A Glorious Obedience

December 17, 2020

Luke 1:65 NIV

All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.

Today's Reading: Luke 1:57-66 NIV

In the beginning of Luke 1, Zechariah and Elizabeth were well past their child bearing years but are told by an angel of the Lord that they will bear a son whom they “are to call John… and he will be great before the Lord… and make ready for the Lord a people prepared” (Luke 1:13-17 NIV). Zechariah immediately doubts that they can conceive and becomes mute until the birth of their child. Nine months later, Elizabeth gives birth to a son that she declares will be named John. Many are confused by this name choice, as it did not run in their family, but Zechariah remembers the command from the angel of the Lord and confirms the name John. Immediately after this proclamation, Zechariah is able to speak. This miracle sends shockwaves through the surrounding areas, leaving many questioning, “What then will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him” (Luke 1:66 ESV).

Though we may not have such a direct physical result of our unbelief as Zechariah, I think many of us can identify with struggling to believe we can do what God has called us to do in specific roles or situations. I was fresh out of college and in the workplace when I was presented with the opportunity to help lead a group of high school girls. Though this may seem like a small ask, I saw this request as the impossible. Even after praying and feeling a strong nudge from the Lord to step into this role, I still asked Him, “how?” – I resonated with Zechariah’s disbelief – could God really use me in a role like this? Thankfully, God had a better plan and stretched me in many ways during that first year of leading. A year later, when I was offered a full-time ministry position, I was faced again with the choice to trust and submit to God’s plan or doubt God in His ability to use me.

Two and a half years later, I find myself amazed at the Lord’s provision and grace throughout this position. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have days where I doubt my abilities to bring fruit to the Lord in this position. But, the amazing part of both John’s birth story and my story is that it’s never about us and our abilities to do what He has called us to do. Rather, it’s about Him in His love and grace, taking the impossible situation and His faithful (willing?) people to create a beautiful display of His power, love, and sovereignty in each of our lives. We all have areas of our lives where we may ask, “how?”. Yet, in each of these situations or roles, we can trust that God has intentionally placed us there for a specific purpose, so that through our obedience, His name may become greater and mightier to those around us.