Greg Laurie says it's not so much about ability, but availability. Throughout Scripture and the history of the Christian church, we find that God has done unexpected things through unexpected people. He has done extraordinary things through ordinary people.
In Israel today, you can still see the ruins of various structures that King Herod erected. Everything Herod built had sizable walls, because he thought everyone was out to get him. And he would put to death anyone he perceived as a threat.
Herod was a miserable tyrant during some very dark days in the history of Israel. Under the tyranny of Rome, he was a puppet governor who liked referring to himself as the king of the Jews.
The people had been crying out for God to send a deliverer, but they hadn't heard any message from God. There hadn't been any prophets, miracles, or angels. Instead, there was complete silence from Heaven for 400 years.
As a result, the people had grown disinterested in spiritual things and the promises of God. The once-vibrant spiritual life of Israel was becoming secular and cold.
We cannot help but draw a parallel to our own nation as we look at the United States today. We have drifted further and further from our spiritual roots and the values we once held dear. And now we are reaping the consequences of it.
The Bible says that when you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind (see Hosea 8:7). We have done everything we can to remove God from our courtrooms, our classrooms and our culture. And then we scratch our heads and wonder why things are going so horribly.
As for Israel, the sun was about to shine again. God was about to move in this great nation once more. Against the dark backdrop of this spiritually cold time, two gems shined: Zacharias, a priest, and his wife, Elizabeth.
Interestingly, the name Zacharias means "God remembers." And God did remember.The Plain Truth: What's in a name? To God, many things...
Zacharias and Elizabeth had no children. And in those days, if you didn't have children, people thought it was a curse of some kind.
But no such curse had come upon Zacharias and Elizabeth, because God had something in mind. In fact, God would make up for lost time by giving them John the Baptist as their son.
Zacharias, being a priest, had the opportunity to go into the temple. A lottery system was in place for this because there were so many priests. Perhaps once, maybe twice, in a priest's lifetime, he would have the privilege of going into the temple to offer incense, representing the people of God.
Zacharias's turn had come. But little did he know that he was about to meet the angel Gabriel. We only know three angels by name in the Bible: Michael, Gabriel and the fallen angel, Lucifer, who became Satan. We know that Michael is an archangel, which means that he is a high-ranking angel. Many assume that Gabriel is an archangel as well.