Recently in our Sunday School class we had been talking about certain Scriptures and how seemingly (by some in church) they are only brought up at certain times of the year… in particular, Christmas and Easter. Which is why we need to always be praying that God will speak something new each and every time we open up the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” It is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. That means it can speak to you wherever you are. Whatever thought you’re entertaining, it will reveal it to you and show you perhaps why you shouldn’t. Selah. Scary, huh. But good. A good kind of scary.
Anyway, right before Christmas I read Luke 1:57-66, where it speaks of John the Baptist and actually what he (John) should be named. Recall now, that Zachariah could not speak because his mouth was shut for not believing what the Lord had spoken to him. (Side note: We must be very careful when the Lord comes to us, whether in a dream or through a person and confirms what we had believing Him to do. Zachariah was believing God to do something. He had been praying for God to do something and then the angel of the Lord appears and tells him your prayers have been answered and the first thing Zachariah says is, “How will I know?” Uh, hello, Zachariah, you are not Whitney Houston and God does not have to answer). So of course, God shut His mouth. Be careful about the way you ask God questions. I had to learn this one myself.
Getting back to what I was saying… the people wanted to call the child by the name of his father, Zachariah, but Elizabeth said, no, he shall be called John. And then they signaled to Zachariah to get his thoughts and he wrote, his name is John. And then the Scripture says immediately his mouth was opened and he was able to speak. Then the first thing he did, was praise God. How about that? He wasn’t able to speak for a good nine months, but he learned his lesson, because the first word wasn’t a complaint, it was a praise. Bless the Lord! Let that be our testimony when God brings us out of the silence. And the Bible says that fear came upon all the neighbors and relatives and as they walked away, they wondered, they pondered in their hearts, what kind of child will this be? For the hand of the Lord was upon him. And that is where God spoke. What kind of child will this be, seeing the hand of the Lord was upon him?
Purpose. God spoke purpose into John the Baptist. And the people recognized it. For they wondered, what kind of child will this be for the hand of the Lord is upon him. The people saw that because God’s hand was upon the child born to Zachariah and Elizabeth, that child was born with purpose. And we know what that purpose was, for we know what he grew up to be... the forerunner to the Messiah, the Savior of the World.
But what really struck me, what stood out for me, is that because the Lord’s hand was with him, the people knew he would grow up to be something. The people knew. Because the Lord’s hand was with him. Just as John the Baptist was born with a purpose and the people recognized it because the Lord’s hand was with him, so are we. We have been birthed with a purpose. And as the people saw it with John the Baptist and knew that he would do something, people are looking at us and expecting us to do something and to be something, as well. Because the Lord’s hand is with us.
Which reminded me of the Scripture where it says, because the gracious hand of the Lord was upon him, Nehemiah was able to build the wall. Ezra said, as he guided the right people to protect his return to Jerusalem, it was God’s hand upon him that led him to do the choosing. So if God’s gracious hand is upon us, is upon His people, we ought to amount to something, because God has filled us with purpose. And as people of God, we ought to walk in what God has anointed us to do… walk in our purpose. People are expecting it. People are looking for it.
Whitney sings another song that I enjoy and could listen anytime of the year, Who Would Imagine a King? And basically she says that Jesus could grow up to be anything, but He grows up to be a King, who would imagine that? Because God’s gracious hand is upon you, you have been filled with purpose. I have been filled with purpose. And with that purpose you could be, you could do, absolutely anything. John the Baptist, forerunner to the Christ. Jesus, as the song says, a King. But you have to walk in your purpose. People are expecting you to. They see the hand of the Lord upon you. They know who you belong to or who you say you do. And they are looking for something from you. Hear them, “What kind of person will this be?” Could be a Word they’re seeking. Could be a hug. Could be love. One other line in the song goes on to say this, “That the world would be different because you were alive.” And though Whitney is singing about Jesus in the song, I believe God is saying something to us… “and you have walked in your purpose.”
The world would be different because you were alive and you have walked in your purpose. And the gracious hand of the Lord was upon you.
God is real.
A servant of the Lord,