Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
It is always wonderful to have confirmation you have heard from God. Very few people have as dramatic a visitation as these shepherds experienced, so confirmation becomes all the more important. In their case, I think they felt virtually compelled to follow up on what they had been told, and they weren’t disappointed. When we aren’t as sure we have heard from God, sometimes we are hesitant to follow through, and so miss out on what God had planned for us. At times we look back and realize what God had been saying to us, but too late. That is tragic indeed. The thing is, God speaks to us constantly, but most of the time we ignore it, or at least don’t recognize it’s God. We think we would like dramatic, unmistakable visitations like the shepherds had, but that wouldn’t be nearly as good for us spiritually. It is when we choose to act on what we think we hear God saying that our faith is stretched and grown, and as John said, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4) Weak faith only brings small victories. None of us has as much faith as we could have, but it is when we exercise the faith that we do have that it grows and grows, until it can sustain us in situations that would have been unimaginable before.
I have been very aware for the past several months that I am in a training period for faith. Things have not gone as I had imagined or would have liked, but God’s leading and provision have been evident. The attacks of the enemy are ongoing, which is all the more reason I need to exercise faith in order to experience the victory God intends for me. God told me a little while back that I needed to be the “faith engine” for the church, but some people aren’t accepting the “jumper cables” I’m offering them. That’s between them and God. I need to keep speaking the truth in love, leaving them, and myself, in God’s hands. Sometimes the victory is pretty far down the road, or even after I am off the scene, as Hebrews 11:39-40 points out. I am not to let that discourage me. Like Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Father, thank You for being so trustworthy. Thank You for all You are bringing us through. Thank You that the outcome is settled, and glorious, though I don’t know exactly what it will be. Thank You for having our younger daughter with us at Christmas for the first time in 25 years. I pray that today would be all that You intend it to be for all of us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!