Advent is about anticipation.
It’s about remembering and reliving what God’s people felt as they waited to see a promise fulfilled. The people ached for a savior who would set them free not just from the penalty of sin, but from slavery to sin. Hallelujah, He has come!
Ask God to show you if you are living inside that great gift of freedom. Circle any of the following words that describe how you feel when you think about your fight against sin:
hopeless, indifferent, defeated, apathetic, guilty, content, ashamed, enslaved, overwhelmed, peaceful, apathetic
All of these words are symptoms of misunderstanding the truth of Christmas. Either we feel defeated, unconvinced that we can win, or we are OK with our sin. We have forgotten that God is with us. He is all-powerful, able to overcome anything, and fully holy, unwilling to make peace with our sin.
Before God asks the people to be faithful, He reminds them that He is faithful.
When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt they couldn’t obey God’s commands. They couldn’t worship the way they wanted or offer sacrifices or keep the Sabbath. Their master wouldn’t allow it. Then God delivered them. Why? So that they could serve God. He set them free so that they could obey.
God has set us free from slavery to sin and death. How? Jesus bought us from our old master by dying in our place so that we could have Him with us and dwelling in us.
Now, because you have been set free, you have God with you. When you don’t feel able to fight against your sin, His Spirit tells you, “I am the God who rose Jesus from the dead. I can overcome this.” When you don’t care to fight, He tells you, “I am the Spirit of holiness. I will wage war on sin.”
Two-thousand years ago Jesus came bursting into the world so that He could fight for us when we had neither the ability nor desire to overcome our sin. And 2,000 years later, God is still doing this for His people. He bursts into their hearts and fights for them by giving His strength and His conviction.