It Came to Pass: Making the Most Out of Your Season of Preparation
One of the most powerful accounts of Scripture is the revealing of the redemptive plan of God for mankind. This biblical account is what’s known today as the Christmas story.
If you read carefully through the story, you’ll notice a particular phrase stated time and again: “…it came to pass.”
The repeated use of that phrase is a reminder from the Lord that no matter how oppressive your circumstance is, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter what goes wrong in your life, the promise of God will still come to pass.
The promise of God isn’t dependent on us getting everything right and having all of our T’s crossed and our I’s dotted. It isn’t dependent on somebody else doing everything right or dependent on any circumstance. The promise of God and will of God is going to come to pass.
So, today, I want to share with you part of my study of the “it came to pass” sequence in Luke so you can notice stages through which you must progress in order to arrive at the promise of God being born in your life.
The Story Behind the Story
When we think of the Christmas story, we usually think about the principle characters being Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. The story actually began before Mary ever received her angelic visitation. As we see in the account of Luke, God was working behind the scenes in the lives of others who were to play an important part in the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan.
Let’s look at the first chapter of Luke. It’s there we find the first “it came to pass.”
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course… (v. 8).
Zacharias was fulfilling his call as priest and going about his day being faithful when the Word says, “It came to pass.” What came to pass? Verse 11 explains:
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
The first thing that “came to pass” was a supernatural visitation.
If you are faithful to seek the Lord and obey God’s Word, He will reveal His plan for your life. Does that mean you can expect to see angelic beings and hear thunderous voices from heaven? No. In this dispensation, God uses the Holy Spirit to speak to the hearts of His children rather than sending an angelic messenger.
If the Holy Spirit begins to deal with you about God’s divine plan for your life, do not write it off to the pizza you ate last night. Embrace it as a supernatural visitation and take heed to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart. As you do, God will begin taking you on a wonderful journey right into the divine destiny He’s laid out for you.
As we continue reading, we discover that Zacharias unfortunately did not respond well to the angel’s visitation. As a result, we see what came to pass for Zacharias.
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. … And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. (Luke 1:13,17–20 KJV)
Here we learn God’s divine purpose for Zacharias’ son, who has been known throughout history as John the Baptist. John’s purpose was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. He had a vital role to play in God’s redemptive plan and was to set the stage for the ministry of Jesus to be launched.
This same principle holds true for you as well. In preparation for God’s purpose to come to pass in your life, God will have someone else first prepare the way as a result of his or her own divine purpose being realized.
I want to share with you another important lesson we can learn from Zacharias’ experience, so keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post on the matter.