Expecting God to show up

Are we ready, expecting God to show up in our lives? (Luke 1:5-25)

Zechariah was declared to be a righteous man – blameless. He was only doing what he was assigned to be doing when his life was interrupted by the supernatural. He was only doing a task which he had done many times before – going into the temple to light the incense. It was just a simple task.

But we look back and think, But this is the temple, the place where God shows up. And this is the altar that stands directly in front of the Holy of Holies. And this is the incense that represents the prayers of the people to that Holy God. What should have Zechariah’s attitude have been, what was his frame of mind?

We don’t know exactly what was on Zechariah’s mind but we do know a couple of things. Zechariah was old and probably many of years beyond the patient persistence of asking God for a child. It was also many years since God had raised a prophet to speak to the nation of Israel. How many years would we have been able to keep on persistently praying and expecting that God would hear our prayers?

God had long been silent and even the righteous Zechariah seemed to be beyond the point of expecting God to show up. However, God did show up to not only answer the long abandoned prayers of Zechariah but to do much more. Zechariah did not seem to be prepared for God to show up, but God was going to use Zechariah anyway to carry out the plans he established from long ago to send us the voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord. Zechariah was only expecting the same things he saw every other day. And its true that nothing happened on the all the other days preceding this one.

He was certainly not expecting that God would not only answer the long abandoned prayer, but give a far greater blessing. We don’t have The Temple any more, but we have temples where God resides in each of us. And each of us has the privilege of bringing not only our prayers but the prayers of the people to God which rise like the fragrant smoke from incense. Are we going to be like Zechariah and forget that we are in that holy place? And if God should be silent for a while are we going to succumb and lose hope or are we going to hold onto hope and expect God to show up, whether to just be with us or to comfort us or maybe to answer our prayers but in His time and not our time, and then maybe in ways we don’t expect?

God is not confined to The Temple or the temples that are our bodies. In fact, there is nowhere we can go where God has not already been. God has gone before us so that anywhere we go is holy ground. What should we expect, that every day will be the same or the handiwork of the God who goes before us?

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