Devoted Blog

Lifelines

September 14, 2016

Blog by Pastor Sharon Kelly 

Have you ever needed a lifeline? Desperate need is what will drive me to my knees for a lifeline.

Let’s take a look at the life of Elizabeth & Zechariah, & what happened when they turned to God for a lifeline…

Luke 1:5-25 NIV
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

I love that Elizabeth knows where her blessing came from & gives God the glory.

God is the lifeline that has never let me down! Sometimes, God sends people into my world as lifelines, but many times my lifeline comes from His Word. The Bible is a lifeline that can “rescue” you literally in the midnight hour when no-one else is there for you.

The dictionary has a number of definitions for the word lifeline – two of which are…

– a line or rope for saving life, as one attached to a lifeboat.

– any of various lines running above the decks, spars, etc., of a ship or boat to give sailors something to grasp when there is danger of falling or being washed away.

Here are some things I have noticed about lifelines…

  1.  Lifelines come to where you are

Luke 1:8-10 NIV

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Zechariah was going about his business serving God. He didn’t give up on life or stop doing what he was called to do because he hadn’t seen an answer to his prayers. He went about his daily duties & God met him where he was at.

It only takes a moment for God to be able to speak into your life. I encourage you to seek & make room for God in your everyday life – today’s a good day to begin!

  1.  Disappointment and discouragement can cloud your vision – don’t let that happen

Luke 1.18 NIV

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

Disappointments & set backs can slowly wear you down. Build “climbing partners” into your life – these are friends or leaders that you allow to speak into your life that can help you with perspective, when perhaps your outlook may not be optimistic.

Locating yourself in the House of God, as well as in the Word of God, in every season of life will also help “steady your ship” when the storms of life come.

  1. Lifelines arrive in unexpected ways

Luke 1.19 NIV

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”

I have personally never seen an angel, but I have had God use people in my world to bring unexpected blessing or words of life into me when I needed them most. This happened at times when only God alone knew what I was going through.

When you make God your source, your lifeline, the one you grasp for when your ship is sinking, your refuge – no harm will overtake you (Ps 91:10).