Read:  Luke 1:57-80

“No! His name is John!”  Luke 1:60

When it came time to name John, his mother Elizabeth and father Zechariah insisted on calling him John, just as the angel Gabriel had instructed.  Now, the custom was to name the first boy after his father, but not this time.  John it was going to be!

John goes on to be the prophet that would prepare the way for Jesus.  He was a powerful spiritual leader for Israel at the time, and thousands of years later we still know his story.  Even more important, his story is intertwined with your story if you are a follower of Christ.

Can you imagine if his parents ignored the command of the angel and named him Zechariah.  Somehow I think the story would have unfolded differently.  Zechariah probably would have remained mute.  John would have been called Zechariah the Baptist, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, if he would have been given that roll at all.  The whole story would have been different – John’s life, his parent’s lives, and even world events would have looked very different.

Obedience matters!  God asked them to name the baby John.  Doing so would break from conventional wisdom, peer pressure, tradition, and custom.  Doing so was risky and required faith.  But doing so unlocked the lips of Zechariah and put in motion the work of God’s spirit in John’s life to accomplish God’s purpose.

Our obedience matters too.  Sometimes God calls us to break from tradition or the way that we have always done things and to step out in faith.  Sometimes, like in this story, it will feel risky or scary.  But like in this situation, it’s when we’re willing to risk and obey God that there is a release of His power, presence and purpose in our lives.  Not only that, but we get the privilege of being a part of His Kingdom and His story.

So what are you waiting for.  If God is calling you to obey in an area…  face down the fears and step out in faith.  I have heard it said that faith is spelled R-I-S-K, and you know what?  It’s true!

Jesus – help me to overcome my fear and to do the things You are asking me to.  Help me to hear Your commands and to obey them.  Please use me in Your kingdom and in Your story.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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