When God shows up

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION -

MANY OF us ex­pe­ri­enced a range of emo­tions with the pas­sage of Hur­ri­cane Matthew, and we con­sider it a bless­ing that the hur­ri­cane did not make landfall in Ja­maica. We were re­minded by this en­counter that as we go about our lives, God is in con­trol. God is with us and it is clear from scrip­ture that there are spe­cial times when He shows up.

In­deed, God is the giver of good gifts and when He shows up, we are forced to pay at­ten­tion. The Book of Luke re­veals some of the things that hap­pened when God showed up for Zechariah the Priest.

When God shows up: 1. We are often sur­prised:

Luke tells us: “Once when Zechariah’s di­vi­sion was on duty and he was serv­ing as priest be­fore God, ... an an­gel of the Lord ap­peared to him, stand­ing at the right side of the al­tar of in­cense. When Zechariah saw him, he was star­tled and was gripped with fear. But the an­gel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” (Luke 1:8, 11-13 NIV).

God showed up in Zechariah’s life when he was un­pre­pared for it. Has God ever showed up in your life, and at the end of it you say: “I can’t be­lieve how things worked out! It could only have been God”. When we feel all is lost and are at the end of our ropes, God shows up and blows our minds and; 2. It often in­ter­rupts our lives

This in­ter­rup­tion can be big or small, but there is an in­ter­rup­tion. The in­ter­ven­tion of God usu­ally brings a pause to where we were go­ing, but it can bring ful­fil­ment and joy. God was com­ing with a bless­ing to Zechariah that was greater than he could imag­ine. He had to pause and give at­ten­tion to God.

PROPHECY OF A CHILD

God spoke to Zechariah and said: “Your wife El­iz­a­beth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and de­light to you, and many will re­joice be­cause of his birth ... He will bring back many of the peo­ple of Is­rael to the Lord their God.” (Luke 1:13b-16 NIV). Prior to this, Zechariah’s wife, “El­iz­a­beth, was not able to con­ceive, and they were both very old.” (Luke 1:7 NIV). God’s in­ter­rup­tion can make dead things come to life: dead mar­riages, dead fi­nances and dead hearts, both phys­i­cal and spir­i­tual. Our God “...gives life to the dead and calls into ex­is­tence the things that do not ex­ist.” (Ro­mans 4:17 ESV).

Even when it’s a re­buke, if we re­spond cor­rectly, it can be­come a bless­ing. “The bless­ing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sor­row with it.” Proverbs 10:22 NKJV. God brings hope where there is hope­less­ness and; 3. He in­vites us to join with Him

When the an­gel ap­pears to Zechariah, this is the ac­count:

“Zechariah asked the an­gel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.’ The an­gel said to him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the pres­ence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak un­til the day this hap­pens, be­cause you did not be­lieve my words, which will come true at their ap­pointed time’.” (Luke 1:18-20 NIV)

MADE MUTE

As un­be­liev­able as this news was to Zechariah, God is su­per­nat­u­ral. Zechariah was made mute af­ter he dis­be­lieved the word, but his tongue was loosed when he came into agree­ment with the word of God. “Then they made signs to his fa­ther to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writ­ing tablet, and to ev­ery­one’s as­ton­ish­ment, he wrote, “His name is John. Im­me­di­ately, his mouth was opened and his tongue set free and he be­gan to speak, prais­ing God.” (Luke 1:62-64 NIV)

The Lord shut up Zechariah’s mouth so that his speech would not op­pose the prom­ise. What we say and how we ap­proach God’s plans for our lives can de­rail what He wants to do, for “the tongue has the power of life and death...” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV).

What has God been say­ing to you? Have you been pray­ing for some­thing for so long that you have given up hope? Do you need God to show up with a mir­a­cle? With God, noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble, so keep look­ing ex­pec­tantly for His an­swer. When He does show up in your life, stop, pay at­ten­tion, and agree with Him. Don’t let un­be­lief abort His plans for your life.

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