I remember early in my walk with Christ, being so afraid to ruin his plan. I looked at the free will of man, the influence of my flesh, and my lack of biblical knowledge as a threat to God’s sovereign decree. While there is a clear call to obedience and clear consequences for it (Luke 1:20) we are not evil enough or powerful enough to remove God’s sovereignty from our lives in an area where He has made a promise.
When we look at the life of Zechariah and then his son John (The Baptizer), we see a life of promise. The interesting thing is that the promise was decreed to come after them, that they would be “way pavers”.
We first see Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth living their life as a married couple. Zechariah serves as a priest, and Elizabeth anxiously waits and longs to one day be a mother. One day, while Zechariah was obediently doing what he had been assigned, he was confronted by a messenger from God to speak a promise over Zechariah and Elizabeth’s lives. Luke 1:8 says, “Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,” Zechariah was called while he was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing, while he was “Chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.”
The angel appeared to Zechariah and delivered a specific message, a specific promise from God: “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” (Luke 1:13). But how does Zechariah react? He can’t make sense of the promise due to his and Elizabeth’s age, so he disregards the promise: “And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years” (Luke 1:18).
Your present circumstances don’t trump God’s sovereign call on your life. God desires your sanctification, your obedience. You may be doubting God’s promise because of your earthly age, or your spiritual maturity. You may be doubting God’s promise because of your earthly wealth, or your lack of heavenly treasure. You may be doubting God’s promise because of your past failures, or current flesh battle. The Promise that came after John the Baptist said that your sins have been forgiven, your heart of stone has been made flesh, and your identity secured. Trust the sovereign promise of the cross of Christ, and live in the empowered freedom of his grace, sovereignty, and purpose for your life.