Disclaimer: The doctrinal viewpoint expressed in these Bible studies are the personal view of the author (Caleb a.k.a. Aaron Tan) and may not align in all aspects with the orthodoxy of the places of worship (if named or referenced) where these bible study(s) may have been presented.
At times a new season is held back by our inaction. Caleb A. Tan
After nine months, the time for Elizabeth to give birth arrived. The entire neighborhood celebrated because the miraculous event had finally come. Being at such an advanced age, Elizabeth was beyond childbearing. When she does conceive, it is more than God’s blessing over the aged couple. Instead, it is a divine message that God’s hand was all over their life.
The birth went well and it was a boy, according to Gabriel’s prophecy. Fast forward to the eighth day after the birth. It was the day for the child to be circumcised. Apparently, it was also the day when the parents were to name the baby. To most couples, it was not a problem. But to this aged couple, there’s a complexity. Zachariah is mute and deaf since day one when he had an encounter with Gabriel.
Being not able to communicate and unable to hear the surroundings, Zachariah had been in complete isolation for too long. The villagers proposed to name the child, Zachariah, after the father. So to honor him and his ancestors as he came from an honorable priesthood lineage. It sounds like the right thing to do. But Elizabeth strongly disagrees. She insisted on naming him John. That spun into a disagreement. The people decided to ask Zachariah. They hand gestures to get his attention. Zachariah was able to write the name, John!
Instantly, God’s awesome and tangible presence came upon the people. Immediately Zachariah was healed from mute and deaf. He started praising and blessing God! The entire village was in awe and the fear of God came into the Judean hills. And the event became the headline for a long time. It was like a massive spiritual awakening after hundreds of years since they returned from exile.
Zachariah made a conclusive claim when he named the child, John. That decision was not ordinary but it was the final piece of the puzzle to fulfill Gabriel’s prophecy. What happened next? He unknowingly opened a new season for himself, for his family and for the entire community! As a result, he received miraculous healing because he ushered God back to His people! What a new divine season!!!
Many of us are waiting to enter 2023. A handful has been preparing to do so. Whichever stage we are in, there are always decisions to make. Zachariah made his’ and that decision brought an end to the old season. Immediately opens up a brand new chapter. How about you? The decision or decisions you are about to make, would it shut the current season and launch you into the new?
Decisions, when lingering around for too long, might rob us of peace and happiness. When we draw conclusions and put down the hammer, we can move forward and are no longer tied to the pole. Ideally, some decisions that we are about to make could link to God’s roadmap to our future. That is when much prayer, meditation and seeking God’s will, grace and mind are of importance.
Let’s learn from Zachariah. During the nine months of isolation, he probably was meditating on Gabriel’s prophecy. He would draw himself closer to God. He may have been seeking understanding about the child’s future. Let’s not be in despair when we find ourselves in isolation. God allows us to be in that space so that we can seek deeper insights into the new season.
Here are 3 things you could do to help navigate through the current season into the next.
#1: Re-visit prophecies of old. Zachariah meditated on Gabriel’s prophecy throughout the months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The evidence is found when the Holy Spirit came over him and he prophesied about John’s future.
It is important to revisit prophecies of old. Meditate on them. Pray and seek God for deeper understanding. Certain prophecies could be the roadmap to the future. While some contain pointers, guides or tools which you need to make a conclusive decision about your coming season.
When you drew understanding, you could make wise decisions and that would put you in a better position as you end the old season.
#2: Ignore the voices and opinions of the majority of people. Zachariah focused on telling the people and his wife that the child must be named, John. Although the majority were right from the cultural and traditional perspectives. But God’s will is bigger than tradition and cultural norms. You may face pressure from the religious community. The majority of the people may disagree or criticize you. But that’s perfectly normal and fine because you have a higher understanding, God’s will must be carried out amidst social pressure.
#3: Be firm and take courage in trusting God. Faith in God plays a huge part in the decision-making process. Unlike Zachariah where God’s will and intervention came instantly. Most of the time after we put down the hammer, nothing seems to happen. There may not be instant divine confirmation. Nobody may affirm your decision. Again, you probably feel you made a mistake. You could find yourself in a new cycle of isolation. That is when you need to be firm and courageous. Trust God over the conclusive action you just made. Remember, God’s will and grace are all over you when you choose his future plans for you and for your family.
I sincerely hope as you prepare to end your old season, God would grant you a greater understanding of the new. Together with him, you could experience God’s hand affirming and confirming your decision-making process. May the Lord be with you!