Do you practice an active faith? I try to, but I admit that I don't always succeed. Advent provides a good example.
The other day, I was thinking about the idea of anticipation and how, during Advent, we look forward with anticipation to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. But anticipation can be a very passive thing: it's easy to sit back and wait, as if we're just waiting for a date on the calendar, a date that will come around regardless of anything we do or don't do.
I was thinking about this on a recent Sunday while we were studying Psalm 11 in church. My eyes and attention strayed to Psalm 14, and I was struck by what I read:
Psalm 14:2 – The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God. (NRSV)
I asked myself: do I seek after God? Particularly at this time of Advent, am I seeking after God? While I await the date of remembering Jesus' birth, am I just awaiting an event that I know will come, or am I actively seeking, searching, hungry for His salvation? Am I contemplating what His birth and life mean to me, and perhaps reflecting on what life would be like without Him? Am I questioning my own activity and striving to live in the way that God commands throughout the Bible? Am I actively using this time of anticipation to deepen my faith?
My attitude to Advent changed on that Sunday morning. Perhaps yours will, too.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for this season of Advent, this season of anticipating the birth of Your Son so many years ago, this season of prayer and preparation. We pray that You might help us to use this season to deepen our faith as we seek Your wisdom, Your insight, and Your salvation. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Birthday Of A King" (Lyrics)