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Take some time to sit quietly. Allow your spirit to settle. Savor this opportunity to be still in God’s presence.
Have a journal and pen or pencil ready to jot down any thoughts that come to you during your time together.
Ask Him to hush any stray thoughts that may distract you from hearing His still small voice. And ask the Spirit to give you an open, responsive heart that you may hear all that He longs to say to you today.
1) Read the following passages slowly.
“The Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut...
Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ But, he called back saying, "It's too late."
Therefore, stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25:1-10, 13 NLT
For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay—the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command—will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy.
For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us—bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.
We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.
Romans 8:19-25 ERV
2) Now read it through once more; this time pause periodically to allow the phrases or sentences to echo and resonate in your heart.
Do any of them tug at you? Pull out your journal and write down those phrases or sentences or any other thoughts that come to mind as you ponder them.
Allow yourself a moment of silence.
3) Reread the passage again; this time listen for a word that seems to reverberate in your spirit. Repeat the word softly to yourself a few times.
What might God be trying to whisper to your heart through that word? Journal any thoughts that come to mind.
4) Read the Scripture one more time. What is your response to God based on what you’ve read? Take some time to dialogue with the Savior about what is bubbling up in you. You might find it helpful to write out your prayer dialogue in your journal, remembering to insert your name as you sense the Spirit speaking.
5) As you read the passage one last time, rest in God. Imagine yourself as David wrote in Psalm 131:2 as a little child at peace in her mother’s arms. This is place of perfect serenity and calm...a place of prayerful expectancy.
Take a moment or two to sit quietly there.
6) As you leave this intimate meeting time with God today and step back into your life and a New Year, resolve to carry what God has whispered to your heart with you, to live it out in your daily activities and situation.
You may want to choose a symbol of some sort to carry with you (or to place somewhere strategic in your home) as a reminder of what it means to wait...to watch...to keep vigil in hope!