Introduction: Many of us, during this Christmas Season, jump in our Bibles to Luke 2 to read about the birth of Christ. But if I only do that, I miss a great story about Zechariah and how I can learn and be encouraged throughout the year by his story. Check it out below! Great sharing from YouVersion the Bible App.
Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. Luke 1:8-23
Similar to what many of us will encounter at one time or another, Zechariah’s faith was challenged, and he chose to give more weight to his own reasoning than a promise from God. We must remember: God’s promises are always more credible than human logic. We serve a God we can trust with the impossible. We have real limits, but He does not.
Be honest with yourself today: Are there any “facts” about your life that weigh heavier in your mind than what’s possible through God? Human logic is a tool, and it’s one that God gave us to use. But when human logic comes face to face with a promise from God, God’s Word must always stand superior over our own knowledge.
God accomplishes His will however He pleases. The way God chooses to work often leaves us dumbfounded, because God’s ways are so much higher than ours. We can’t expect or predict how He will act. But just because we can’t figure God out doesn’t mean we have to doubt Him. In fact, a God that we could completely figure out wouldn’t be God at all.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him. Luke 1:57-66
Having a history of doubt doesn’t make you incapable of a faithful future. When Zechariah doubted, the angel told him he would be unable to speak until the day John was born (Luke 1:20). When John was born, others were confused when Elizabeth said his name would be John because “they had no relatives by that name” (Luke 1:61).
Zechariah took his chance to change his mind and act in faith. He scribbled on a tablet, “His name is John,” and he was able to speak again. But not just any words. As soon as he was able to form words, he chose to praise God (Luke 1:63-64).
Our God is a God of many chances. You can make the choice right now to begin taking God at His Word, praise Him, and get involved in His work in the world.
PRAYER: God, stop me whenever I believe the lie that my way is better than Your way. Fill me with humility so I remember that You don’t owe me an explanation when You require my obedience. Reveal the blinders of my own pride. I know that You have no limits. Help my unbelief, Lord. Use me however You need to for Your glory. I love You. Amen.
Are there any situations going on in your life right now where you are battling what you think is possible versus what’s possible through God? What is one step you can take today to show your trust in God?
Write out a prayer to God, thanking Him for second chances, and committing to do the one step from the question above. Plan to pray that prayer consistently over the next week.
Adapted by Glen Solberg at Marriage Revolution: Taken from YouVersion: 10 Days of Christmas Truths to Live All Year – Day 4.