Believe me....I really thought about the title of this post. It made sense at the time.
This is for all of you readers that have wondered what God was up to in your life. Today, I went back and took a deeper look at the birth announcement of John the Baptist.
As you know, he was the son of a priest named Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth. Read this post about how that news came down the prayer chain. John, was a great prophet, who prepared people to meet Jesus.
When I combed back over the story again, I noticed something. Have you ever noticed that this epic announcement came by way of the super-angel Gabriel, who was only pulled out for a few occasions - making earth shattering announcements? And it was really Zechariah's unbelief that popped the faith balloon?
And then I still wonder why the dude found out first before the mother-to-be?
We've already looked at how Zechariah received the news that he was going to be a dad. The one striking response was his doubt that met the angelic delivery. Luke 1:11 tells of how Gabriel gave this first time father the news of his lifetime, even ushers with a peaceful ..."Do not be afraid!"
Zechariah's response? Luke 1:18 "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
Now I don't know about you, but wouldn't an angelic face to face meeting been enough proof to believe the message from the appointed messenger?
Maybe that's just me. But no..old Mr. "Z" had the nerve to ask the "how" question.
And then I took another look at my own prayers...
I found out that I had been wanting a little more proof of God too. How often have you found yourself in the middle of doubt when God has laid something on your heart and was really only asking you to trust and obey, to simply take him for His faithful word?
Because of Zechariah's doubt, he was struck mute. God has not caused that to happen to me just yet, but has every reason too, as my own list of doubting Thomas moments has been made.
I don't blame 'ole Mr. "Z" for thinking logical first. Isn't that what we tend to do? And when we don't understand the hows of God, we respond to His promise with an "Are you sure about this?"
Would it be more honest to say that we want all the pieces of the mysteries of God before we believe the mysteries of God?
If so, where would the word faith come into our prayers?
I giggle at myself when I pray ..."surprise me God", and then am really surprised at how He answers my prayers. Shouldn't we always be surprised at how God answers our prayers? We should be, but we aren't, because doubt often comes into play and steals our heart response, bringing unbelief to our conversations first.
Can't we trust God to know what He's doing first before He brings about His promises? Wouldn't His faithfulness prove every one of them?
Yes, I believe so.
I love Elizabeth's response though when she receives the birth notice. Can't you hear her teary joy-joy-happy sigh from here? Luke 1:25 records that she said publicly, "The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."
She responded with belief and hope. Ever wonder why she wasn't told first? Could it be that the bigger miracle was to have the husband lead in believing, a man who was supposedly was more near to God with his calling rather than a devoted prayer warrior wife in the faith family tree?
I don't know...just wondering...
The difference is the two responses. One spoke faith, one didn't. One thing is for sure, when we respond with faith over doubt we are blessed.
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" ~ Luke 1:45
Those who pray in faith are blessed. I want to be blessed..and so do you. So let's go through these Advent days with faith, that as we believe in our God, who has promised us peace, joy, love, an eternal home, and so many more promises (and not just at this time of year) that we can...
....have faith. Completely. In all His promises.
Trust in our God who keeps His promises.
....and believe He knows what He's doing. Yes, even when He is up to His mysterious ways.
Trust. Believe. Hope.
My Prayer...God, surprise us!