Arguing With God
Mark 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
We were driving down the interstate the other day when a voice spoke out of my phone, warning us of upcoming congestion. My phone, guiding us to our destination, knew of an accident ahead and suggested a longer route around to save time. We could not see any accident, so we ignored the voice and proceeded past the suggested exit. We spent the next hour crawling three miserable miles. I should have listened to the voice. The voice could see what I could not.
In today’s passage, Zechariah, a priest in the temple, heard the voice of God speaking through his angel, Gabriel. The angel told Zechariah that his wife, who had been unable to conceive previously, was going to have a son, who would become John the Baptist.
Zechariah knew about the birds and the bees. He was old. His wife was old. They were unable to have children in their prime and their prime was long past. So, he argued with the angel, explaining to him the reality that God could not apparently see. Seeing an angel was not enough of a sign for Zechariah, so he asked God to prove himself. How shall I know this?
God was unimpressed and struck Zechariah mute for his disbelief. Mute he remained, until the birth of his son.
There are always consequences for disbelief. When God speaks, following him is one path. Disbelieving and going my own way is another path. He allows me the choice, but each path I choose has its own consequences. Just as in the car, I may end up in the same place eventually, but following my route may take longer and be much more painful.
Just as God told Zechariah to believe him, God bids me to put my faith in and follow him. Each day, I have this choice to follow God or to follow me. Each decision I make can be in faith, pursuing God’s will, or in pride, pursuing Scott’s will. The consequences of each path will be somewhat predictable.
But I don’t know God’s will. If an angel told me what to do, I would do it. I have said this. I have prayed for God’s will and heard no answer. The truth is though, He has revealed his will. I am to love God with all of me. I am to love my neighbors as myself and I am to tell them what God has done for me.
His will is no secret. He has told me what I am to do and He has told me of the consequences of refusing. When I pursue me, I find me and become enslaved to my own nature. When I pursue God, He grows life in me, freeing me from myself.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.