Luke 1 shares 3 core beliefs that are essential to help you keep believing when your prayers don’t happen as soon as you want them to happen. I want to give you a download of these 3 core beliefs as a reminder. You’ll find the link at the bottom of this blog.
Elizabeth summed up the meaning of our partnership role of “Blessed” with almost surprising conciseness. I shouldn’t be surprised, this story is told with the precision of a doctor, yes, our dear Dr. Luke.
Yet, I don’t believe their reunion would fit in a nice little concise box. Any gathering of close female relatives is never quiet or unemotional. Their reunion was filled with warmth, love and lots of emotions. Mary and Elizabeth were cousins. Mary was in her youth and Elizabeth was very old.
They didn’t live close enough to chat regularly, but Elizabeth is where Mary turned in the early days of her pregnancy. Maybe it was because the angel had shared Elizabeth’s baby news that prompted her visit–two pregnant women always have lots to talk about, especially when the pregnancies are miracles.
I can almost hear the happy squeals of Mary’s voice calling out, “Hello! Elizabeth! Anybody home? Hello?” Greetings that she must have called before she even got to the door.
Elizabeth just knew!
Amidst the happy hugs Elizabeth already knew Mary’s news.
I’m sorry to interrupt this story, but I want to encourage you to lean in to hear God. Expect God to speak to you. Listen for His voice. It often comes unexpectedly.
Elisabeth blurted out what she knew.
Verse 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luke 1:45 CEV The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.
Did you see that?
Mary had a role to play in partnering with God. She had to believe. Verse 38Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
I want to ask you
Do you have a promise that God has given you that hasn’t happened yet? I know I do.
Your promise is a seed in the womb of your spirit.
Don’t abort it just because it hasn’t happened yet. Keep believing!
Mary didn’t have any proof that it would happen.
It didn’t make sense to her mind.
But she believed.
In this chapter, we see Zechariah, the priest encountering the angel as he offered incense to God in the temple.
Verse 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.
14You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”
19Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Let’s look back at Mary’s encounter with Gabriel.
When Gabriel told her she was going to have a baby she questioned him.
34Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
What was the difference between Zechariah’s and Mary’s question?
Mary believed God. Mary took her eyes off the natural realm and viewed into the unseen realm with the eyes of faith.
This is what God says about Zechariah and Elisabeth:
They were descendents of Aaron
Righteous in the sight of God
Observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly (without fault neither omission or commission purity)
Why do I mention this?
Because they walked with God, they obeyed God, they served God but they didn’t have what they had been praying for…a son.
It looks like Zechariah had given up and quit believing.
He misunderstood God’s delay for a no answer.
So when Zechariah got in God’s presence, God resurrected his hope.
When Gabriel told Mary about Elisabeth’s pregnancy he said, “For the word of God will never fail.” KJV For with God nothing shall be impossible.
It is so important that we know that truth at the very core of our being.
Nothing is impossible for God. God is good…all the time. I trust the goodness of God.
When we don’t get answers immediately, it doesn’t mean God is saying no. (And God can say no sometimes, because He knows more than we do. That’s where trust comes in.) But often God is not saying no, it may be that God is saying wait for it…wait for it.
What happened here?
How did Zechariah get his hope renewed so he could partner with God for a miracle?
He got in God’s presence.
He was offering incense, which is worship.
Worship is the normal response for a believer that knows God. It is a discipline that takes us into His presence. His presence changes us.
It fills us with hope.
You have a role to play in this partnership.Luke 1:45 CEV The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.
Know…really KNOW Nothing is impossible for God.
We all need reminders so I made this picture for you to tuck into your bible or lay on your nightstand. You can download this high resolution picture here.
A while back I preached a sermon related to this subject called “Jehovah is a Gracious Giver.” I wanted to share it with you here.
Or here’s the audio if you prefer that.