“That day, the Spirit led him to the temple.” (Luke 2:27)
He was old. Wrinkled. Grizzled. He probably wasn’t much to look at. Just an average senior. You likely wouldn’t think twice about him if you passed him on the street. But he had a big, crazy dream that he harboured in his heart.
He wanted to see Jesus.
Not just with his spiritual eyes. He wanted to see the flesh and blood Jesus. To reach out and touch Him.
People had been waiting for Jesus for thousands of years without seeing Him. Some even questioned if He would ever come. But Simeon believed with all his heart that the time was close. And so he dreamed.
God saw and whispered a promise. “You will not die until you see the Messiah.” Such a special promise. Simeon clung to it. And as the days and months and maybe even years passed, he never gave up hope.
One day, the Holy Spirit led him to the temple.
Do you ever wonder what would have happened had Simeon not followed the Holy Spirit’s leading? What if he was too tired that morning to go to the temple? What if he didn’t feel like getting his creaky limbs, stiff with age, out of bed? Or what if he had gone…but arrived too late because he had taken his sweet old time getting ready?
Nothing significant would have changed. History would not have been altered. God’s plan would still have come to pass. Jesus would still have died and grace would still have been available to mankind.
But Simeon would have missed out. He would not have had the chance to bless Mary and Joseph and, in return, receive the biggest blessing of his life. He would not have seen his dream – the Messiah – in the flesh. He would not have tearfully, joyfully, reverently taken the holy babe in his arms and then bubbled over with a prophetic prayer that echoed throughout the ages.
He would have died without seeing his promise fulfilled. One small decision. One tiny excuse. That’s all it would have taken.
“Not today, Lord. I’m too tired.”
“Not today, Lord. I’m too busy.”
“I don’t feel like it right now. I’ll do it later, Lord. I promise.”
As I was reading Simeon’s story in Luke today, I had to do some soul-searching. When the Holy Spirit leads me to do something, do I instantly obey? Or do I make excuses?
Confession time. I missed a prayer meeting last Wednesday. And another one on Monday night. I was tired. Not feeling well. Grumpy. The baby was fussy. But I should have gone anyway. What did I miss out on?
Here’s another. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to compliment a mom that I saw at a neighbourhood school a few weeks ago. It was just a compliment but, still, I was scared. But what if the seemingly innocuous words He was telling me to say were the very words that young mom needed to hear that day?
What about you? Do you ever wonder what you might have missed? What you might be missing? What others might be missing when you don’t follow the Holy Spirit’s leading?
The beauty of grace is that we can pick up, move on and start over. Yesterday is gone. It’s a fresh, new day and the slate is clean.
Completely, totally clean.
I don’t want to miss a single thing that God has in store for my life. So this morning, I’ve made a decision. From here on in, I’m not going to dwell on all the ways I’ve failed. It’s over; it’s done; and it’s forgiven (thank you, Jesus!). I am going to commit to doing my very best to obey. Right away. No excuses. Instant obedience.
Will you join me?