Apparently even way back when, following directions and doing what you were told was a pretty big deal. 

Luke 1: 57-66 57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. 59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” 62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. 

I admit I don’t remember a lot of the skills or information I was given to do my first “big-boy” job but I do remember a video training program we had on customer service. The instructor said we would be amazed how people would marvel at our service and praise our company if all we offered was good old, garden variety courtesy. He said that people just wanted to be treated decently and if we did that we would have nothing to worry about. All we had to do was follow that one simple axiom. I’ve never known this advice to be flawed.

Apparently it’s been true for a long, long time. Look at Elizabeth and Zechariah for instance. They were given some pretty simple instructions about this son of theirs, one of which was what to name him. Now, I could be missing entirely the significance of NOT naming your son after a relative but it’s clear the neighbors and family did not. As so often happens, even the best intentioned people can be a force trying to lead us astray from what we’re told to do. Elizabeth surely must

have felt that. Zechariah had a little more compelling reason to follow instruction (not being able to talk for nine or so months will do that to a guy). I imagine he had thoroughly learned this lesson: always follow the directive from an angel. Especially once he could speak. The people that really make me go “Hmmm” though are the others.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were merely showing obedience to God, simply respecting the direction they had been told to go. It was nothing more and nothing less. And the people were astonished. This was big news and it spread all around. Imagine, keeping a promise to God. How incredible! The thing is; I don’t believe it’s really any different today. Not that we’re out there trying to create a stir but how about if we just give doing what God instructs a try for a while? You might be surprised. You might have people talking about you all over the place. Shoot, you might gain notoriety, even be a little famous maybe. Doing what God instructs apparently is pretty awesome, even today.

Why and how does God call you to step out and be bold in your life today? 


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