Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trust Has Consequences

When Archangel Gabriel gave word to Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth who was in old age would bear a son, he stood in disbelief. He found it impossible that God would be able to reverse the sterility of her Elizabeth’s womb. As a result of his disbelief, he was made mute until the birth of his son. You can read the entire account of the conception of Saint John the Baptist below.

The point I wish to make today is that when we find it difficult to trust the promise of God, there are consequences that we may find difficult to bear. For Zacharias the consequence was not being able to speak, but in his day, this was understood as a sign from God. For most of us the consequence of not trusting God is often subtler than losing our ability to speak. More often than not our consequence is found in the way of increased struggle.

When we pursue a life that God does not desire for us, we will find increased struggle. We may find that “things just don’t work like we expect them to,” when we don’t trust God’s promise. We know from the entire story of Zacharias and Elizabeth, that he only received his voice back once he obeyed the will of God. Once Zacharias named his son, John, his voice returned and he glorified God. If you find that things just are not working as they should, maybe you are in that place of disobedience. Maybe it is time to call your spiritual father for confession, and trust in God’s promise. Once you follow God’s will, your voice will return.

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. "But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time." And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people." (Luke 1.5-25)

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