God is doing something new, we'd rather He do the same old thing. At least this was the attitude of Zechariah (see Luke 1:5-25). He was comfortable with his life and religious routine. When God showed up and through the Angel said, "I have a mission for you." Zechariah didn't want to believe or see his comfortable life disrupted. The irony here is that the comfortable, religious routines Zechariah wanted to hold onto, were meant to prepare him to serve God's purposes, not hold him back from serving.
Mary had a different attitude. When she was approached by the same angel and told the part God had for her she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38, NIV). This young girl with no priestly training who was given the more difficult job said, "Yes, I'm in," when the mature, experienced pastor said in effect, "No thank you."
What is your answer to God's call to serve His mission, to do a new work, begin a new ministry or serve new people for the sake of His kingdom?
Most of us would admit we tend to be cautious, "mature" Zechariahs rather than excited, surrendered Marys. Perhaps you remember when, as a new Christian, the new things God wanted to do were exciting. God would point out a character flaw or sin in our life and, though painful, we'd praise him because He was transforming us. When there was a call to serve, to share our faith, to minister in the church we would jump at the chance to be on the front lines of God's mission to this world.
It's not too late. Like Zechariah, you may have become comfortable in the recliner of your religious routines, not wanting to get up (for the record I hate when I have to get out of my reclining chair). But also, like Zechariah, if you will submit to God's correcting, to His training and preparation, you will discover the desire, the courage and strength to say, "Yes I will serve you and do my part for Your mission." For Zechariah this meant listening to God's commands for the purpose of serving God's mission (remember, Zechariah couldn't speak, which means he became a good listener). It worked, he was transformed, got out of the recliner and served God's mission (read Luke 1:57ff).
Will you listen to the word of God (through reading, preaching etc.) with an ear to hear His mission for you? Will you let God get you out of that comfy, cozy recliner to serve His salvation purposes in our world? He will do it if you let Him.
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.