Advent. The reflection on the expectancy, anticipation and longing for a Savior who will stamp out injustice and punish sin. A yearning for deliverance during a time where there was so much oppression. We are living in such a time right now, so it seems. People are taking substantial cuts in pat and losing their jobs; the cost of living is increasing; our seniors, who should be able to retire, are forced to work into their 70’s to make end meet; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; the mismanagement or out right theft of money by city, state and federal officials who are supposed to be public servants - causing many to take pay cuts that will lead to foreclosure and an inability to support their families; elderly people who cannot afford the medical treatment and medicine that they need to stay alive. These are the times and conditions in which we are living. Just as the people then cried out for a savior. We too, cry out, some of us longing for Jesus to come back. I am certainly guilty of that. But I am reminded of Amos and his prophetic word in chapter 5, warning us that God’s judgement of sin applies to all of us.
Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? Are we ready? Insomuch as we long for a savior to deliver us from the sinful injustice and the oppressive hand of the wicked, we must also examine ourselves to ensure that we are not contributors to or co-conspirators in the evil that we seek deliverance from. We must seek the Lord in order to be successful in this effort.
This is what the LORD says to Israel: “Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing”. Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it. While we wait, we must seek Him. Bethel, Gilgal and Beersheba were all at some point places of spiritual growth and heritage, but became places of empty worship. If I may take some license, you may not be able to go to those places that you are used to going for spiritual growth and to hear from the Lord. YOU are going to have to seek Him and Him alone in order to live.
During this season of Advent, of waiting and expectation my prayer, as I seek Him, is that Jesus comes and infiltrates every area of my life. I know that I am less than victorious in several areas because of my own disobedience. I want to be ready when He comes. I look with expectancy for Jesus to winnow away all things that cause me to sin, to cut it out at the root and destroy it. I long for Jesus to speak to me and then give me the strength to do exactly what He says to do. What will you focus on during this season of Advent?