Monday, December 14, 2015

They Obeyed

Today's passage is Luke 1:5-25.

Yesterday I wrote about Elizabeth and how much I relate to her. Today I'd like to talk a little more about her main squeeze. Zechariah sounds like he was the man. The word "blameless" was used to describe him. He was clearly a righteous and respectable man, a man Elizabeth was presumably proud to be married to. 

So righteous, in fact, that God knew to send the Angel to the temple to meet him. Netflix, luxury golf courses, ESPN, and video games weren't around in this man's day, so I'm not exactly sure what dudes did for recreation…. But God knew our man Z frequented his temple because he had a heart for God. 

Zechariah's life was not really a cake walk either. They were elderly and had probably accepted the fact that they would never be parents. But he still followed God, and he still fulfilled his religious responsibilities.

And in the holiest of places, Zechariah received the news that his wife would finally bare him a son. It was the holiest most miraculous moment of Zechariah's life, and his response was one of doubt. Because of this, the angel Gabriel told him he would unable to speak until his son's birth.

Why would God do this? Remember the words used to describe Zechariah? Blameless. Righteous. One little moment of rational weakness and he's punished? What's up with that, God?

I think God wanted Zechariah {and us} to know this: obedience of laws and rituals ARE NOT the same thing as faith.

It's one thing to read a daily bible app, it's another thing to believe God's promises to you on the page. 
It's one thing to attend church, it's another to trust God with your life.

God wanted Zechariah to come closer to Him in a more intimate experience, not to the alter to scratch the week's sacrifice off of his to-do list.

God isn't law, dear ones. He is love. His laws were created with love in mind. He wanted to draw us into Him, but if we're stopping at just meeting religious obligations, we're missing it! We're missing out on the life and power that comes with the experience of closeness with our great God. You'll never, ever, ever, ever get there out of obligation. 

So if you stumbled upon this page because you felt like you should probably read something about God today, it is the sincerest prayer of my heart that you leave feeling alive, hopeful, and free from the obligations that come with being religious. Don't shoot for honorable, or righteous, or even blameless. It good to have a clear conscience, but it's far better to have a light and joyful heart. Lift your eyes up. Experience the entirety of the encounter God wanted for you.

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