Tuesday, December 21, 2010

...ponders first words

It was no wonder that my daughter's first word was "daddy." To this day, her daddy is her rock star. It is also no surprise now that she started talking in full sentences at 18 months with her first sentence being, "Mommy, I see you." (Were we shocked then? ABSOLUTELY!)

When our son was able to get a word in edge-wise, I had hoped it would be, "mommy," but no, it was "daddy."

Those sweet little voices. We waited 18 months for Erin to speak clearly and around two years to hear Pearce's voice in speech. It would take a little longer to hear their personalities and temperaments, but they came.

Have you ever looked forward to hearing someone's voice? I think of wives of soldiers who are abroad. The voice of her spouse is enough to bring her to tears.

Now what about God's voice. Have you ever gone any period of time without hearing his voice? For me, it was stressful and depressing. What if 400 plus years went by and NO ONE heard from God? In my last entry, I wondered what God's last words were before the Dark Ages. Now, I'm curious what the first words were when God spoke through his messenger for the very first time in 400 plus years. Do you know what they were?

Luke 1:13, "Do not be afraid."

"Do not be afraid." God doesn't speak in 400 plus years; he decides it's time; he sends an angel and says, "Do not be afraid." I'm sorry, but if an angel physically showed up during my time of meditation or prayer, I might need something a little more than "Do not be afraid." I'd need recussitating and at the very least possibly a change of britches!

I love this. His first words are calming words, words of consoling, and words showing he sees to the heart of a person.

I love this story. Zechariah was a priest who had been chosen by the casting of lots to go in and offer incense and sacrifice to God. Some priest lived their whole lives never getting this opportunity, and once a priest received this honor, he would never receive the opportunity again. This was Zechariah's once in a life-time opportunity...once in a life-time.

Can you believe that the priests would cast lots for this opportunity? Can you believe they didn't have some ritual for the selection of the next person to serve in this manner? Do you know what the priests believed? They believed God controlled the lots. They believed no matter how the lot was cast or thrown that God was in control. Proverbs 16:33, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." God does not leave anything to chance. He is in control.

He knew that Zechariah and Elizabeth were old and barren. God had chosen not to bless them in their youth with children because he knew this day was coming. 

God doesn't stop his message at "do not be afraid." His messenger gives Zechariah a message and prophesies about the child Elizabeth was going to deliver. Then Zechariah...doubts (vs 18). God doesn't speak in 400 plus years; he chooses to speak to Zechariah, and he chokes. He doubts.

Isn't that just like us? When we are living in God's will and he is orchestrating our life creating opportunities for growth and opportunities unfathomable to us, and we say, "Really? Really, God?"

As a result of his doubt, Zechariah was struck dumb, and some believe deaf as well because later they had to signal to Zechariah about the name of the baby. We don't know if Elizabeth could read. We don't know if Zechariah was able to communicate what the angel had said to Elizabeth or not. We assume so because Elizabeth knew the name the angel gave Zechariah, but I don't know that for sure.

Elizabeth's response was (vs25), "The Lord has done this for me." Oh that I may be like Elizabeth! You see Zechariah had started using logic, his finite knowledge, his humanness in order to define God and his ability. Zechariah was putting God into a box. Elizabeth said, "What box?" 

When God speaks to you, when God leads you, do you have the faith it takes to trust him and follow him wherever he leads? It isn't by chance or by accident that he has chosen you. The gifted writer, speaker and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries Lysa TerKeurst says we are responsible for being obedient: God is responsible for the results. Are you willing to be used by limitless God? Are you expecting a limitless God to show up, to use you and to do extraordinary things in your life? If not, why not? Luke 1:37, For nothing is impossible with God."

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