God responds to greater expectations. He responds to faith. Jesus interrupted 400 silent years when He was born. His birth was preceeded by some pretty amazing encounters between ordinary people and angelic messengers. It was a time of miraculous things. But it was also a time of unexpected things. People had grown accustomed to not seeing the miraculous, so their faith had grown stale. Often, people missed out on more because they simply had closed their minds off to the possibility of God intervening in their lives. How do we break out of such a rut? How do we begin to expect and see greater things?
No angelic visitations.
No miraculous events.
Today, we see in our culture either a physical poverty, or a spiritual one. Those who "have" tend to expect very little spiritually. Our "stuff" tends to be "enough." But there is more...
Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." ~ Luke 1:38 NLT If God offers it, receive it.
Joseph sized up his situation according to his cultural expectation and his personal experiences. He demonstrated great integrity in how he was willing to treat Mary, but God had more in mind. After explaining to Joseph that this child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit to fulfill a very special purpose, Joseph obeyed valiantly in the face of whatever criticisms might come. When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. ~ Matthew 1:24 NLT
Zechariah had to learn the hard way about having greater expectations. When the angel first approached him in the Temple, he doubted what God was revealing to him and was struck silent until the birth of John. But when John was born, his doubt was erased, and he pointed people back to the prophets of the Old Testament. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets years ago. ~ Luke 1:69-70 NLT If God has promised it, expect it.
Simeon was an old prophet who had spent his life expecting to see the Messiah before his own death, just as God had personally promised him. And it came to pass. Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation... ~ Luke 2:29-30 NLT
Anna had also waited her whole life to see the fulfillment of the expectations of Israel. When she saw the promise fulfilled, she couldn't help but share the news with others who were also waiting. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. ~ Luke 2:38b NLT