Saturday, June 30, 2007

Luke #6 – “Pretend That I’m From Missouri”

Luke #6 – “Pretend That I’m From Missouri”

“And Zacharias said unto the angel, ‘Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.’ And the angel answering said unto him, ‘I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.’ And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, ‘Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men’” (Luke 1:18-25 – King James Version).

My youth group is notorious for wanting to stay up late when we go on retreats and trips. Time and time again they stay up too late. Consequently they don’t want to get up in the morning. One year we went on a mission trip and on our first night there the boys wanted to stay up late. All I said was “Pretend I am from Missouri.” One of the boys said “What’s that mean?” I said “If you get up in the morning, you won’t have to find out what that means. If you don’t get up when I call you, you will find out exactly what it means.” With me it’s a common saying. To them it has become one. You see, Missouri is the “Show Me State.” I was stationed out there for a while and I’m not sure exactly what Missourians mean by it, but I always liked the saying. The way I applied it was if you were going to do something don’t tell me about it, prove it. Those boys found out what I meant.

God is a “Show me” kind of God. We, often, are a “Tell Him” kind of people. Zacharias had been praying for a son and when his request was answered he responded (at first) with disbelief; “How am I going to do that? I am old ya know!” God basically told Zacharias to “Hush your mouth!” You see, Zacharias responded with unbelief. He wanted something from God but then did not believe that thing was possible. The people outside knew something had happened to Zacharias inside the Temple but Zacharias could not tell them because his unbelief had bought him silence. What, in our lives, is unbelief ruining? Do you not believe that God can change something in your life? Do you not believe that some relationship can be restored?

Another thing; when God answers prayers we (too often) see the limitations instead of doing what needs to be done. Zacharias said “How can WE have a kid? We’re old ya know!” How do people have kids? Come on…be mature…you know what the next step was. Verse 24 tells us that after Zacharias time of ministry was complete, he went home and his wife conceived. When God says He wants to do something we need to do what we can. Take witnessing for example: you may know someone that is hardened and God puts it on your heart (in prayer; a dream; whatever) that they will be saved. Our common reaction is “Are you sure O Lord that we are thinking of the same person? What can I do?” GO WITNESS! That’s what! Let God take care of the results! Just do what you can do! Your church may have a $1,000,000.00 mission goal when your budget is only $230,00.00. You may think, “What can I do?” Pray; ask God what amount to give. Don’t become frustrated when He says “Give $75.00” and think “That’s not a drop in a bucket towards a million!” Don’t worry! Give the $75.00! Do what’s next! Do what you can! You may not even have the $75.00 to give; act in BELIEF and do what you can.

Lastly; Elisabeth was a “show me” woman. She didn’t go around saying “Look at me, I am pregnant!” She quietly rejoiced in the Lord until enough time had passed that looking at her alone would prove she was pregnant. Talk is cheap. Ohhhh…wait a minute…don’t take this to mean we should not testify or witness but that there should be some substance behind the talk. If we tell people about the joy of the Lord then we ought to have the joy of the Lord in our lives. If we tell people to trust God with their money then we should trust God with our money. If we say people should serve God then we ought to be serving God. If we say God is good then we ought not to complain so much. If we say we are saved then there ought to be fruit. The list could go on for page after page. Do you get my drift?

Don’t let unbelief or limitations get in the way. Have substance in your walk with God. SHOW HIM that transformation is real. When we hear our prayers answered it would be good if we imagined God saying “Pretend I’m from Missouri.”

No comments: