Sometimes, we wonder if commitment is worthwhile…wouldn’t it be safer to play it safe and to just keep your options open, being…
CAUTIOUS— Caution could have very easily started seeping into Simeon’s life, as the months of waiting gave way to years. Have you ever been there? Faithful and then you find yourself falling flat after losing a child or jobless. Faithful and then facing financial ruin or faithful and then feeling rolled over in the world and those caution flags go up. Yet as Mary and Joseph approach, he found his commitment was well invested. (Luke 2:27b-32) When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”Simeon finally has found what his heart had longed for and what his life had centered on in Jesus. Simeon finds the joy of commitment rather holding the baby Jesus in his arms, maybe Mary’s eyes got big as this older man held him, as he danced around and sang praises, and then he uttered those words at Israel’s most sacred location—that this sacred birth will impact all locations and all people across the centuries. Caution was capsized at experiencing Christ! He remembered that Israel was prone to forget like the messianic prophecy where God through caution out the window, Isaiah 49:6-“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Some of you today may be dealing with the same caution flags creeping into your view of Christ—I love how the book of Deuteronomy (13:4) describes the call for relationship with God: You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. Maybe you’ve seen a baby pried away from its mother, it clings, claws, cries out for the person it knows it needs!
Mark Twain wrote a poem entitled: Opportunities Missed /There was a very cautious man /Who never laughed or played; He never risked, he never tried, /He never sang or prayed. /And when he one day passed away/ His insurance was denied; /For since he never really lived, /They claimed he never died! /Put all thine eggs in the one basket and–watch that basket./ At the end of the day I’m not telling you anything that you don’t already know—where looking back we regret not speaking up, playing it safe, not taking a chance far more than we risk giving it our all, clinging to Christ.
There are times where we read Scripture and the caution flag goes up when we near a passage that challenges our lifestyle. There are times where we are worshiping and the caution flag goes up when he get scared someone may see us give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit. We start serving and the caution flags go up when ministry gets messy and we end up never getting a chance to see the miraculous. We get involved faithfully attending and then we feel the caution flags rising: “Am I wasting my time?” “Does anyone really care?” When God’s advice is the same–“cling to Him.” Allow your doubts to be taken back to the King of Kings, your low moments to rest with the Lord of Lords, your insecurities to rest with the one who gave up all the majesty of heaven to make an indelible mark in history. Christ came so you could cling to Him, not to theory, or a list of rules, or have to play it save, but to live fully!