Episode 24 - Sometimes we try to hard to find our destiny. Consider with me today--maybe you're already living it! Let's find out.
(Scripture readings from the CSB.)
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson. I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show. Hello, hello everybody. Welcome to episode 24: "Do you hear the call?" This morning, I started reading the book of Luke and it struck me how that in the first chapter we see several instances of the Lord calling people to a specific purpose. This is an interesting topic for today because I think sometimes we really struggle , particularly those of us who are trying to fulfill a destiny looking for what have we been created to do. And that's what I want to talk about today. The book of Luke starts with Zechariah and Elizabeth, noting that both were righteous in God's sight, living without blame, according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. They were both pretty old and they had no children because Elizabeth was barren. And the Bible tells us that Zechariah, who was a Levite priest, was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense. My study Bible notes that this privileged duty of burning incense on the altar in front of the Most Holy Place was something that a priest would only be called to do once in his life. Also with hundreds of priests in Zechariah's division. And because they were chosen by lot, some priests never were given the opportunity. So it happened that the lot was cast and this time it fell to Zechariah. When his time came and he was standing before the altar, burning incense, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and he told him to not be afraid because his prayer had been heard. Let's go to Luke 1, verse 12, Oops, I'm on the wrong page. Let's see here, here we go. "When Zechariah saw him [the angel], he was terrified and overcome with fear. But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you will name him John. There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother's womb. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.' 'How can I know this?' Zechariah asked the angel. 'For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.' The angel answered him, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. Now listen. You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.'" What an amazing experience. Can you imagine? And everything happened just like the angel Gabriel had said that it would. Once Zechariah's days of ministry were complete for that session, he returned home to Elizabeth , where she learned of her calling to be a mom. She conceived and Luke records her as saying, "The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people." Being well along in years, Elizabeth probably had thought that her dream of being a mom would never be realized. But in reality, she was called to be a very special mom. The mother of John the Baptist.:
Still in Luke one, we find the next calling. The angel Gabriel appears to a young Virgin named Mary. Let's pick it up in Luke 1:28.Speaker 1:
"And the angel came to her and said, 'Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.' But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.' Mary asked the angel, 'How can this be, since I've not had sexual relations with a man?' The angel replied to her: 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth--even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.' 'I am the Lord's servant,' said Mary. 'May it be done to me according to your word.' And then the angel left her." So here we see Mary miraculously called also to be a very special mom, the mother of Jesus. Next Mary hurries out to visit Elizabeth and there, she finds out that Gabriel had spoken the truth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's voice, the unborn baby John leaped for joy inside her and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And Elizabeth "exclaimed with a loud cry: 'Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!'" Mary responds to Elizabeth with a beautiful hymn of praise that we find in Luke. I urge you to go to your Bible and read this whole chapter. Her Magnificat is in verses 46 to 55. So we have Zechariah born into the Levitical priesthood, chosen by lot to burn incense and called with his wife, Elizabeth, to bear a son who would become a great prophet . And we have Mary, a young teenage girl called to bear the Son of God. Okay, let's bring this home. What does this all have to do with us today? Let's go to Psalm 8. That was also on my list for today. And it just kind of happened to go together. How cool is that? This Psalm is a really beautiful creation hymn, a Psalm of praise. And in it, the vastness of creation is contrasted with the smallness and insignificance of man. And yet even the most feeble of all infants and babies are said that even they testify to God's glory and can silence the enemy. Let's read Psalm 8.:
A Psalm of David. "Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with your majesty. From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, you have established a stronghold on account of your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all the sheep and oxen, as well as the animals in the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea that pass through the currents of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!"Speaker 1:
Notice in the last half of this Psalm, that man was created for a specific purpose. It says: "You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all the sheep and oxen...animals in the wild...birds of the sky...fish of the sea." While it might seem that in the grand scheme of things, humans seem pretty insignificant the reality is that God has created each one of us for a specific purpose. And God's promise here is that even through the mouths of babies, God has established a stronghold to silence the enemy and the avenger. There's one more person I want to look at before we wrap up today. There's a little verse in 1 Chronicles 4:10 about a man named Jabez. He prayed a really bold prayer: "Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" And the Bible says that God granted him what he requested. Some people have taken Jabez's prayer and turned it into little more than an incantation, thinking that if they repeat his words, maybe God will do the same for them. I don't think that was the intention here. I think that this verse is in the Bible to show us that God smiles when his children pray with boldness. You see, in life, every one of us is in a different place. Zechariah and Elizabeth, they were old and had no children, Mary, quite the opposite. She was young, unmarried, full of promise. And Jabez, whose name actually means "pain," asked God to bless him and keep him from evil so that he would not cause pain to others. He didn't want to live up to his name. Can't say that I blame him. I don't know where you are in life. But one thing is certain. We all have one thing in common. We have been called to a life of boldness and prayer. Like each one of these people, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Jabez, we are called to meet God, right where we are, to recognize that God has placed us where we are for a reason. And that we have the opportunity to reach out to God, to pray with boldness and to not be shy about living for him. Psalm 8 says to "establish a stronghold to silence the enemy." Another thing that each one of these people had in common was humility before God. Boldness and humility are qualities that delight God, the Father. That is a really good place to live if you want to please him and live a fulfilling life. Do that and God will take care of the rest. I pray that as you go through your day, that you will catch this vision and live your day, live your life, not as an insignificant human, but as the royal son or daughter of God that he has created you to be. Catch that vision. You are royalty. I pray that you live your day bearing in mind that you are heirs to the promise and that you live according to the divine plan and destiny that God has already begun to enact in your life. That's all I have for today, guys. I love you. Until next time, remember, God does too. Let's go to war. Bye bye.