IN THE MEANTIME
Scripture – Matthew 1:18-22
Responsive – Matthew 2:1-12
Has God ever, ever whispered a promise to you? Has He ever put something into your spirit, given you a vision that was so large you almost couldn’t comprehend it? The promise was so big and so phenomenal that it left you wondering if the vision was really from God.
Has God ever told you He was going to do something in your life and it was so large that you were virtually afraid to tell someone else because of the fear that they might not be able to handle it? You feared they would laugh at you, or tear down your dream, or worse yet, try to dissuade you from believing that it was God who spoke this thing into your spirit.
In our passage of scripture, we come to know about Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and our Lord. We are given intimate knowledge about His birth which we celebrate during this season. In Isaiah 7:14, we are told that we are told that, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” The gospel writer Matthew, skillfully and strategically makes reference to the passage in Isaiah because his purpose is to make sure that we understand that Jesus is the Christ. He is indeed the Messiah, the Son of the living God. He points us back the scriptural reference in Isaiah to make sure we understand, beyond the shadow of doubt that this Jesus, who was later crucified, was the one prophesized about in the Old Testament.
Unfortunately, because the Jews were waiting for the warring savior, one who would come in might, power and strength in earthly ways – a King who would ride with chariots triumphantly into the the city to save them, many missed the savior as He entered this earth through the birth canal of a young, virgin girl, lying in a manger. Jesus entered this world in the humblest of ways and by doing so, people missed Him.
Although the birth of the savior was prophesied over 700 of years before His birth through the prophet Isaiah, even though God put this promise into the hearts of His people, during the meantime period, defined as the time between the promise being spoken into your life and it’s manifestation in your life, they, because of their disbelief and behavior missed the promise of God.
They messed up bad during the meantime and, as a result, are still today waiting on a savior who, we know, has already been born, crucified, resurrected from the dead and is coming back again. People are today waiting for the Messiah who already bled and died for our sins and, in doing so, gave us the gift of salvation and redemption. Has anybody in here this morning been saved? Has anyone in here this morning been set free? Has anyone in here this morning met Jesus?
Last Saturday, my favorite game show, Deal or No Deal held a casting call at the Philadelphia Convention Center located in downtown Philadelphia. There were literally thousands of people in attendance all hoping to audition for a chance to be a contestant on the very popular game show and, most important of all, they wanted an opportunity to win the ultimate prize, which is $1,000,000 dollars. Now, I’m not saying that I was at the casting call, in the dark at 6:42 a.m. in the cold, cold morning, along side of those thousands of people. I’m not saying that. No, I’m not saying I was there, but I’m also not saying that I wasn’t.
But what struck me about the entire event was the desperation in the spirit of the people who attended. Some just merely wanted their 15 minutes of fame, everyone wanted a chance to win the cash, but some people didn’t just merely want the cash, they desperately needed it. People held signs up saying a loved one had cancer and they needed the money to obtain the necessary medical care to save a loved one’s life. Others came hobbling on canes, while others were obviously ill.
Once again, I’m not saying I was in attendance, but I’m also not saying I wasn’t. However, I did come to know a little about the selection process. You get 30 seconds to stand before a producer and give it your best, enthusiastic shot. You have to be excited and convince the producers that you would make a good participant.
So, what does this have to do with anything you ask? The entire experience caused me to immediately reflect on God once the audition was complete. You leave the audition not knowing whether or not they are going to call you back. It’s not like American Idol, in that when you finish that audition you immediately know whether or not you’ve made it to Hollywood. No, when you leave the Deal or No Deal audition, the only thing you know is that, “It can take up to two years before you get any response regarding your audition.” Worse yet, during that time period, you are just left wondering if they will ever, ever call.
It was during this time that God began to speak loudly and He asked me the simple, simple question which is, “What do you do in the Meantime?” What do you do? What do you do during the timeframe in between the impartation of the promise into your spirit, and the birth or manifestation of the promise into your life? How do you handle it? What do you do while you are waiting on God to bring His promise He gave to you to pass in your life? Hmmm? What do you do when you are expecting a blessing, but instead of spiritual movement, you are standing still, making no progress, things are necessarily getting worse, but they aren’t getting any better because you are just stuck, standing and waiting on the promises of God. What do you do?
What do you do during the seasons of life when you are filled with great expectations from God, but don’t experience any manifestation?