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 on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel."
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Both Simeon and Anna, had waited their whole lives for the foretold Messiah. Both were advanced in age when the long awaited child appeared before them. But more importantly, both were in tune to the Holy Spirit. They had spent time fasting, praying and worshiping. They were listening to that small nudge that told them, “This is the one!” “This is the Messiah.” And because they were sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice, they both received an incredible blessing. And both of them responded in worship and praise.
I often wonder how many blessings we miss out on because we don’t quiet ourselves long enough to listen to the Spirit’s quiet voice. Are we missing out on what God is trying to tell us or show us because we refuse to listen?
Both Simeon and Anna could have missed the fact that this baby brought to the temple was the Savior of their people. They could have just seen an ordinary child. They could have gone to their graves thinking the Messiah hadn’t come.
Notice that both spent time in prayer in fasting. Both took time to commune with the Lord. Both were sensitive to the Spirit and followed His prompting. What about you? Are you rushing around so much or getting distracted to the point that you can’t hear the quiet nudging of the Holy Spirit?
Are you missing the message God has for you today? Hearing that message often takes the hard work of picking up His word and reading it. It means quieting your heart and mind and praying. It means shutting off your computer or phone long enough to hear from Him. We are bombarded with all sorts of messages and while many are good, they can be a distraction.
Be still and know that He is God.