In my last post, we saw the angel appearing to some shepherds who were up all night watching their sheep. (Luke 2:8-12) They were given the sign of Christ. They were to look for a baby, wrapped like a corpse, laying in a feeding trough.
This is an important picture for us. We should be just like those shepherds. It’s the middle of the night. Everyone else is asleep. But they have a job to do. They are to stay awake and watch.
Look at what Paul says about our Last-Days attitudes.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Jesus Christ is coming soon. This is not the time to be spiritually sleeping. That means falling victim to the distractions of the world.
There’s a large percentage of the church that’s fast asleep right now. They have no clue how close to the end we are. It’s time to wake up and live out loud for Christ.
It’s easy to sleep in the dark. But, there’s a call going out through the earth for those who are listening. God is calling His people to a new level of action in His Spirit.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
All of heaven was mobilized during this time. That was true even though from a natural view, there was not much taking place. From the outside it merely looked like a poor, traveling, family, was camping out for the night.
However, what you see with your eyes is not all that’s taking place. There was an event of major importance taking place in the spirit. How would the shepherds respond? Would they view it as just another normal birth?
Absolutely not! They understood the importance of what they were told. We’re told to watch and be spiritually alert and self-controlled. Do we understand the importance of what we’re being told?
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
I like the fact that they didn’t stand around discussing it for hours. They immediately, with speed and urgency, went off to find the child. How urgent do we consider God’s commands to us?
Once they obeyed, they had a message to bring to anyone who would listen to them. It’s time for us to accomplish great things for the Lord. On the flip side, we’ll see and experience the miraculous from His hand. That’s the time in history we’re living in.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The good news is that everyone involved received something from the Lord. Mary got encouragement and a confirmation that God was at work in them. The shepherds received a calling to spread the word about the coming of the Messiah.
The fact is that God will use anyone who’s available. The shepherds happened to be the only ones awake at the time. We need to make ourselves available to God in order for Him to use us.
We can’t crowd our schedules so full that there’s no room for a “midnight call”. We need to be ready for a divine interruption. Then, we’ll see the glory of God at work in our lives.
Question: What does it take to be spiritually awake and available to God?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi