The Native: Silencing Our Doubts
We’ve talked about him before, but I would like to revisit the scene. Zacharias, a Priest of God, a child of Abraham, is having a conversation with an Angel. He had his doubts, as a result, the Angel told him that he would not be able to speak until the prophecy was fulfilled. On the surface, we humans, might be puzzled at this, until you examine more closely.
Yes, Zacharias was human, yes, it was an extraordinary promise, but it was not an unprecedented one. Since David, the promise of Christ from the family of Bethlehem was well known. Also famous, was the birth of Isaac, to two elderly parents named Abraham and Sarah. If anyone knew the history of God’s people, it should have been Zacharias.
What we must be careful, not to misunderstand, was the reason for the silencing.Set aside for a moment, the fact that this was a Priest Of God, and that he was talking to an Angelic messenger. Instead, look at where they were standing, at an Altar inside a building that had been destroyed once before.
At the time of the exile, many probably doubted that God would return His people to their land. Perhaps, some thought they would never again see a Temple on that mountain, but they did. God had prophesied, before the first Temple’s destruction, that He would return His people to their land.
Zacharias was standing in a place of miracles, talking to the Messenger of a Miraculous God, about God’s plan for our future.This son of Abraham, had a heritage of hope, and yet, fear attempted to drown out his faith.
Please understand, I’m not judging Zacharias, just identifying with him. It would be easy to say, he should have known better, but then again, shouldn’t we? Every Sunday, we stand in a place of miracles while the Messenger Of a miraculous God reveals to us God’s plan for our future. How often do I, do we, give more voice to our doubts than we do our faith?
Doubt is a form of fear, and it can be very deceptive. In our minds we think, “It’s not that I doubt God’s ability, but the circumstances are so great.” Or, “I know He can do it, and has for others, but will He do it for me?” Fear comes to us disguised as doubt, it’s less aggressive, it is less blatant, but it is still fear. It will take many forms before it is defeated.
I’m sure that the enemy tried to fill Zacharias’ head with doubts even after that day. The thoughts of, “All that could go wrong …”, even after Elizabeth was going to have the baby. I admit, I would struggle with all the ‘what if’s’ just as he probably did. We are human, and we are going to grapple with fear. It’s a battle however, that we cannot afford to lose.
The difference between Zacharias and us, he couldn’t give voice to his doubts. He had no choice, but we must choose not too. In the middle of the night, when whispers filled his brain, he only had to remember one thing. His vocal chords refused to communicate them, they refused to give fear a voice.
God did this for our example. No, He doesn’t make a habit of stilling voices, but He was trying to teach us something. If we will silence our doubts, and give voice to our Faith, then we will always be victorious. Yes we will have fear, but no, we do not have to communicate it. We must choose to speak our faith instead of our fear.
That isn’t to say we won’t have fear. I’m not saying that we pretend that we’re not scared of, insert mental image here, but I am saying that we mustn’t focus on it. I can choose to speak what God promised.
I can grab hold of the hope that is before us like the horns of an Altar. Incense fills a room, the smell attaches itself to clothing. Zacharias was surrounded by a cloud of faith, and fear still was successful in hindering him. Why? Because, while the room was filled with faith, his vision was filled with fear.
One of the greatest things that God did for Zacharias was silencing his fear. It had spoken so loudly that it had drowned out his faith. It took over nine months, but he watched as faith grew, and fear dwindled. Zacharias was given his opportunity to speak again. He said first, “His name is John, (Grace), and then he praised God.
In verse 63, he spoke his son’s name, and in verse 64 he praised God. Last time he spoke fear, this time he spoke faith. As a result, in verse 67, he was filled with The Holy Ghost, and God spoke through him. When we refuse to verbalize our fears, and we speak faith, we become the mouthpiece of God.
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
The Bible says that God prophesied through Zacharias. It’s no surprise that he uses the word spake in verse 70, and called in verse 76. He went from doubter to Disciple long before Thomas was given the nickname.
God gave us an example in Zacharias, but today, God wants us to silence our doubts. He will cause the miracle, but we must do the practical. We must still them, not by the absence of doubt, but the purposeful rejection of it.
The Lord was essentially saying, “Not here, not now, and never again!” We must actively do the same to our doubts. When we do, like the child in Zacharias’ arms, something new will be born in our spirit. It will grow, and produce an even greater future in us, that points only to Jesus!