Anna, the prophetess who had spent her life in the temple, devoted herself to the Lord after being widowed as a young woman. Because of her faithfulness, she was rewarded by the Lord as an early witness to the Messiah, Jesus.
How did Anna know that the baby she met, out of all the others she had seen in the temple, was the promised Messiah? At that time in history, the Jews were not expecting the Messiah to be born into humble circumstances – they were expecting a military power who would overthrow Rome. Yet when His parents brought Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord, Anna knew He was the Messiah because she had devoted her life to hearing God’s voice.
What does the Bible Say about Anna?
Anna, in her advanced age, was a prayer warrior. The book of Luke notes that Anna had been married for seven years and widowed for 84 years. She was well-known in the temple because she never left it! Even though her story is brief, here are three powerful things she proved:
1. Anna’s Life Proved that it’s Never too Late with God
According to the timeline, Anna would have been around 105 by the time she encountered the Messiah proving that in God’s eyes age means nothing at all. In the Bible, Sarah was 90 when she gave birth. Noah was 600 when the global flood started. Moses was 80 before his ministry began. Elisha was dead and God used his bones to raise someone to life!! God uses the “least” and most overlooked, faithful people to confound those who think they are wise.
Many died before seeing the Messiah (Hebrews 11:13), but Anna was there because God knew she would recognize Him and she would tell others. Anna had a good reputation in the temple and people would believe her word. It’s never too late with God! It doesn’t matter to the Lord what you look like or what your skills are, your intelligence, your connections, your charisma or anything else. Will you draw close enough to the Lord to hear His voice? To recognize the coming of the Lord? Will you bear witness of Him to everyone you know?
A lifestyle of worship is a spiritual discipline that anyone can have and as you progress in your relationship with the Lord, He will show you more and more the closer you are to see it!~Alicia Purdy
2. Anna’s Life Proved that Less is More with God
The tribe Anna came from, Asher, was one of the “lost tribes” way in the north that Israel had lost track of over time, but God had been keeping track. In terms of culture, Anna was no one special, from nowhere special. Yet here she was, one of the first witnesses to the Messiah! One more important thing to note is that Anna didn’t run out and shout the Good News on the streets.
So many people work in the Kingdom, plowing the ground in front of them and wonder if they’re of any effect. Do you ever feel that way? Pastors, evangelists, teachers, parents, friends and other ministers of the Gospel everywhere in the world are toiling and giving everything they have to advance the Kingdom of God and no one will ever know their names. This was Anna.
But she didn’t hop on a donkey and tell everyone in the next town over. Anna stayed where she was and bore witness to the people in her sphere of influence, those lost in their waiting, “all those who looked for the redemption of Jerusalem“- her peers, the ones who knew her, had seen her all these years, knew her testimony. They knew her life and so they listened to her words.
3. Anna’s Life Proved that Praise is the Perfect Response
When Anna realized that she was seeing the hand of God at work before her, that God had done what He said He’d do, that the miracle of the Messiah was present in her life, she worshipped! The account in Luke 2:25-38 says, “Coming at that moment, she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who looked for the redemption of Jerusalem.” In all things, during the waiting, during the wondering and during the witnessing of it all – praise God!
A lifestyle of worship is a spiritual discipline that anyone can have and as you progress in your relationship with the Lord, He will show you more and more the closer you are to see it!
Thought for today: What Do You Have in Common with Anna in the Bible?
Maybe no one will ever know what you’ve done, but God does. Maybe no one will ever know your name, but God does. Maybe you feel obscure or overlooked or of no consequence, skill or usefulness, but God says otherwise. You are important to the Kingdom You are, like Anna, of tremendous value and use right where you are. People are watching. They know your life and your testimony.
Paul wrote this:
“For observe your calling, brothers. Among you, not many wise men according to the flesh, not many mighty men, and not many noble men were called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And God has chosen the base things of the world and things which are despised. Yes, and He chose things which did not exist to bring to nothing things that do, so that no flesh should boast in His presence. But because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, whom God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.'” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
It was evangelist Dwight L. Moody who once said, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” Remember: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
- Anna had been watching and waiting on the Lord for His promise of a Messiah to be fulfilled.
- Anna didn’t try to define how God would come through.
- Anna worshipped the Lord as her first response to witnessing what God had done.
When you witness a move of God, tell everyone around you, in your sphere of influence! Anna’s faithfulness to the Lord proved that God sees those who labor in secret.
God Has Even Greater Things Planned for Your Life!
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