DAY 20: Joy In Obedience

BY: Jess Hammond

“Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. 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 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Luke 2:22-38

If you are anything like me, you may feel that what you bring to the table and contribute to God’s kingdom could probably be done way better by someone else. Let me first say that I believe this is a lie from the enemy of our souls, and God is showing me how stifling this lie is to all that He could do in and through me in my circle of influence.

Last year during Advent, God laid it upon my heart to write a devotional for 2020. I wrestled with it all year long, disqualifying myself and dragging my feet. A  few months ago, God spoke to me about the boy in John 6 who offered his bread and fish to Jesus. With his small and insignificant offering, Jesus fed thousands of people. God showed me that it wasn’t about how much I had to offer – that was irrelevant.  It had nothing to do with my talent, time, ability, or strength, but it had everything to do with being obedient and offering what I have as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1). He challenged me to start saying ‘yes’ and to just take a step when I knew He was leading. Now, several months later, this Advent devotional is a testament of His faithfulness to small steps of obedience. God has brought together a small group of people willing to place what we have into His hands and allow Him to use it.

There is nothing more rewarding than a life lived in complete obedience to God. He had made a promise to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. I don’t think we can be reminded enough that God always keeps His promises.

Simeon woke up that morning not knowing it would be the day God would fulfill His promise. One thing we learn from this passage is that Simeon was very familiar with the Holy Spirit’s leading. The scripture says “that day he was led to the temple” which leads me to believe Simeon was led by the Spirit on a regular basis.

Sometimes, I think we are waiting for some huge assignment from God. We want Him to write it in the sky so we cannot deny what He is asking us to do, but I believe our greatest moments of encountering God happen when we are listening and obeying the smallest promptings by His Spirit.

Through active obedience, our faith can be put to action. God can even take our most mundane days and bring eternal purpose through them.

In just one ordinary day:

  • Simeon had his life-long promise of seeing the Messiah fulfilled.
  • Simeon was able to encourage Joseph and Mary as they navigated the newness of parenting the Savior of the world.
  • As Simeon proclaimed, “I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel,” the prophet Anna hears and believes as well.
  • Anna, being a devout follower of God, receives this news and starts to testify to others that the Messiah has arrived.

Sometimes, we walk out obedience by responding to what the Holy Spirit tells us, and sometimes our obedience is like that of Joseph and Mary. They were just doing the next thing they knew to do. They took Jesus to the temple to make their offering and dedicate Him to the Lord, as the law required.

So what has God been speaking to you lately?

Has He been prompting you to write an encouraging note to someone or call them to see how they are doing? Is he prompting you to give to someone or something? Are you being faithful to walk out what He has spoken to you in His word?

Never underestimate the power of obedience.

We are invited to walk hand in hand with our Father, watching Him do profound things through even our smallest act of obedience.

Daily Challenge:

How can you be more obedient to the call of Jesus today?

#Advent2020AC

One thought on “DAY 20: Joy In Obedience

  1. “Through active obedience, our faith can be put into action.” I love that simple truth. So often we are looking for that big assignment or think that we are only helping God when we are in church, for church, around church.

    I have spent so much time ignoring the small whisper for the loud shout that I miss opportunities to start the “chain reaction” that one step of obedience creates. My small step creates another small step (and so on) until the big leap is completed. I decided, after another “send to VM” moment, that I’m done ignoring the whisper and you know what that caused me to write in my journal after only 3 days of small obedience:

    “BEST DAY EVER! When I act in accordance to His will, the blessings overflow. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened, but I can feel Him in the ordinary – and that is amazing!”

    Yesterday was (extra)ordinary bc I was obedient to things that likely seemed like “nothing.” That’s faith in motion. It’s scripture alive.

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