Beyond the Brink of a Breakthrough (Luke 1:5-17)

Summary of message delivered at Itarsi Church, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. 6:45 pm

A few things strike us when we read this story.

1. God's vision came to Zacharias at a moment when he was least expecting such a thing

He was now old and well advanced in age. In fact, he might have been getting ready for a retirement; yet, he had been faithful at his job all the way.

There are no time-limits to God. He can do anything at any time, provided the person is available. [Remember, that waiting time is not wasting time.] To Zacharias that day, everything might have looked as ordinary as it might have been for years. But, in the moment of commonness, an extraordinary miracle occurred to him and his wife.

Their lives might have looked as common as anyone else' for years together; but, did they know that a miracle was expecting them! Do you know that a miracle is awaiting you? Can we pull through to that moment as Zacharias and Elizabeth did... faithful in the ministry that God had given them at the moment. Just imagine what would have happened if Zacharias would have absented himself from the temple that day, if he had lost desire for the service and kept himself away. Wasn't a miracle waiting for him there, though he never knew or expected it? Are you at the brink of a breakthrough and are now going to turn away? Keep pressing on faithfully till the end believing in God for things greater than you can expect.

2. The couple lived a righteous and a blameless life

That's a great testimony, especially in those days when the temple ministry had gone corrupt and priests were tempted to run after dishonest gain. It could have been so simple and social to sin; but, they never gave in - they kept their testimony strong. We need families that can commit to such a righteous lifestyle in this corrupt world.

Remember Asaph in Psalm 73 who confessed that, though being a priest, he had lived with bitterness when he looked at how the godless people of the world prospered and lived such better lives, while he lived a life of utter simplicity in the temple ministry. But, God opened his eyes to see that being closer to God is far richer to being comfortable in the world. Also, Job could have given in to the pain of life, but he held on to his integrity. Can we expect God to manifest Himself in answer of our prayers when we are living lives contrary to His will? Let's commit ourselves to a life that He can testify about as being blameless and upright in His eyes.

3. They had been praying despite all evidences to the contrary

The angel announced that Zacharias' prayer was answered. What a great news on this first chapter of the Gospel! Have you been praying for a thing for a long time? You shouldn't give up; for you may be at the brink of an answer. Or, have you started praying for something? Remember the same.

In fact, remember that God's answer always supersedes our greatest figment of imagination; for He is able to do exceedingly than what we can think or ask. The couple might have been praying for a son; God gave them a special son, one who would be filled from the womb with the Spirit, and who would turn the children of Israel unto God, and bring peace and reconciliation among humans. That day when Zacharias went into the temple, he might have looked at the evil in the world around and might have asked in his heart, "Is there an answer?" Little did he know that the answer awaited him in the closet of the temple, and that he would be part of it.

Never give up hope in prayer; you may be at the brink of a mighty breakthrough.

4. The blessing kept increasing

At the beginning, Elizabeth was uncomfortable with this idea of being pregnant, and so hid herself for 5 months; but, God sent his angel to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, and to her proclaimed that the evidence of this fulfillment would be Elizabeth who conceived a child in an old age. So, the blessing increased. Not only did Elizabeth conceived a child, she also became a sign and evidence of God's work in this world.

Secondly, when Mary and Elizabeth met, the child leaped in her womb for joy and Elizabeth prophesied. What a blessing! She might have never prophesied anything for all her life; but, now God's anointing is not going to cease. When He gives, His blessings are without restraint.

But, all this was so because they had been faithful in the place in which God had appointed them in the moment. Of course, the child that they were going to have would not be a support to lean on in their old age, for this boy would live in the wilderness, and live the life of a wild man until the day his head would be brought in a platter before a wicked king. But, this child was going to be a blessing for many. Every time one goes into the waters of baptism, one is reminded of the baptism of Jesus and also the fact that the first instance of baptism is mentioned in the ministry of John the Baptist. The Old Testament prophetic ministry came to end in him and he became the forerunner of our Lord. The vision came at its right time, and Zacharias was available for it, though at a very old age, and who said that God cannot start doing something at someone's old age - don't ever look to retirement or stop at life thinking it's all over. Perhaps, you're almost into something at such a time as this.

Finally, I would like to close with the testimony of Elizabeth in verse 45: "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" We may say it ourselves, applying to our lives, "Blessed am I who has believed that what the Lord has said to me will be accomplished!" And, it will be accomplished. Keep moving on to keep on hearing and believing for God's greater accomplishments, while faithfully accomplishing the task He has given us at the moment. He who has not been faithful in the least cannot be expected to be appointed over the greater. What He has said will be accomplished!

Domenic Marbaniang, December 2010.

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