In the advent narrative of Scripture leading up to the birth of Jesus, an angel of God appeared to Zachariah the priest. He and his wife Elizabeth “lived honorably before God, careful in keeping the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless …and now they were quite old.” (Luke 1:6)
The angel came to Zachariah with a message from God that they were going to have a child and his name was to be John. He would achieve great stature with God and would be the forerunner of the long-awaited promised Messiah.
Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.” Immediately Zachariah was struck speechless by God and was told by the angel that he would remain unable to talk until after the baby was born. (Luke 1:18-20) God could have crippled him, or blinded him, or given him a “thorn” of some kind that he would have to deal with like the Apostle Paul. (II Cor. 12:7) But God chose to strike him speechless. Why? I believe that God did not want Zachariah spewing seeds of unbelief at a period when he was about to perform the central feature of His redemptive mission in the sending of Jesus into the world.
Unbelief deprives us of so many blessings of God. When Jesus walked this earth and entered his hometown of Nazareth, the Bible records that “…he could not do many mighty miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Mark 6:1-6) Unbelief flies in the face of God and puts question marks where he has put periods. James Kennedy says, “It doesn’t matter if everyone in the world joins hands and votes unanimously that God’s truth is false, it still remains true. It remains true whether I believe in it or I don’t believe in it.” Eternal truth cannot be found within the narrow confines of the reasoning power of mortal man. God is bigger than that!
Faith always stands on the shoulders of reason and cries, “I believe!” “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” (Hebrews 3:12-13) As we move into another new year filled with uncertainty and challenges the likes of which we have seldom if ever seen, it is important for us to “silence unbelief” and rest our lives in the hands of a faithful God.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6) Being confident that “…He is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” (Jude 24) Being confident in God to “…sanctify you through and through …to present your whole spirit, soul and body blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” because of Jesus!
Today we silence even the whisper of unbelief, confident that “…the One who calls us is faithful and he will do it.” (II Thess. 5:23-24)
Be blessed my friend, and God’s best to you and yours in the new year ahead.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love