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Faith is not Knowledge

Faith is not Knowledge

I’ve started posting through the Gospel of Luke. In my last post we saw how the priest, Zechariah, was praying for a child. As he was ministering in the temple, he had an encounter with an angel from God.

The angel announced that he and his wife would have a child. This child, who would be John the Baptist, was destined to be a blessing to many people.

For today’s post, I’ll be looking at Luke 1:15-22. You may want to read this Scripture before continuing with this article.

Having talked about the blessing that this child would be, the angel goes on to talk about his ministry.

…for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Luke 1:15-17

Yes, Zechariah was receiving an answer to prayer, but there was a bigger work God wanted to do. Zechariah was looking at his little situation, the need for a child. God was looking at preparing Israel for the Messiah.

We do the same things. We look at what we’re going through. God is looking at preparing His people for the coming of Christ.

Think about it. What can God do through you? NO! – think bigger!…NO! Bigger than that!!! We limit ourselves to what we think we can accomplish, instead of looking at God’s ability. We need to start thinking about the power of God working in us.

Now, having heard the Word of God from this angel, Zechariah does something that totally blows my mind. We sometimes miss it because of the language used in this verse.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

Luke 1:18

When Zechariah asks this, it’s not really about how old he is. The word used for old man, is actually more about life experience than how long you’ve lived. It’s a tense of the word, elder.

He was really asking how he could be sure about this message before he told anyone. He was an elder in Israel. He had a reputation to maintain. It was more about pride than curiosity.

That’s why the angel got so upset with him. Knowing that, it’s easier to understand why Gabriel responded the way he did.

The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

Luke 1:19-20

The angel basically said, “Hey Mr. Bigshot. You think you’re special because you stand as an elder before Israel? I stand before God Himself. If I lie to you, I’ve got more to lose than a little pride.”

Zechariah wanted to know for sure before he told this to anyone. So, Gabriel gave him a sign. He wouldn’t be able to speak until the child arrived.

We have to learn this lesson. Faith is about believing God’s Word without any proof that it will happen the way God says it will. If we knew for sure, then it wouldn’t be faith.

For the next nine months, Zechariah had to meditate on this truth. When God speaks, no matter how He gets the message to you, you need to believe it and walk in it. Faith is the fundamental attitude that it takes to please God.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

Question: What are you trusting God for right now?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Trusting God’s Word

Trusting God’s Word

As we continue our study of the book of Romans, we’re seeing Abraham as the father and example of our faith.  It’s because of this faith that we receive blessing and righteousness from the Lord.

In my last post, we saw how he trusted God even though all the facts of his situation pointed in the wrong direction.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:20-21

The Scripture says that Abraham did not waver through unbelief.  That word, waver, is important for us to understand.

Taken literally, it’s a word that means judgment.  Abraham didn’t try to judge, based upon all of the facts, whether he should believe God or not.

This is something that we, as believers, need to get a grasp on.  God is beyond our finite judgment.  His Word is true no matter what any other facts look like.  It’s not up to me whether God should be believed or not.

Like Abraham, we need to be fully persuaded that God has the power to do whatever He says He’s going to do.  We need to constantly be checking ourselves with these questions.

Do I believe God has the power to do what He said?  Am I fully persuaded that He will accomplish it?  And what exactly does it mean to be fully persuaded?

That phrase has a double meaning in the Greek language.  Yes, it means to be fully persuaded.  But, it also means to be fully carried out.  This explains a lot about Abraham’s walk with God.

Some say that having Ishmael was a lack of faith on Abraham’s part.  Actually, God didn’t see it that way.

Abraham was fully persuaded that God was going to give him a large family.  So, in his limited ability, he was trying to fully carry out God’s plan.

He had been faithful to his wife, Sarah, for 80 years.  It took what he thought was a Word from God to do otherwise.

The Lord did not see that as a weakening of his faith.  God simply came to him again and said, “That’s not how I want to accomplish it.  I’m going to give you a family through Sarah.”

So often we get worried that we’re going to “miss God” if we make a wrong decision.  I’m so grateful that He’s bigger than that.  God is fully able to work in, around, or through our mistakes.

It’s my job to simply be convinced that He’s well able to do what He says he’ll do.  Then I need to walk in any instructions He gives me.  That’s being fully persuaded and ready to carry out God’s plan.

That’s why the reading of Scripture is so important.  The more we know God’s Word, the more persuaded we become of His ability to fulfill it.

I encourage you to make that a daily habit in this New Year.  Read the Scripture each day.

Let me give you a gift to help you accomplish this.  Recently, the Lord took me on a journey through the New Testament.  As a result, I came up with a daily reading plan that takes you through the New Testament in the order that the Holy Spirit revealed it to the church.

It’s my prayer that you have a blessed, prosperous, and healthy New Year!

Question: How is your life affected by your Bible reading?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2021 in Faith, Power of God, Word of God

 

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