Are You Listening?
By Mark Pressley
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
When you were young (and probably even as an adult!), did you ever wait on something special, anticipating that your expectations would be fulfilled? Maybe it was that team you tried out for or that special person you wanted to take to prom or that Red Rider BB gun you wanted for Christmas. I recall that feeling when I proposed to a beautiful young lady named Tammy. Now imagine how Simeon felt when he was promised that he would meet the Messiah, the Savior of the world, before he died. Of course, the anticipation of a special Christmas present can’t be compared to what Simeon was feeling. Our hopes are often built on human emotion, but Simeon’s hope was built on the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice that “the Holy Spirit was upon him” and that “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.” Simeon had the reassurance from God Himself that he would meet the Messiah. Talk about having high hopes, I don’t think anyone’s hopes could be greater.
As I read this scripture and think about how awesome it must have been to be Simeon, I remember that as a Christian, I am indwelt with the same Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian reading these words today, you also have the Holy Spirit in you and the promise of meeting the Savior of the world has already been fulfilled in your life. Unfortunately, we are sometimes like the shoemaker in a story often referred to as “The Cobbler and His Guest.” On Christmas Eve, the cobbler is told in a vision that the Lord will pass by his house the next day and that he is to invite him in to visit. As he keeps vigil on the street during the next day, many folks with various needs pass by his house and he helps each of them as best he can. As the day ends, the cobbler is feeling disappointed that Lord didn’t appear when suddenly the door is filled with a brilliant light and the voice of the Lord reminds him that He was there in every person he helped that day. I don’t do justice to this beautiful story, so I encourage you to read it on your own. It’s a great reminder that the Holy Spirit is actively speaking to us to encourage and give us hope. We just need to listen.
Heavenly Father, please help us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He guides, convicts and convinces us.