Last night, Kent and I went to a bible study in a township of Windhoek. Townships are poor communities where people mainly nail scrap metals, cardboard, and random pieces of wood together to create a home, or in this case, a church building. There were about twenty-five people there for the Bible Study…and they were all doing exegesis. Now, you need to know exegesis is a complicated art, and most of these people didn’t have very much education. But they are so hungry for the Word of God, that they are going through Veritas’ study program. And it was a beautiful thing. They are doing their best to dig into the Word and get to the author’s original intent. The reason why is there are a lot of pastors over here who are teaching fanatical lies that have nothing to do with the Bible, and the people are very hungry to see what the Bible says. So that was beautiful. We sang one song with them, and praise burst out of the room like crazy. These people love Jesus. I felt quite unworthy to be in their company. Our friend, Ludwig was teaching/facilitating the study. The way he loved each of them was beautiful. Kent and I felt like we were watching the Apostle Paul and the early church.
Well, they were talking in about four languages, and not speaking much English, so I decided to open the Bible to read Luke. As I was reading in the first two chapters, I noticed something that really spoke to me.
There was a man named Zechariah, who grew up in a religious family. His family before him were priests, and he was a priest. Zechariah spent his whole life offering sacrifices to God, praying for the people, reading the scriptures, and being one that many in his town might call “the most spiritual guy” they know.
Then the angel, Gabriel showed up, and told Zechariah that even though he and his wife were very old, they would have a son. Their son would be great in the sight of God, and would do amazing things, even prepare the way for the Lord.
“How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked. “I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
Now, there’s no mention that Zechariah had ever seen an angel before. It seems like this is the first time something like this happened to him. So he has an encounter with an angel, and receives a promise from God, but that isn’t enough for Zechariah. He feels like he needs to ask the question,
“How can I be sure of this?”
Here’s the moral of the story. You can spend your entire life reading the Bible, serving God, doing religious things, offering worship, and be completely unprepared for any type of God movement in your life. Zechariah read about the God of the Scriptures. He was called a good man in this passage. But he shows us that you can do religious things without having “faith.”
I would rather be expectant of what God will do. Instead of asking, “How will this happen?” I would like to say, “Let’s go. I’m in on this.”
Because the how doesn’t matter when God is with you. It’s taken care of. You can trust Him.
Don’t mistake worship, church, praying, preaching, teaching, giving, or serving for faith.
Those things don’t necessarily show faith. They show activity. These are things we do. When we do them with faith, we participate in the activity of God in this world today.
You can do a lot of religious things and miss out on Jesus in the process. Don’t miss Him.
Live with faith.