Summary: Four facts about God that should lead to a right response to His work in our lives.
When God Invades Life
Woodlawn Baptist Church
October 30, 2005
What comes to your mind when you think about an invasion? If you’ve been around a while you might think about an event, like the Pearl Harbor invasion or the Normandy invasion. Maybe the more recent terrorist attacks come to mind. If you’ve ever been robbed you might think of that. The dictionary defines an invasion as going somewhere by force so as to conquer or pillage. It means to enter and overrun harmfully; to encroach upon, to violate. It also means to interfere with or to break in on.
We normally think up negative images when we think about invasion, so we don’t normally think of God as being one to invade our lives or our churches, but this morning that’s exactly how I want you to think of Him. If an invasion means to interfere, then you can be sure God wants to invade your life: He wants to interfere in your business. If an invasion means to break in on or to encroach upon, then again, you can be sure that’s what God wants to do. The entire first chapter of Luke and the Bible record itself is the story of God invading humanity, humanity that would have been content to carry on as usual, but invading it nonetheless with the greatest love ever known. Don’t make any mistake about it: God wants to raid your heart and your mind and He wants to conquer you. He wants to be your Lord and Master.
The question that demands an answer today is: What will you do when God invades your life? Hopefully you’ve been praying that God would do just that. That’s the prayer I hoped we would pray leading up to our revival meeting. But when God answers that prayer and He does invade your life, how should you respond? As we consider the account of God invading the lives of Zacharias and Elizabeth, I believe there are four facts you will see about God, that when properly understood, will lead to a proper response in your own life when God comes for a visit.
Read Luke 1:5-25.
Now, without a doubt God invaded the life of Zacharias with a wonderful message announcing the birth of his very special son that we know as John the Baptist. When God invaded his life, four facts about His visit become powerfully obvious.
God Chooses the Time
The Bible says that these were the days of Herod the king. Now you remember that in the book of Haggai that we just finished studying the people were rebuilding Solomon’s Temple, but the new temple paled in comparison to the old one. When Herod became king several hundred years later, knowing how much the temple meant to the people and being an outsider who wanted to gain the people’s favor, he built the Jews a much nicer temple than the one built in Haggai’s day.
We are told that Zacharias had gone into this temple to pray, and as he did there were many others who remained outside the temple who were also praying. Though we are not told so explicitly, I believe these people were praying for the salvation of Israel. In Malachi 4, the last chapter of the last book in the Old Testament, God told the people of Israel that…
“the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Now that promise was made to Israel 400 years earlier! God promised a Messiah and one who would prepare the people for Him. God had not spoken to a prophet in 400 years, so for 400 long years the people of Israel awaited this day of the Lord. They prayed for the kingdom to come. They looked for one who would come and make things right, and while He could have come at any time He chose this time.
The Bible also says of this time that both Zacharias and Elizabeth were old. They had never had children and were in fact beyond child-bearing age. God didn’t come when they were young. He didn’t confer with them about when it might have been convenient, and He didn’t bother to wait until Zacharias was off duty and at home where he might have been more comfortable. He broke into the man’s life when He got good and ready to because God chooses the time.