“And you, my son, will be called the prophet of the most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord.” Luke 1:76
There had been no prophet in Israel for 400 years. Maybe Zechariah was a picture of all Israel when he refused to believe the angel who said he had come to promise a child in response to his prayers. Maybe he was discouraged and had given up on those prayers from long ago when he and his wife were young?
We don’t know, but we do know that the judgment for not believing was silence that lasted the whole nine months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The text above records some of the first words he spoke when God loosened his tongue at his son’s (John the Baptist) birth.
When the silence was broken, Luke tells us, “Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’” (Luke 1:65-66)
God uses silence in our lives to produce a longing for Him. Are there prayers you have given up on? Don’t interpret delay as God’s absence or disinterest; He is planning something bigger that is not just for us, but also for those we influence. John the Baptist’s birth was part of preparing hearts for Jesus. “God is doing something,” was the feeling in the air. “We may not know what, but He is moving.” God is wanting to prepare us in this time for something more than what man is doing or not doing.
Lift your eyes higher than politicians, higher than family, and higher than your own fears and failures. God is alive and He is wanting to pour out His Spirit in this hour if only we will ask and prepare for Him. (Luke 11:13)
Let’s plan on having the best Christmas ever because we’ve asked God to break through the commercialism and cynicism of our day to reveal Jesus afresh to waiting hearts. “Let every heart prepare Him room.”