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Against the Norm

When Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist, all of their neighbors and family came to see this miracle child.  They wanted to see the baby that she and Zechariah had been blessed with at such a late stage in life.  Can you see it?  A brand new baby in the house, and friends and family from all over oohing and aahing over the precious little one!  Sounds familiar, right?  We love little babies!  Yet the story gets even more familiar.  The loved ones came packed with advice.  Today, we hear all sorts of advice on how to raise our children and the like.  This advice was on what to name the child.  Of course… he should be named Zechariah, after his father!  This is a reasonable assumption!

God had a different name, though.  And Elizabeth and Zechariah followed their Lord’s desire.  His name would be John.  Why?  Because the name “John” carried special significance?  Well, it did.  But the significance was not in the name.  Rather, the significance was in the fact that God chose that name.

We hear advice in every corner of our lives.  From what we should name our children to how we should raise them.  From who we should marry to what our marriages should look like.  Even down to the mundane details of our daily lives!  Everyone has a theory about what our lives should look like!  Some of them are formulary: this worked for them, so of course it should work for us.  But some of them are completely normal expectations, like naming a child after his father.  In a world full of advice and theories, may we always seek God’s will and hear Him above the “normal”.