Anna, our final “Little Women of Christmas.” Right place right time, or Divine Appointment based on God’s Divine Networking? The Amplified Bible says “she came up at that same hour.” Anna just happened to walk up on this Holy Moment between Simeon, Joseph, Mary and Jesus? I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe God takes our lives and has us intersect other lives for His greater purpose and for His glorious Plan. This is exactly the scene we read about in Luke 2. There is a big X factor here though, every player in this scene is highly sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38
Witnessing to others. Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus’ last command, it is His Great Commission for all believers.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” Matthew 28:18-20
Scary command. Intimidating command. But a commission none the less from our Commander in Chief, Our Lord Jesus Christ. God has promised that He has given us everything we need to for life and godliness.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15
God has given us everything we need to obey His Great Commandment. I believe our obedience to this commission is in direct correlation to our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness. If you will permit me a moment to reveal the things He is showing me from this glimpse into the scene with Anna, and also in these verses from 1 and 2 Peter.
First off, I see that Anna has placed herself under God’s amazing umbrella. She is prayed up, studied up, and softened up. She has made herself available to God. Her heart condition is pliable and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit leads she will go in obedience. So much so that when a divine appointment comes along she recognizes it immediately. “At the exact moment Simeon is praying she walks up.” I love the sound of God’s people praying together. Kevin and I have begun audibly praying together at night. I love the sound of the prayers. I think God loves to hear them also. Kevin agrees with me, “Yes Lord Yes Lord.” I agree with him, “Yes and Amen Lord Jesus!” Throughout our prayer time each of us are audibly agreeing with the other and at times the hair on my arms sticks up. God is in our prayer times!
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
This was my verse during my last trip to Ethiopia. We would gather for prayer before starting each day. Caleb would start us with “Amazing Grace,” Justin would begin in prayer, Adam and Cory, and each of us both American and Ethiopian Christians would begin our agreement. “Yes Lord Yes Lord we call on Your name Lord.” My emotions tend to range on the weeping side, soon tears would be flowing because of the sweet sound of brethren and sisters in Christ calling out to God in unity. Times when you can just feel “The Presence of the Lord in this place” in the gardens of the Hilton Hotel of Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
When I read, “Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” these are the sounds that are replaying in my ears. Can’t you just hear Anna proclaiming for all to hear, “Praise to You Lord God for the Redemption of Israel. Salvation has come.” or praise to that effect. At the same moment Simeon was praying, Anna was praising and spreading the good news about who this baby was. If this sound moves me, I can only imagine how it moves Lord God! The sound of prayer and unity among His children!. This is the sound I hear in these verses.
At that moment. Anna was in the right time, right place, among the right people. She was prepared for this Divine Appointment. That is the lesson I take away from this look at Anna’s life. She was prepared in season and out to give an answer for her joy and hope. She had spent her life in communion with God. That is our key to obeying God’s Great Commission. Before we go out into the world and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, we must first “Come into His Presence” as Anna had done her whole life, because then the good news just flows out of us.
I agree. Obeying the Great Commission is a daunting and intimidating task, but it is a command that God will help us obey and be ready for. The gospel will flow out of us because we have been in the Presence of our King.
The other day Kevin was prepared for a random conversation with his Muslim Uber driver. He had spent time with the Lord that morning studying God’s Word and in prayer. He was ready and armed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s Word and time spent with God had emboldened him and infused him with courage. He was ready to tell this man of different faith the reason for his hope in Jesus Christ.
Divine appointments and divine networking happen everyday. We will be able to recognize them as Anna did when we have come into the Presence of God!