Proverbs 4:10 “Hear, my son, and receive my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”
I have been working on hearing from God and receiving all that He has for me. Receiving is hard when we feel unworthy. We must remember that when we look to Him and know who we are because of Jesus, our walk will not be hindered and when we run we will not stumble. The world’s definition of wisdom is focused on the attainment and use of knowledge. It’s not wrong; it’s just misleading. Much of the church has adopted this incomplete definition, pursuing a wisdom that has no soul. Biblical wisdom sees with divine perspective, and is the creative expression of God, bringing practical solutions to the issues of everyday life.
I was reading the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke chapter 1. They were both righteous in walking before the Lord. They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and they were both advanced in years. I love it when the Bible talks about those advanced in years. We so desperately need the older generation to help the younger generation. There is so much wisdom to be gained from their experience and perspective. I love and respect them so much.
One day Zacharias was burning incense in the temple as part of his priestly duties. Then an Angel appeared:
Luke 1:12-18 “And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
This is such an amazing promise and prophetic word. A promise to Zacharias and a prophecy for John the Baptist. The Angel said here is what is going to happen and John will be filled with the Holy Spirt, even from his mother’s womb! In other words, here is his destiny, and God will equip him when it’s time to walk it out. Grace doesn’t always come with the promise, it comes when we step into and choose to partner with that promise.
Zacharias responds with questions like most of us would. How can this happen? I’m old and how shall I know this is true? The angel responds…
Luke 1:20 “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place. Because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
Why would God shut Zacharias mouth and not the enemy? He didn’t want him to mess it up! We have more influence over our destiny then the enemy does. God doesn’t always give us a huge promise or prophetic word and then prevent us from messing it up. But sometimes we need to shut our mouth. We need to learn to be quiet and simply receive what He has for us. We need to listen for His voice and receive the life of those words. Wisdom is found in hearing what God is saying and declaring that over our lives, our cities, and the world. We need to look from heavens perspective. God is not worried. We must ask, “what is heavens response to my worldly problem?”
A few days after the angel released the promise Elizabeth conceived and hid for five months. She hides and Zacharias can’t talk. This promise is HUGE! During those five months Mary has said YES to the angel to carry Jesus. Mary and Elizabeth are relatives and Mary goes out to see Elizabeth.
Luke 1:41 “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
John’s destiny and reason for being born has just walked in the room! The prophetic word came and then 6-months later the anointing came to walk it out when John encountered his purpose. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, like the angel said, from his mother’s womb when his reason for being conceived walked into the room. John’s destiny was released from heaven to earth. He was to baptize the people, prepare the way for Jesus, and declare that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John 1:25-27 “And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, not Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose’.”
John has that feeling again that he felt in the womb. He senses Jesus among them. You never forget the feeling you get when you walk in and receive what God has for you.
John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.” I did not know Him…
John was walking out what God had called him to. He was not worried about titles but focused on action. Jesus says that no one is greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. The Kingdom that we are most aware of is the one that we will respond to. We are greater than John the Baptist. What an amazing revelation.
While the meanings behind them may be different, the first sermon Jesus ever preached was the same one that John did:
Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I pray that as we continue to walk out what God has called us to that we draw closer to be hear and receive. Receiving can be difficult because we may feel like we must earn it. Like Zacharias, we all must learn to shut our mouth, hear, and receive what God has for us. Heaven is not somewhere up in the sky, it is all around us. Take a look and experience the King and His Kingdom everywhere you go.