“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79
Those were spoken by Zacharia over his son John the Baptist after he was born. Prior to these words Zacharia’s mouth was sealed shut and he was not able to speak due to his unbelief. Earlier in Luke 1 an angel appeared before Zacharia stating that his prayer for a child has been heard, and that prayer is being answered. Yet Zacharia doubted (even with the angel Gabriel standing before him), and he questioned this truth because he was older in age. Now let’s think about this: Zacharia visually saw an angel and conversed with him; Zacharia was also a priest at this time so he knew scripture and understood how the Lord blessed Abram (Abraham) and Sarai with a child late in age. Yet he still doubted that God was going to answer his prayer for a child. The angel Gabriel tells Zacharia in verse 20, “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
Over the next couple of months, I can only imagine the thoughts that would go through Zacharia’s mind. Being disciplined by the Lord for his unbelief, hearing all that is going on around him, seeing his wife changing due to their child growing, and then not able to speak. These months must have been filled with a lot of prayer, repentance, and thankfulness. Zacharia was not able to speak until 8 days after John was born. Zacharia, filled with the Holy Spirit (verse 67), spoke the words that started this devotional. When I read this with my children I was blown away! Talk about speaking truth into and over your child. Listen, not all, are called to be John the Baptist, but we are all called for the Lord’s purpose. Do you realize that? Do your children or the people around you know that they are called for the Lord? Are you speaking life and truth into all those who cross your path? Your words are so powerful! Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you and speak through you.”
After Zacharia’s spoken prophesy, it says in verse 80, that the child grew and became strong in spirit. So, the question remains, are you speaking life and truth or death and destruction to those around you? Proverbs 22:6 says,
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Yes, this is speaking to those that have children, but for those who don’t, are you around children? How about those “children” who are new to their faith? Are you walking alongside (whether biological or not, and no matter their age) these children of God and raising them up to glorify the Lord, and leading them to right relation with their Father in heaven?
I heard a quote on the radio the other day, “Teach your children who God is, or those around them (this world) will teach them of who their god is”. Such a scary thought in today’s society. It is our job, as children of God, to show what true love and relationship looks like. How we handle each situation, whether good or bad, reflects our relationship with the Lord. Showing and speaking love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace in all things. You have been transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Be the blessing to those around you that the Lord has called you to be.