When God Shows Up

9:21 AMHeather

In my ongoing quest to dig into God's Word during this Christmas season, I decided to jump into the book of Luke today.  Honestly,  I approached chapter one with a bit of a yawn.  I've heard this story, oh, a few dozen times at least.  Zechariah goes to the temple, blah, blah, blah.  An angel comes, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Elizabeth becomes pregnant with John the Baptist.  Yep, got it.  

So, I read through chapter one, and sat there.  I had started my time with God this morning in my prayer journal, as I usually do.  Today, I asked that God would give me "fresh deep revelation" as I read His word.  I first read the Proverbs for the day, chapter 8.  Then, I skipped over to Luke 1.  And, suddenly that fresh deep revelation hit me square between the eyes.

How like Zechariah am I!  Zechariah was a priest.  His wife was "also a descendent of Aaron."  When it comes to spiritual heritage, these two came from a rather Godly lot.  In fact, Luke 1:6 has this to say about Zechariah and Elizabeth:

Both of them were upright
in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's
commandments and regulations blamelessly.

Uh, that's a pretty big affirmation that they were certainly following God!  And, so the story continues that Zechariah was chosen by lot to go into the temple to burn incense.  Now, lest you wonder about this approach to choose a priest by way of gambling, let me bring you back to Proverbs 16:33.  It says that, "the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."  This used to trip me up as a child--being taught not to gamble.  But, it was common ancient practice among the Israelites to allow the Lord to make decisions by casting lots.  

Long winded as always, my point really is this.  It was not just happenstance or coincidence that Zechariah was chosen to go into the temple that day.  He, in fact, would have been well aware that God had ordained it to be so.   Thus, he entered the sacred temple, surrounded by the assembled worshipers who were praying outside (verse 10).  And, wonder of all wonders, an angel appears giving incredible news, and quite a blessing and promise about his son to come (just check out verse 14 and imagine an angel telling you this about your child).  

Zechariah's response?  Yeah, this is the part where I realize that I am JUST like him.  He asks the angel how he can be SURE of this--because, after all, he and Elizabeth are "well along in years."  HELLO!  God ordained you to enter His temple, an angel appears with some pretty hefty news and promises--straight from the mouth of God.  As far as I can tell, angel sightings were rather rare.  Yet, bold Zechariah, full of surprise and doubt, says, "Okay, okay, so you're an angel--but how can I be SURE?"

Yep, we can go to church, read our Bible, pray to ask God for something, follow Him...and then, when he shows up, we are dumbfounded in surprise and ask how can we be sure.  Because, like Zechariah, an angel or a Biblical promise in black and white or a God ordained circumstance just isn't enough confirmation.   We walk through our day asking for Him, but then don't REALLY expect Him.  

INTENTIONAL challenge:  Oh, ME of little faith!  Even this morning, I asked him for fresh revelation and then how surprised I was when He gives it.  All the time, I pour out my petitions and cry out for His intervention...but seemingly never REALLY expect Him.  How ironic that even before I read Luke this morning, I wrote out this Proverb for my children:  

I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
Proverbs 8:17
 
I have said it many times before--even here on this blog--that we serve a God who doesn't play hide-and-seek, but rather seek and find.  And, yet, I still am like Zechariah when God shows up--surprised, caught off guard, full of doubt, longing for MORE confirmation.  Lord, that I could ever learn to wait in expectation!  That I could throw out the invitation and seek you with full confidence that you will answer and be found.  That I could ever squelch the doubt and walk with full assurance that you love me and will be found when I seek you!  Help my unbelief that I may not be surprised when you so faithfully show up!  

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