Welcome! If you are reading The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs with us, we are looking at Elizabeth and Zechariah in Chapter 1, “Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room.”
There is a verse in Philippians that holds power for me. I’ve memorized it, I personalize it, and I rely on it.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT
Although, Elizabeth and Zechariah wouldn’t have had Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi to read, God’s power was very much a part of their lives.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. Luke 1:6 NLT
Glancing at the verse, I could think obedience wouldn’t even be a question. Zechariah was a priest; they would have had to obey the Lord’s commandments and regulations.
But God saw them as righteous.
For Zechariah and Elizabeth, it was more than just following the rules. They weren’t obedient to earn God’s favor. They were obedient because they loved God.
Like Abraham, so many years before, it was because of their faith that God counted them as righteous, not because of what they did.
So, for me, the question isn’t whether or not they were obedient, it’s how were they able to stay faithful and obedient?
Like our lives today, theirs weren’t perfect. Despite years of praying for a child, they were childless. And aging. At some point, they must have decided that a child was not in God’s plans for them.
And yet, they continued to live their lives for God.
Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. Luke 1:6 The Message
How did they not let their disappointment, discouragement, and sadness get between them and God?
How do we?
They made a decision to rely on God, and through that decision, God’s power and strength were at work within them giving them the ability to stay faithful and obedient.
God’s power and strength is for us too.
God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him. Philippians 2:13 CEV
It is God who gives us the desire and strength to stay faithful to Him.
How often do we find ourselves at a cross-road with a decision to make?
We see God’s way and know staying faithful is the right thing to do. But we know what we want, and maybe we could make it happen by going the other way.
Temptation is powerful, and the enemy uses it to encourage us to go the other way.
So, how do we choose God’s way when we’re weak, tired, and discouraged?
By relying on the strength and power God gives. He won’t force it on us, but it’s there—freely given for anyone who chooses to accept it.
And not to accept it just once, but every day, every hour, even every minute, relying on God, instead of ourselves.
In the face of temptation, we often don’t want to choose what’s right, or don’t have the strength to choose. But when we keep calling out to God—trusting Him to provide what we need to make the right choices—He is there.
He is the One who gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him—to act in obedience and stay faithful—in all circumstances.
[Photo credit: Stock photo: the way]
Linking up with WholeHearted Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, and The Weekend Brew.