". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Expectantly Waiting for the ‘Suddenly’ Moments

December 25, 2023

When the Lord wants to teach you something, nothing will stand in His way. It is easier to recognize when He is speaking, though, when you expectantly wait on Him to move. Key word: expectantly.

A few weeks ago, I gathered with 8,000 other students at Liberty University for their weekly convocation. It was a special morning for the school, as Louie Giglio, lead pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, took the stage to share an Advent message leading up to Christmas. Before introducing Luke 2:8-14 — the passage he parked in for most of the sermon — Giglio noted, “There is no recorded word from God between these pages of the Old Testament and the New Testament.” When flipping from the last page in Malachi to the first page in Matthew, 400 years pass, which scholars call the intertestamental period. While there might have been a word from God in that time, nothing was documented. That means that for 400 years, God’s people waited, and the message of His promise had “trickled down” through the generations.

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:13-14). Emphasizing the word suddenly in his New International Version Bible, Giglio simply stated, “This is how God works.”

Nearly 400 years had gone by, and then suddenly God was on the move fulfilling the greatest promise in history: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12). This, my friends, is what the whole Christmas season is about. Our Lord and Savior fulfilled His promise in the form of a child — our King on earth. Using the least of these and a donkey, the Prince of Peace entered a sinful planet, surrendered to death, and then ascended to the right hand of God.

The point of Giglio’s message was this: God sees the whole picture. For four centuries, His people waited and probably wondered, “Will He ever fulfill the promises of the prophet Isaiah and Samuel?” These great prophets had written about Immanuel and how God’s Kingdom would one day be established through the lineage of David.

Fast forward 2,000 years. I suspect that we struggle with a similar question in our personal lives. Speaking for myself, there are several days where I just wish the Lord would pull up a chair and say, “Here are the next few years of your life.” Truthfully, if I could see the next few years, I would be anything but obedient to Jesus’s command in Mark 11:22 — “Have faith in God.” By definition, faith is having an assurance of things that are unknown (check out Hebrews 11). If my security comes from knowing what the future holds, then I had better check my priorities.

Walking with Christ is a daily decision that should not be made lightly. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). God will show us what we need to know, when we need to know it. Our future is safe in His hands. What He asks of us, as Christ’s disciples, is to walk through every moment of every day with a humble and obedient heart, for we know how the story ends: face-to-face with the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega.

My challenge to you this Christmas season is this: are you actively anticipating and expecting God to be on the move? Do you trust His timing and believe He has your best interests in mind?

With that challenge comes some encouragement. The Lord sees the whole picture and will reveal your story one day at a time. Though there will be seasons of silence and waiting, expect Him to move. Do not question His goodness based on His timing. We all must have memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 for a reason, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

What a safe place it is to be when we walk the path our Lord has laid out for us.