Living In A Promise
Anticipation. This is the word I focus in on when it comes to the story of Simeon in Luke’s gospel. We see the picture of a man eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of a promise not only for his own life, but first for Israel and then all people. Sound familiar? So much of the Christian walk is about following a promise.
The short passage about Simeon gives a beautiful glimpse into how we respond to a promise from the Lord that dramatically shapes our lives.
Confidence In The Promise - Luke 2:22-38
According to the Luke passage, this man had a promise from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Scripture doesn’t give us a timeline for how long this man had waited. It could have been decades for all that we know!
Instead of sitting around and wondering what this promise would look like, Simeon shaped his entire life around this word. What Scripture tells us is that this man’s life was characterized by words like righteous and devout. His main objective was waiting for the consolation of Israel. I imagine the days leading up to the fulfillment could have been anything from desperation and doubt to intimacy and faith, yet Simeon maintained a confidence in the Lord’s promise up to the very moment that he held the baby Jesus.
In the same way, instead of wavering and questioning when the promise would be fulfilled, this man sustained himself in the Lord daily and trusted the Holy Spirit for the right moment of revelation. We see that the word spoken into Simeon’s life was enough for a lifetime of faith.
Promise Without A Deadline
It can become so easy to question and doubt when we are given a promise without a deadline. I think of the many characters in the Bible like Abraham who would never live to see the fulfillment of his promise, or Joseph who had to endure years in prison and slavery before seeing God’s word come true. Paul explains in Hebrews Chapter 11 that their promise actually led to faith.
Because the promise is not seen, we are given the opportunity to step into a new kind of freedom. When we live in the promise, we join the many who had faith in a God who is greater. One day we will see the complete fulfillment of his greatest promise: the restoration of all things.
The story of Simeon shows us exactly what to do with a big promise that God gives us! He demonstrates that what God desires (and honors) is faithful trust and a life of righteousness.
Furthermore, Simeon’s life in the promise led him to intimacy with Holy Spirit. If you look in verse 27, Simeon “came in the Spirit into the temple.” Sometimes we forget to acknowledge the Holy Spirit in action before the massive outpouring at Pentecost. Yet here we see how the Lord was upon Simeon, leading him and guiding him like he would a believer today.
It’s almost nonchalant in nature! Simeon walks right into the temple and receives the baby, delivers a message from God, and blesses Jesus and his family.
I find it incredibly beautiful that Simeon’s life was characterized by waiting in the Holy Spirit. It was this revelation and promise that kept Simeon connected to the Lord!
Your Promise Leads To Faith
For most people reading this, there is a promise on your life that you have yet to see fulfilled. Maybe its a career path, a future spouse, a ministry opportunity, or growth of character. Whatever it is, the temptation can be to spend too much effort seeking after the expressions of this promise. In this we can easily rush the process that God has prepared or we can give up too soon.
When we follow the example of Simeon we will surely see the promise of God fulfilled in our lives, but with the faith and foundation that God desires for us to possess through the waiting.
The point is not so much that Simeon earned the right to see baby Jesus by being righteous, devout, and connected to the Holy Spirit. Its sort of the opposite. Simeon responded to the promise by faith. This response turned into a lifestyle that all people could identify in him. It became his reputation!
Lord, let us say YES to your promises today and hold tightly to your presence, live devout and righteous lives, and anticipate the beautiful fulfillment of your word.
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