Advent Devotional – Sunday, December 18, 2016 – You Love God With Your Choices
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy;
55 as he spake to our fathers,
to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa.66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. – Luke 1:51-66
I love the courage Elizabeth showed in announcing John‘s name, especially given the status of women back then and the fact that she was breaking the naming traditions of the day. Zachariah showed that same courage that comes from a God-ordained prompting when he verified what Elizabeth requested.
Then something amazing happened—Zachariah‘s voice returned and he began to speak and praise God! Have you ever faced a time where you had to choose whether to follow God‘s prompting or the world‘s? Or how about whether to follow God‘s prompting or your parent‘s or a friend‘s when they are not believers?
Choosing to obey God takes real courage, and God absolutely LOVES when we say, “Yes” to Him! In my personal life, I‘ve seen God richly bless me for my obedience to Him in a tough situation, and I encourage you the next time you face a situation like this, remember that God is watching to see who you will follow, worship, and obey for you love Him through your choices!
I also cannot help but notice the impact Zachariah‘s choice had on his neighbors as they saw him obey God then heard his voice return. They were filled with awe and spread the word throughout the land. I am reminded once again that our courageous obedience not only glorifies God but also emboldens others to courageously obey God as well. We are often witnesses when we don‘t even know it!