400 years….in my book, that’s a long time. A long time for God to be silent. There were 400 years of silence between Malachi and John the Baptist. 400 years for the religious people to press in, pray, and prepare for the messiah.
And some of them did. Remember Simeon and Anna? They were so expectant for the arrival of their savior. Anna had been a widow for many years, devoting herself to prayer and waiting. Simeon knew he would not die until he held the Messiah.
Some grew more hungry during that 400 year time span and others grew more hardened. This second group did not devote themselves to prayer so much, but more to rule keeping and rule making. These religious leaders cared more about protocol than people. They became so wrapped up with keeping the law, and adding to the law, that they completely missed the messiah when He showed up on the scene. Not only did they miss Him, but they persecuted and sentenced Him to a torturous death.
We must never forget that it was a religious spirit that put Jesus on the cross. It’s a sobering reminder to stay hungry for His presence, voice, and spirit.
2,015 years is also a long time in my book. It’s a fair amount of time for a religious spirit to take root….or for revival to flare up.
I prefer the latter.
We are once again living in a season of waiting and anticipation for the coming King and the reigning of His kingdom. In the season between Malachi and John the Baptist there were those who waited with anticipation and others who filled the void with religious acts and ceremony. In this season of waiting we can also choose one or the other.
Religious spirits are often difficult to discern because they appear to be righteous. In reality they are the complete opposite. What looks like a “good” thing is actually a creepy, crawly, demonic force that aims to take the life right out of you and bring others into bondage. So, let’s not go there…
Instead…let’s focus on the One who did the heavy lifting for us. Remember…He’s coming again, and we’re in a season of preparation. We can spend this time busying ourselves with good-looking religious works…or become more used to His voice and glorious presence so that we’re ready for His appearing.
I can hardly wait. Can you????