Blog Series: Clinging to Christmas Hope (Week 3)
Have you EXPERIENCED Jesus this Christmas season?
Over the course of four weeks, this blog series will take us on a journey as we experience the birth of Jesus in a fresh way through the eyes of three extraordinary women.
For week 2 of the Blog Series, click here.
Have you ever had an experience with God? Maybe you have been praying to experience God in a new way. I'm right there with you. Oh, to experience Him like never before! That is my prayer. Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna each had their own experience with God as they awaited the birth of Jesus. Did you know that you are never too young or too old to experience Jesus? Mary was a very young woman while Elizabeth and Anna were much, much older. The Bible wants us to catch the fact that age has nothing to do with experiencing a mighty move of God. Do not entertain those lies; let go of those false thoughts!
Well, if age did not have anything to do with it, then what was the reason that these women experienced God? When we eavesdrop in on Mary's and Elizabeth's conversation, Elizabeth reveals the answer for us. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! (Luke 1:45 NIV) That's the answer right there!
We are able to see that these women were blessed because they believed.
I wonder how you and I would be blessed if only we believed?
As you remember, the Angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. Mary believed. The Holy Spirit came upon her and she became pregnant. Now THAT is an experience with God! Mary could have said, "Now that sounds absolutely crazy!" Instead, she chose to simply believe.
Some time later, Mary went to visit Elizabeth and there we encounter Elizabeth's experience. (Elizabeth had already experienced God when she became pregnant at an old age, but something else happened when these two ladies got together.) Once Mary arrived, she said hello and baby John leaped inside of Elizabeth's womb! The Bible tells us at that moment Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Now THAT is an experience with God! Elizabeth could have said, "Well Lord, if you were going to open up my womb now, why didn't you let me birth Jesus?" Instead, she chose to be thankful for her experience. Elizabeth believed.
Remember Anna? Consistently worshiping, fasting and praying at the Temple. She had an experience with Jesus as well. Anna spent the vast majority of her life in the presence of God, so I would like to think she experienced Him over and over again. She had cultivated a complete life of surrender to the Lord. At some point during her faithful years of service, God revealed to Anna that Jesus, the Messiah would be born. Now THAT is an experience with God! Anna could have said, "Lord, you know I'm old, how long is this going to take?" Instead she chose to wait and worship. Anna believed. I personally believe that is why Anna stayed at the Temple praying day and night because she believed God so much and did not want to miss the moment when baby Jesus arrived at the Temple.
Believing God brings the believer blessings.
You know, God wants the same for you. He wants you to experience Him. Probably not in the same way that Mary, Elizabeth, or Anna did, but in a way that is specifically crafted just for you. Your extraordinary experience with God will interrupt your ordinary existence. He's looking for a heart that believes Him. When your faith is activated and you believe Him, He will come upon you as He did Mary, He will fill you like He filled Elizabeth and He will teach you to cultivate a life of worship and surrender as He did for Anna. Are you ready for an experience this Christmas? Let Him heal your soul!
Next week, we will discover the results of clinging to Christmas hope.
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, We say thank you that we can come to you because of Jesus. I pray that every reader experiences you in a new way during this Christmas season. In Jesus' Name, Amen.