Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Incredible Faith, Incredible Doubt

(Part of the Faith to Move Mountain series, examples.  Taken from Luke 1:5-25)

There was a priest named Zechariah...he had a wife named Elizabeth.  "They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord." Luke 1:6

Zechariah and Elizabeth walked blamelessly before God.  And then the Scripture says, "But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren." (1:7)  They served God faithfully but the one thing a Jewish man wanted was a son.  The one thing a Jewish woman needed to remove the reproach of her people was a son.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were "advanced in years", in other words, they were way past the age at which women give birth.

Zechariah, while performing his duties, is visited by an angel that tells him he and Elizabeth will have a son.  The crux of the whole story and the "faith learning moment" is this, Zechariah had not ceased to pray for a son for him and Elizabeth, though it was physically impossible because of their age.  Look at verses 13, "But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." 

Zechariah had never stopped praying for the very thing that was dearest to his heart and for his wife's reproach.  Even though it was physically impossible, he didn't stop praying.  LESSON 1.  (Technically lesson 2 as lesson 1 is walking blamelessly before God.)

Ok, lesson 3 then.  Don't Doubt.  Zechariah had the faith to pray for the impossible but he didn't believe it even when an angel was dispatched to tell him his prayers had been answered.  Verse 18 "How shall I know this?  For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."  The angel Gabriel says to him in verse 20, "because you did not believe my words...".

1. Walk blamelessly before God.  (We have seen this pattern with the men and women of faith).

2.  Pray the impossible...pray to move mountains!

3.  Don't Doubt.

Lesson learned?  Meditate on these things.

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