Dwight Fletcher | When God Shows Up
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)
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.