Living ‘Ready to Go’ For God
You are never ready to live until you are ready to die.
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord... Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.
Simeon is introduced to us by God in Luke 2:22-32, and if it wasn’t for that introduction, he would be like billions of others throughout human history that were only known by those closest to them during their lives, then died without leaving a trace. Even if God hadn’t added him to the Biblical record, and even if we had never read about Simeon, what he was will last forever. Simeon was an Old Testament saint who lived in hope waiting for the coming Christ by faith. He died in faith ready to go whenever God’s time came.
Ready to go — This is the way we all should live!
Simeon sends a message from his life that extends far from the Christmas scenes, reaching all the way to the very end of each of our lives. Simeon was a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led servant, and his life is a model for each of us.
Simeon chose to hope in God
Simeon was ready to go. He confessed that in Luke 2:29. And what does life look like when you are ready? He looked at all of life as a loading dock where he was busily loading a ship to sail home. Life was lived to get ready for the cruise; all the preparation time before the real event was just that: preparation time, not the real goal.
Simeon chose to walk in step with the Spirit
Simeon models what it means to make choices to walk in the power of God’s Spirit. Note the concentration of terms familiar to us on this side of the Cross in the age of Christ’s Church, but very uncommon in the end of the Old Testament times Simeon lived in. There are three clear statements of the Spirit of God’s work in his life:
- “the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25)
- “And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” (Luke 2:26)
- “And he came in the Spirit into the temple” (Luke 2:27)
Walking in the Spirit insured for Simeon a life that mattered, a life that counted, and a life that pleased Jesus. Walking in the Spirit gives us a life that pleases God, and a life that is “ready to go” at any moment.
A Spirit-filled life that gets a “well done” from Jesus Christ and that pleases God is a choice. It is a chosen path. What pathway are you choosing to live?
Simeon chose to praise God through life
How did Simeon praise God? Notice how he “blesses” those around him. He is not trapped by his situation (weak and elderly as he may have been). Rather, he is choosing to praise God.
Praise is a choice, and in Simeon’s life it had to start by a conscious decision to push aside all his problems and complaints in order to see and then celebrate God’s generosity. In those days, just getting daily necessities took much more work than we are used to. So as he made it through each day, Simeon learned to thank God for his “daily bread,” as Jesus would call it. But the clearest choice this passage reveals is that Simeon had chosen to reorient his heart around God’s message in His Word and the priorities that the Bible taught him.
Simeon chose to live in hope. He walked in step with the Spirit of God, and his life was an offering of praise.
That is the beautiful portrait that God’s Word gives us of this man we only see for one small part in the entire Bible. I hope he will become an example and inspiration for many of us to also live in hope, energized by God to live this life of praise.
Used with permission by Global Media Outreach from John Barnett. This article was first published on December 26, 2011 at discoverthebook.org.
Pray this week:
Lord, help me to live a Holy Spirit-filled life like Simeon. Amen.
What pathway are you choosing to live? Do you want to choose to live in hope, choose to walk with the Spirit, and choose to live a life of praise to God?