“And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 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…” Luke 1:11-12
When God shows up, and you take notice of Him, it will always shake you up. There’s just no way to ever get used to it. We’re talking about God! You can’t run into Him without it dramatically affecting you.
Zechariah was a priest. He did religious things all the time. He was always on the lookout for God. This time, the lot fell on him to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. This was the moment every priest looked forward to. Talk about elevating the spiritual alert level to bright red!
Then an angel showed up. He still wasn’t prepared for what he saw. He felt out of his element and “was troubled.” He was afraid. Now what’s he to do?
Immediately the angel gives the reason he is there. God had answered his prayer. The angel also tells him not to be afraid. This was an encounter that he would never forget. It would also so dramatically affect and change him that everyone else close to him would notice the difference.
I believe there are two great lessons to be learned here for every “fisher of men.”
1. A lifestyle that keeps God’s agenda at the forefront shouldn’t mean you ever get “used to” the activity or presence of God. Be careful of so cluttering your life with “religious activities” that you diminish the “awesomeness” of God. Obedience to God ought to lead to intimacy with God, not just the checking off of God’s to-do list for believers. When God shows up, it should shake you up.
2. Also, do not so simplify the “witnessing” experience that it becomes simply the recitation of biblical facts. Whenever you enter into a conversation with someone about spiritual matters, you have entered the valley where spiritual battles are being waged. It is a time to fight a spiritual foe over the life of someone who cannot even see the gravity of his or her predicament. And don’t forget that spiritual battles are fought with spiritual weapons such as prayer.
“Fishers of men” understand that they live in the battle. Always witness with your spiritual armor on (Eph 6). Now, go do some fishing…but watch out for the fiery missiles…that’s what your shield of faith is for.