ODJ: Spirit-Led Worship

September 22, 2018 

READ: Luke 2:36-52 

She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone (v.38).

Facing transition in my current job, I’ve been diligently asking God for direction. Feeling called to take a leap of faith, I wonder how others will respond to my decision. As I was ruminating over the circumstances with my son, he said, “Mum, you are a Lucy,” referring to the Prince Caspian segment of The Chronicles of Narnia. “She could see Aslan when the others couldn’t, and he told her to follow him regardless.”

A fictional presentation of the kingdom of heaven, C. S. Lewis’ iconic work reminds us that following Jesus requires faith (Hebrews 11:1,3). Anna, a prophetess, intimately experienced this engagement with the unseen (Luke 2:36). Staying in the temple, she worshipped God night and day “with fasting and prayer” (v.37). She probably knew the voice of the Holy Spirit, and her life of dedication to God gave her a distinctive view into His plans.

While we do not know her daily routine, Anna would certainly have known the festivals, the prayers and the Scriptures that encompassed life within the temple. Similar to Anna’s experiences, the life of Jesus teaches us that the set and predictable rhythms of worship can serve to ready us for the spontaneous movement of the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus and His parents returned years later to the temple, they were following the customs of the Jewish Passover (vv.41-42). Because His life was surrendered in worship to the will of the Father, however, Jesus allowed the unseen leading of the Spirit to determine His steps, and He remained in the temple long after His parents had started their journey home (vv.43,49).

May we too be so connected to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our worship that we obey, even when others don’t understand (v.50).

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan: Matthew 26:57-75

Read John 4:23-24 and consider how the Holy Spirit leads us through our worship into what we can’t see but know to be true based on Scripture. 
What decision do you need to surrender to God out of trust in Him? How does your worship allow you a greater sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence?