to a life eclipsed with His goodness and direction, with an understanding that requires a relationships with his Son Jesus? He want’s nothing more than for you to open your heart to Him, to be the center of your life. What do you have to lose? Actually, a lot, because it’s worth it all, it’s worth the waiting. Always. Every day is the perfect day to take that first step, and the rest just falls into place and faith grows.
I’m often quite impatient with my life. I rush to fill my time and thoughts with all things good that bring glory to God. I seek the Lord’s precious and gentle examples that teach me to enjoy Him and not just the blessings in these days filled with laughter and joy, but also through seasons of hardship and uncertainty. I am reminded to start and end each day with a ‘Right Heart’ that is attentive to the One who loves and leads me in this Advent season, now and every day! Right your heart today and wait… wait on God to fill your soul with the love and compassion of His son Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Be born to FAITH, this day.
Here are a few songs for your spiritual listening pleasure and Advent meditation:
Heavenly Father, little did I know I needed a savior, until that day I opened my heart and Jesus was there. Faith was born in me that day. In every moment of every season, there is a purpose for me. Let my eyes be wide open and my heart be right in relationship with Jesus, to cherish and grow that faith born in me. I pray in this moment of waiting for the stillness of the season to cover me with a gentle caress of God’s perfect goodness. In the name of Jesus, our King and Prince of Peace. Amen.
Resource: lifeway.com/Matt Tullos