The book of Luke (Luke 1:5-25) begins with a story that I can relate to about double-mindedness. It is the story of a Jewish priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth and their quest for a baby in their old age. From the story, it is apparent they had been praying to God for a child. One day while Zachariah is ministering before the Lord in the Temple, the angel of the Lord comes to answer the request.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
Zechariah is fearful when the angel appears in the Temple. The angel tells Zechariah not to be afraid. The angel not only tells Zechariah that God heard his prayer, the angel says God is going to give him a son and what the child’s name should be. The angel gives Zechariah some instructions for the child and tells him of the child’s ministry.
This was a priest, God’s chosen. He was ministering in the temple serving the Lord. I would like to believe that if an angel appeared that would be enough for me to trust what was said. The angel telling me God heard my specific request and is answering the request might ease my mind, in case I was still in shock over the angel being there. I would like to think that anything that followed I would trust to happen.
Yet Zechariah’s first response wasn’t “Thank you Lord. I knew that You would give me my heart’s desire because I am your faithful servant.” No, Zechariah’s response was “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” The angel wasn’t enough. The spoken word wasn’t enough. The prophecy wasn’t enough.
Isn’t it ironic that we often pray and ask God for something, then we question if He will give it. We cry out “God please give me…..” We are told to ask in faith. We boldly go before the throne of God with our requests. Then as quick as we walk away from the request, we follow it with “How can I be sure?” It is double-mindedness at its worst.
Zechariah asked God for a child. As God’s priest, more than anyone else, one would think he walked in trust. Zechariah didn’t need a sign, the pregnancy and child would prove what the angel said. God didn’t ask Zechariah to do something; Zechariah had asked God to do something. When Zechariah asked for a sign, the sign he received was not probably what he was asking for. “But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
It is easy for me to look at the situation and wonder how Zechariah could be so double-minded in his trust of God. Yet I know that I do the same thing. There are several things that I have asked for and I know line up with God’s Word. Requests sealed through His promise. They are situations I have no control or influence over, things that will happen in God’s timing. Yet, there are times when I still want a sign – knowing full well the sign will be when it happens. Until then I am suppose to stand in faith and walk out my trust. At times, like Zechariah God give a sign but the sign I received is not the one I wanted. Yet, in the end just like Zechariah’s story I was left praising the Lord for His faithfulness despite my double-minded trust.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day