How does one become friends with God? really?
No one likes to wait….but sometimes that is exactly what we need to do.
We are told to “…eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” 1 Cor 1:3-9
Lk 2:25-32 is a story of God revealing Himself & His love to those who WAIT. It is played out in the life of Simeon – a man who waited with expectation and saw his hope fulfilled.
Let’s be a people who Watch, Wait, Move with the Spirit, and Worship!
Watch the full teaching here:
Be blessed by this audio teaching by Erik Racz as we continue our series ‘Good News’ at CityLight Church.
Waiting with expectation is necessary in the spiritual life. Unfortunately some of us have great expectations of God, but absolutely no patience!
The prophet Malachi said:
God instructed His people to be ready, be prepared for Him to show up – Epiphany to happen! They were to seek Him, delight in Him…He was on the way!
Do I delight in God? Expect amazing things from Him? Or are my thoughts of Him low?
The pioneer missionary to India, William Carey, said this and lived this truth –
Sometimes this is hard to do. Not only are our expectation of God low, but our patience for Him to reveal and act is non-existent. We hate waiting. It’s hard to do. It’s sometimes painful.
While exploring Scripture on spiritual expectations & waiting a phrase came to my mind –
“Waiting for the dawn to break and our hearts to be highways”
Sometimes life is dark. God seems silent. We don’t see what the future holds. Hang on. Wait. Wait for the dawn to break. He is coming. Seek, delight… even in the darkness. The dawn is near. Let your heart be an open highway, prepared, ready for Him!
Sounds nice, but it is sure hard to do!
Fortunately, the Spirit-breathed Scriptures share a story about a man named Simeon who by the Spirit struck the balance of both expecting of God and waiting for Him. We see it in Luke 2.
Imagine being the Hebrew people – waiting for God to come in flesh for hundreds of years. Or Simeon who waited for a lifetime! Do I have that kind of patience? How did Simeon do it? A few clues – Simeon was full of the Spirit, had been instructed by the Spirit and thus expected accurately of that same Spirit. And he moved with the Spirit. in v27 the Spirit didn’t tell Simeon that ‘this was the moment!’ Simeon simply moved as the Spirit promted. That is how he waited. He followed. In time the Spirit would reveal…
What is Simeon’s response? Delight! Praise! Worship!
What about us?
These two quotes sum up most of us…
Disillusionment & Fear
We take these issues into our daily lives and project them into eternity. We apply them to our relationship with God. We avoid asking of God that we won’t be disappointed by God. Or we are too scared of what God might do if we let Him have His way in us. Both stifle revelation & breakthrough in our lives.
Many of us are like castles. Closed up. Isolated from fear & disappointment. Protected, but sealed off from the love, grace, and power of God. David the poet-king understood this. He felt this at times. He even wrote a hit song about it…
He encourages the gates to rise up, the doors to swing open. Why? The King of Glory is coming! Let Him in! Put down your defenses. Those who seek, who are open, will find blessings. Favor with the Creator of everything – the King of Glory!
Psalm 84 tells us…
Better for us to wait as beggars in the house of God, then to be anywhere else. Waiting with open hands, open hearts – expecting to receive our daily bread from the King of Glory!
Audio teaching – ‘Purim – a Mystery Revealed’
We all need a break. A Sabbath. A stopping from what we are doing for a moment to realize what God has done or is in the process of doing. A moment to rejoice and rest in the completed work of Christ!
Sabbaths can be moments, days or even annual events, ‘cycles of celebration’ if you will.
Today at CityLight we added the Jewish celebration of Purim to our church party schedule. Purim is the story of God working in the life of Easter for the benefit of His people!
So, how do you Purim?
Listen to the Megillah (the Esther Story) – drama, loud & fun!
Give to the Needy / Send Food Portions to Friends
Eat, Drink and Be Merry!
One key feature of Purim is to read through the story of Esther – an exciting story full of twists and turns that expose something beautify that was hidden. A mystery revealed.
Take a few moments now to listen to the story and let the Spirit pull back the veil and speak to you His mysteries –
Now that you have read the story, I have a serious question?
“Where was God?”
The story of Esther makes no mention of GOD, but God is working in the story!
GOD is faithful – Even when we are faithless, even when we don’t see Him, in the middle of the storm! As Ps41:1 declares – “God is our refuge & strength, a very present help in trouble.” Be rooted in the truth that ‘the Lord is good and His love endure forever’
If we can remind ourselves that God is indeed faithful, good and loving then we can begin to Cultivate an awareness of God. To practice His presence. To be sensitive to His Spirit at work around, in and through you! For as the Apostle Paul once said – “in Him we live, move, and have our being…” Acts 17:28
What about your life?
Are you living life like it is a random roll of the dice or a fatalistic puppet on a string? If so, this is so much less than what God intends for you.
We are being caught up into a Divine Orchestration & Invitation!
As in Esther’s story, we too have been orchestrated to be who we are, where we are and connected to whom we are by God’s good design “for such a time as this…” Esther 4:14 God has planned it, penned it, orchestrated it. Together He desires to make beautiful music if we will simply play our part.
Life is also a divine invitation! God could raise up another person to co-work with Him, but He is inviting you! It is you who are “co-labourers in Christ” 1 Corithians 6:1
Will you forfit blessings? or take His hand and walk forward in FAITH!
‘Be still and know that I am God’ Ps 46:10
We are anything but STILL. We are a BUSY people and in our busyness we many times forget God.
Yet we have a promise in pausing.
“Be Still” = Raphah = let go, weak, not advancing, stop
Be still long enough to know that HE is GOD…not us! He is the one at work, He is in control, He is our provider, He is our guide, He is the most valuable thing that we should worship.
So, how can we ‘be still’ in the midst of a busy life in a busy city?
God shows us how to be still in busy times…
Genesis 2:1-3 “1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
After being busy God became still…Sabbathed. He stopped to enjoy what He completed and declared it“very good’ (Gen 1:31). Then He went on to bless His work. Then if that weren’t enough He makes it holy, kados = special, unique, different!
God makes the Sabbath, HOLY. He does this because He is holy. It becomes holy by association or connection with Him… as we do as well J. God is the source of Holy.
God doesn’t stop there. God invites us into HIS rest, His stillness.
Exodus 20:8-11 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
What do I do with it? How do we have still moments?
Pause to –
1. Remember God working in our lives.
2. Rejoice in the completed work of God
3. REST – Not a religious but a RESTINg thing.
So, how do we put pause into practice?
What does this mean for us? How can we intentionally stop to enjoy God, to enjoy his creation, to enjoy the fruits of His and our labors? To go from being busy people to blessed people?
- REST! – Take some time for sheer inactivity!
- REFLECT! – weekly assessment? testimony? Worship? Prayer?
- RECHARGE! – Take some time for enjoyment –recreational, ascetic.
Continuing on in our series ‘Epiphany – how God speak to us today?’ Click on the links to explore these recent teaching by Patrick+Ivetka and be open to God revealing Himself to you. And when He does step out and respond to Him!
Epiphany Part 2 – Nature
Epiphany Part 3 – Image of God
Epiphany Part 4 – Exile or Encounter?
Epiphany Part 5 – Speak, I’m Listening
Check out this clear and powerful teaching about how God speaks to us today via Jesus from the book of Hebrews.
Pastor Ladislav Gyugyi
Audio : God speaks through Jesus