Luke 1 Scripture:
 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.  But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Both Zechariah and Mary were chosen by God to be used in a specific way to fulfill his plan. Compare the difference in reactions between Zechariah and Mary as they were each visited by the angel Gabriel with very good news – news that they were each to be used to fulfill God’s plans as prophesied.
Zechariah was troubled with fear when he saw God’s angel.
Zechariah questioned God – “How shall I know this?”. Even though he had been praying for something like this.
Zechariah doubted God – “..For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
Circumstantially Zechariah felt that neither he nor his wife Elizabeth were equipped to be used as God wanted to use them – “But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.”
Mary was troubled as well – seeing the angel Gabriel, she was troubled in her humility, to think that God is sending a representative to tell her face to face she is highly favored, blessed and the Lord was with her.
Mary questioned God too – “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
But Mary did not doubt God. Talk about not being equipped. She knew exactly what she was hearing, that she was the virgin prophesied to bear she Son of God, the Messiah.
So she questions what she hears from God but she doesn’t let her current condition or circumstances cause her to doubt what she heard. She was all in – “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” All-in for God to use her to fulfill his plan.
As we hear from God, how do we react?
While we may not see an angel face to face, if we are in the Word enough and talk with God through prayer and worship, he will speak to us. When we hear from him, do we question and believe in his mercy, grace and promises, or question and doubt him?
Are we all-in for God to use us in fulfilling his plan, or will we doubt him and be shut up as Zechariah was, at least for a season?
Do we believe that we are just not equipped to be used by him as he directs us, or do we believe that by following his will, he will provide us the tools we need to serve him?
From experience I can say that there is no way I am equipped to be used as God has chosen to use me. But as I do my best to listen and obey, he gives me just enough of what I need to help fulfill his plan and help build his kingdom. The energy, the words, the money, the whatever I need, in order for him to continue using me.
God will fulfill his plan with or without me. I want to be part of it. Use me Lord!
Lord I love you. Thank you for the grace and mercy you have given me and continue to give me daily. I don’t deserve it. When you ask “Whom shall I send?”, give me strength and courage to always respond with “Send me!”, knowing that you will equip me with the tools I need as I need them. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.