“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.” Luke 2:25-27 (NIV)
“…and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”
“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit…”
“Moved by the Spirit…”
Simeon was a man of God and he was in tune with God’s Spirit. He knew how to recognize God’s voice and was careful to obey it. In the few short verses describing his character, his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit was mentioned three times.
Being aware of the Spirit’s voice has been a reoccurring theme in my life the past few weeks. This topic has come up in several of my relationship circles. Friends have been sharing experiences of both scenarios: of how God spoke and they heeded, and times when He led and they missed the opportunity to extend His love. It’s usually after the fact that the missed opportunity is recognized.
I remember a missed opportunity I regret. As I was standing outside a restaurant, a young woman ran out of the restaurant sobbing. She walked a few steps away and just paced the sidewalk crying. I completely ignored her. Didn’t offer help. Didn’t tell her I cared. Didn’t even acknowledge her. I blew it…completely. I had nothing to lose. There was zero risk or cost to me. Yet I did nothing. God didn’t even need to speak. I knew I had a responsibility to extend His love to her and I chose not to.
What do I need to do to increase my awareness of God’s voice? How can I know what my grocery clerk, bank teller, neighbor, passerby needs if I’m not asking God to show me? It goes against my nature to look outward. I am self-absorbed, busy, focused on life…my life, my needs. What if I was more aware of the needs of others? What if I asked God to reveal to me a word that the lady in line ahead of me needs to hear? Can’t He do that?! Can’t He use me to be a messenger of His love?
I want to be like Simeon. I want to hear the Holy Spirit’s instructions and heed them. I want to see what He sees in others and speak His words to them. I want to be so in tune with Him that I know what needs to be said.
God, You have given us the incredible gift of Your Spirit. And yet we ignore You. You put people in our paths and show us their needs and we remain unaware. Father, this day I want to look for ways to extend Your love to those who need a kind word, a generous hand, a taste of Your grace. Show me those ways, Lord. Amen.