Tuesday’s Torch 518
January 8, 2019
An angel of the Lord visited two couples and shared some miraculous news that would very much appear to be impossible. I would like to discuss their responses.
First we shall discuss the reaction of Mary upon being told she would give birth despite being a virgin and that the child would be the Son of God. What great faith it took to respond with “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
This news of pregnancy would surely be hard for her to explain to Joseph whom she was scheduled to wed. The scriptures state that upon this news, Joseph who was clearly a great man, was trying to figure out how to respond to the news to help protect this woman he no doubt loved from the scorn and shame she would have been met with when an angel appeared to him in a dream and let him know what was to happen and that he should wed his bride to be. Upon waking, we are told that he did exactly as instructed. Wow, yet another great example.
I would like to contrast these with the response of the priest Zacharias, who was to become the father of John the Baptist. He and his wife Elisabeth were advanced in age and they had no children as his wife was barren. An angel appeared to him with the good news that they would have a son named John and afterwards this is the description given In Luke 1:18-20:
“And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. “
Due to his lack of belief He was struck dumb and was unable to speak until after the child was born and given the name of John. I tend to think Zacharias May have been a lot like others who were struck dumb in the scriptures. Probably a man who was very well spoken and quite possibly a little high on himself similar to Saul of Tarsus? And while the Bible does state that he was a righteous man, I can imagine He probably liked to talk a little too much and shut up less than he should’ve? Much like someone I know pretty well.
As anyone who knows me can attest to, that person is myself. As I write this Torch from my own perspective I can’t help but think I behave sort of like this at times, many of us do. Even when God tells me to trust in Him for blessings I still can’t seem to get out of His way as though I have to bring them about myself. Too used to being able to talk my way into or out of anything with logic or reason using whatever way with words I’ve been blessed or cursed with.
The only reason God hasn’t struck me dumb is that I’m already doing a good enough job of that myself. But as I was preparing for this message I have been hit so strongly by the spirit that I am refocusing yet again on trusting in the Lord and not in myself. I’ve never had these verses hit me the way they did this morning when I cried straight through the entire first chapter of Luke.
I pray that you read it. Pray first and ask that you be able to be touched by these words the way that I was. Have faith. Be believing in much the fashion of Mary and Joseph. Cast aside the apparent pride or unbelief shown by Zacharias in that moment. And trust the words that the angel Gabriel spoke unto Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
I not only believe that with every fiber of my being but if I have a battle cry, that very well may be it. “With God, Nothing shall be impossible.” The things we can do for ourselves are so extremely limited. But as we turn things over to our Heavenly Father, the possibilities are far more grand than we can ever imagine. Let Him work miracles in your lives. He can change your heart. He can change you. He can heal you. He can heal us all and fix whatever is broken. He can help us to achieve the “impossible”. I mean, He is the same God that caused each of these biblical miracles to take place. And I know this is true. And I share these words maybe not as humbly as I should, but I share them as humbly as I can at this point in time in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.