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This Advent Scot Sellers, a member of Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors, talks about putting our trust in God and feeling confident in our prayers.

When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him “Do not be afraid Zechariah, your prayer has been heard.”  Luke 1:12-13

When was the last time you were awestruck? I’m talking absolutely overwhelmed. Our society tends to try to explain everything by natural, scientific means, which can remove the wonder and amazement from our lives. That isn’t God’s way; He wants us to be awed by the majesty of His presence in our lives each and every day. 

Through the beauty of the sunset and flowers in our paths, the love we share with friends and family and the unexpected moments of joy and sorrow, God desires to meet us every day in incredible ways. 

As we read Luke’s description of the encounter with the angel Gabriel, we see the way God touched Zechariah’s life to prepare him for the birth of his son, John. Zechariah is gripped with fear but is told that his son will be filled with the Holy Spirit before he is born. Despite the appearance of a magnificent angel of God, Zechariah still doesn’t believe. How often is this our story? God knows us better than we know ourselves and calls us to follow Him, yet we are reluctant to do so!

In Luke 1:18, Zechariah asked Gabriel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” But God had a plan. He was sending John to prepare the way for Jesus to come to live with us on earth to provide a miraculous means for all people to be saved and reconciled to their Creator. So, despite Zechariah’s reservations, the Lord brought him along to be part of the story. 

God calls Habitat to be part of the story as well. We take on God-sized tasks and obediently respond to challenges that seem beyond our capabilities. If we are going to significantly impact housing deficits in communities around the world, we must be all in. We can be confident that our prayers are heard as we remember the words of Zechariah not to be afraid.

In this Advent season, I am asking the Lord to prepare my heart to follow Him, despite my fears and misgivings. I want to be all in, full of wonder at His provision in my life and eager to be used for whatever God is calling me to do. I don’t want to settle for only those things that seem safe and reasonably achievable. Instead, I want to be willing to follow God’s direction to pursue those tasks that can be accomplished only with His power, in spite of my inadequacies. 

Prayer

Dear Lord, please help me to trust You to work through me. Do not let me be intimidated when I consider my own limitations. You have an amazing plan to work in the lives of those around me, and I desperately want to be an important part of Your work. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and Your strength and power to follow You, even when I’m nervous about doing so. Thank you for always loving me and taking care of me. Amen.

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Read more Advent reflections here.

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