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Never Limit God


Hello friends, we have already finished looking at the calling of God. We are going to start a new series on the Gospel of Luke and Luke is an incredibly great historian. There have been times when archeologists were in doubt, and it almost always found out that what Luke has written is absolutely accurate. Luke is a careful researcher. Luke’s Gospel is the first part and the second part written by Luke is the book of Acts that tells us all about how the early church grew. And it was Luke who accompanied Paul on quite a number of his missionary journeys. I would encourage everyone to read through different passages from Luke’s Gospel as we go through Luke’s Gospel and ask God to speak to you. In this passage Luke chapter one, we see two people Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth and I have to tell you they are powerfully impacted with a real power encounter with God and their lives have changed forever and my prayer is that as we go through Luke’s Gospel ourselves as well that each and every one of us will also be impacted by the presence, person and the power of God in our lives, so let’s be ready to be impacted by God. Before I make several points, let me ask you few questions to think about. How big would you say your understanding of God the Father is? How big is your understanding of Jesus? And lastly, how big is your understanding of the Holy spirit is? The reason for asking these questions is sadly many Christians end up putting God in a box. Some people think that God didn’t answer their prayers that way they wanted so they end up putting God in a box. Sadly, not only Zechariah had put God in a box, but he’d also put himself in a box. And sadly, many Christians put themselves in a box as well and that stops them from being the man or women that God wants them to be. Let’s look at the first point.


Keep serving God in difficult times: Luke 1:6

Both Zechariah and his wife were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. Luke 1:6. Let me tell you Zechariah and Elizabeth what a wonderful couple they were. They were the pillar of the church yet still they were both carrying a real sense of hurt and pain and disappointment with God and perhaps the sense of not getting everything right and why was that because in verse 7 it says “But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. They’ve carried this hurt and this pain for weeks and months and years and decades and they thought God will never hear my prayer and they’d put God in a box, and they began to step into the box themselves as well. What is amazing about both of them is despite the fact that they’re carrying this hurt and disappointment, praise God for Zechariah and Elizabeth they are still serving God faithfully. They would have been the most wonderful couple in any church. It’s fascinating to see what happens next, Zechariah is a priest of the line of Aaron as is his wife Elizabeth as well and on this particular day, he’d been selected by lot to be the priest that could go into the holy of holies to perform a very special task. His heart that day would have be pounding and racing because many priest would never get a chance to go in to the holy of holies but this day Zechariah it’s a high point of his ministry and the temple in Jerusalem was the most holy place for a Jewish believer and the temple the way it was made there was you could only go so far into the temple so there was a first court of the temple with the court of the Gentiles. Gentiles could only go to the very outer bit of the temple, but they could not go beyond the wall of the court of the Gentiles. The women could go one court nearer. The next court was the court of Israel which was a little bit closer to the holy of holies and then the next court in was the court of the priest and after that comes the holy place, the holy of holies and no one could just wander in or out of there. Now Zechariah has been selected to go into the holy of holies and he’s in the holy of holies and he’s got some incense that he puts on the burning coal and as he puts the incense onto the burning coals, there would’ve been a wonderful smell of burning incense and there would be a little cloud and the people waiting outside would know that Zechariah has put the incense onto the coals and everyone would join in their prayers to God. And then this most amazing thing happens. Let’s see what happens, let me read Luke 1:11, it says “Then 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. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. Wow! Just at the peak moment of his whole career, the angel of the Lord tells Zechariah that his prayers have been heard. Then 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. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. Wow! Just at the peak moment of his whole career, the angel of the Lord tells Zechariah that his prayers have been heard.


Never doubt God’s commitment to you – Luke 1:18

So, the angel has delivered this amazing message to Zechariah and what does Zechariah say “How can I be sure of this?”. Even when told by the Angel of the Lord that his prayers have been answered, Zechariah doubts it and what he has is put God in a box. He really doesn’t think that God can really come through for him and he doesn’t think that despite the Angelic message that God can probably do what He said He’ll do. So, the angel has another conversation with Zechariah in which the Angel say that he’ll not be able to speak for the next nine months, and it say in verse 22 “When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.” Zechariah must’ve been really frustrated with himself that why I didn’t believe the message of the Angel. Let’s learn from the lesson of Zechariah and never again put God in a box even if our prayers are not yet answered the way we wanted. And that’s why this point is so important for all of us, NEVER DOUBT GOD’S COMMITMENT TO YOU.


Allow God to remove your disgrace or shame – Luke 1:25

In verse 25 it says “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” I can’t even imagine what Elizabeth felt, especially 2000 years ago where it was so important to have a male heir and all those sorts of things. People might have said what has she done wrong, and Elizabeth must’ve seen other people with their children and not her. Remember she has done nothing wrong and there is no reason why she’d feel the slightest bit of guilt or shame but obviously she does, and it’s lived with her for decades and it’s impacted her and in part it’s crushed her. Praises God for Elizabeth, she was still walking with God with all her faithfulness. Sadly, many people nowadays if one thing goes wrong, they get weak in faith. What relationship is that with God, if one thing goes wrong, we lose faith in God. Remember God is God and He is good all the time. Elizabeth had lived with shame and disgrace even though she had nothing wrong, and you know all of us probably live at times with elements of shame and disgrace. It might be something that we’ve done, and we might think God could never forgive that and we put God in a box, and we think God could never forgive what I did wrong or maybe we didn’t do anything wrong like Elizabeth, she has done nothing wrong. Maybe things have happened to us, and we feel shame and disgrace. Let me tell you, Jesus is good news, when we confess our sins and come before Him wholeheartedly with our shame and disgrace, He alone can wash our sins and free us from our shame and disgrace. Jesus understands our shame and disgrace, and He alone can free us from our shame and disgrace. If I could take away important point from this blog, it would be how we can be inspired by Elizabeth’s faithfulness. God is always good. The answer to our prayers can be a little delayed but God always has a better plan for us, and we need to remain faithful in Him and trust Him because He is our Father, and no father would ever think of a bad plan for his children.


God bless you all

Andy

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