Access, Asking, Bible, Cleansing, Cross, Direction, Escape, Forgiveness, God's Will, Heaven, Salvation, Scripture



“So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, ‘Where are they taking the ephah?’”

If you have children, you have probably put up with “explorations.” We put up baby gates and all sorts of contraptions to try to keep the little buggers contained. But lo and behold, they would find ways to escape. I can remember sitting and watching my children trying to figure out how to get loose. I would jokingly ask them, “Where do you think you’re going?”

Zechariah just watched the two winged women swoop down and pick up the ephah with the woman (wickedness) inside and fly away. His first thought was “Where are they going?” I don’t think he was concerned about the woman’s welfare. He was just curious about their destination. By this time, Zechariah wasn’t afraid to ask anything of that angel. (Come back tomorrow to see where they take her.)


As I was thinking of an application for this verse, the thought came to me – what happens to our sins? Where does God carry them? We have the answer right in Scripture. Psalm 103:11-12 says, “11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our wrongdoings from us.”

That’s a long way! You can’t get to the east by traveling west or vice versa. You just keep traveling in the direction you are going, whether that be heading east or heading west. In other words, you can’t get back that sin once it has been forgiven. It’s gone. Now, you may choose to sin again, but it won’t be that same sin. It will be a brand new one.

God could pile all our sins up in one big heap in heaven (mine would be mountainous) and show them all to us when we get there. But no, He removes them. So, we don’t have to ask that question I asked earlier. We know where He carries our sins – to the cross, where they are forgiven forever. Amen? Amen!

Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near

Answers, Asking, Bible, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Scripture, Teaching



“So he answered me, saying, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’”

A large part of my ministry career involved supervising people. I felt like I have been a pretty good coach over the years. I tried to answer everyone’s questions. Better yet, I tried to get them to ask the right questions. I wanted them to think for themselves. We teach men in our ministry of Every Man A Warrior to think for themselves and to teach their children to do the same.

That is what the angel is trying to get Zechariah to do – think for himself. This is the second time in this vision that he has given this answer to him. In fact, if you look back at verse 5, this verse is identical to it – the same words. That is not a mistake. Repetition is important for learning. The angel was repeating himself on purpose. Think Zechariah, think!


Often, in our walk with the Lord, He will not give us the answer immediately. He wants us to grow. He wants us to learn. He is helping us mature as believers. It is like Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:2, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to consume it. But even now you are not yet able,…”

Can you imagine living your whole life only drinking milk? You would not be very strong physically. You need other foods to grow. In the same way, God will not spoon feed you all your life. He wants you to grow strong, spiritual muscles, so He allows things in your life to stretch those muscles. He will give you the strength you need, but you will need to push yourself as well.

Now, don’t be afraid to keep asking Him for help. He is always there. But be patient when the answers come slowly. There is a reason for that. He may give you the exact same answer you got last time. That’s okay. That’s for a reason as well. Trust the process He has you in. He is building you into a beautiful vessel.

Lord, I do have to admit that I am impatient sometimes when I ask You for something. Give me more faith, Lord, to trust the process.

Answers, Asking, Bible, Blessing, Faith, God's Will, Knowledge, Listening, Messages, Scripture, Seeking



“And I responded the second time and said to him, ‘What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?’”

Children can wear you out asking questions. Go to a preschool classroom full of 3 and 4-year-olds. Wow! Pastor Carl, why do ducks have webbed feet? Pastor Carl, where does the sun go at night? Pastor Carl,…? You see what I mean. They are inquisitive and want answers. If they don’t get an answer the first time, they will ask it again and again.

Zechariah has now asked the angel three times about these olive trees or branches. He still hasn’t gotten an answer (we’ll see that in a couple of days). He wants to know what all this means. He wants to make sure he understands exactly what it means. Why? Because he knows he must tell the people what God has shown him.


God’s Word has all the answers to every question we have. You just have to look for it. That may mean digging it out yourself. It may mean going to someone you trust and asking them. Listen to Paul in his letter to the Romans. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

I really like Psalm 19:9-10. “9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much pure gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” Isn’t that awesome? And so is the study of His Word.

Let me challenge you this week to do a deep dive into the Word. You may have a pressing question you want answered. Maybe there’s a word you have been meaning to study more about. Take the time. Turn off the TV and let God speak to you. He will not withhold His wisdom from those who seek it.

Oh Lord, I want to know You more. I want to know more of Your Word.

Asking, Belief, Bible, Correction, Devil, Direction, Questions, Scripture


 ZECHARIAH 4:4  “Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me, saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’” How many times have you been confused about something? Well, I have to admit that it has happened to me a lot. But one thing I have learned to do is ask questions. If I am not sure about something, I ask somebody to help me, to show me how to do it right or how to understand it. It’s humbling to ask for help. But it sure improves my own knowledge. Zechariah asked the angel what this golden lampstand meant (we discussed this in yesterday’s blog). He wasn’t clear on the vision. But he trusted the angel to show him what the purpose was. That kind of speaks to how God speaks to us. Sometimes He shows us something and we don’t understand. It’s okay to ask questions, just like Zechariah did. APPLICATION Do you have questions for God. Ask Him. It’s perfectly fine to tell Him you don’t understand. He wants you to understand. He is not trying to confuse you. That’s the devil’s job. He is the author of confusion. Paul tells us so in 1 Corinthians 14:33. “…for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” God, I don’t understand. Help me understand. This reminds me of the man who asked for help in his belief. Mark 9:24 says, “Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief!’” Is that you today? Then cry out to the One who has all the answers. Don’t you want to fully know Him? Don’t you want to know His purpose for your life? One day we will have the mind of Christ. Until then, keep asking questions. He will answer you. 

Hear my cry, O Lord. Send me what I need to know when I need to know it.

Advocate, Asking, Attitude, Bible, Boldness, God's Will, Requests, Scripture



“Then I said, ‘Have them put a clean headband on his head.’ So they put the clean headband on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by.”

Have you ever been watching someone build something and see something missing? If you are like me, you can’t help but speak up and suggest it. In my ministry, there have been times a thought would cross my mind in a discussion with a team about something that would just be the answer. Once it was mentioned everyone agreed that it was just what the group had been looking for. I attribute those thoughts to the Lord. He is the giver of all good things.

Zechariah is standing by watching the angels dress Joshua with the festive robes (see yesterday’s blog) and notices something is missing. Aww, the “holy crown upon it and the plate of prate gold, on which was graven, Holiness to the Lord” Exodus 28:36-38Exodus 29:6. You see, this “crown” was to be worn by the high priest before the Lord. Zechariah suggests this in a prayerful tone, and his request was granted.


The part of this verse that struck me is that Zechariah was bold enough to speak up, and his request was heard and immediately acted upon. We need to speak up. We need to let the Lord know our requests. I love Psalm 40:1. “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He reached down to me and heard my cry.” The Lord wants to hear our voice.

Notice Zechariah wasn’t asking for himself. He was praying on behalf of Joshua and the nation. When you see a brother or sister in need, stop right then and give God a shout out. Speak boldly. Come before the throne of grace on their behalf. We are commanded to pray for one another. Do that today.

In my daily Quiet Time, I pray through a list of people daily, weekly and monthly. These are friends and family. Some are fellow missionaries I have known for years. What a joy to hear back from some of them thanking me for praying. Ask your friends how you can pray for them and then do it. God is listening!

I know You are always listening, Lord. Your ears are attentive to my cries for mercy.

Answers, Asking, Bible, God's Will, Questions, Relationships, Scripture



“So I said, ‘Where are you going?’ And he said to me, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.’”

What a great question! Have you ever asked that question of anyone? I remember when my kids were teenagers and they were about to head out the door, I would say, “Where are you going?” Most of the time it was to work or to a friend’s house. But I wanted to know where they were going. Why? Was I just being inquisitive? No! I had a vested interest in where they were going. I was their father and needed to know that.

Verse 2 today is the first time we see Zechariah asking the Angel of the Lord anything directly. In the other two visions in chapter 1, Zechariah converses with an angel sent to speak for the Lord. But here, Zechariah talks directly to the Angel of the Lord. He sees Him with that measuring line headed towards Jerusalem, so he wants to know His intentions. He boldly asks Him and receives an answer.


When is the last time you asked the Lord anything? There are so many verses in the Word that tell us to ask. One of my favorite, memorized passages is Philippians 4:6-7. I have referred to it several times in my blog. It says, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petitions with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

The verb used there for “let…be made known” is a strong verb. It’s Present tense, which means continuous action. It is also in the Middle voice, which means the subject (in this case – you) have to do the action. The Holy Spirit through Paul is saying to keep asking. Tell the Father what you need.

Boy, I’ve done that a lot. Haven’t you? A friend of mine just lost his wife to cancer this week. She had fought this for quite a while. They prayed for healing, believing God is capable. He chose to heal her a different way. He took her home. But my friend did not hesitate each day to ask the Lord for her healing. Dear friends, keep believing. Keep asking and see what the Lord will do.

Father, every day I come to You with my requests. I know you hear, and I know you answer.

Answers, Asking, Bible, Promises, Questions, Scripture



“Then the angel of the LORD said, ‘LORD of armies, how long will You take no pity on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant for these seventy years?’”

You dread the question every five minutes. You are on a road trip with your little kids. You know the question. “Are we almost there?” The standard answer is “Yes, just five more minutes.” Of course, those five minutes will last an hour or two, right? We are so impatient. We want everything to be at our fingertips instantly.

The angel that was talking to Zechariah asked the LORD of armies a question. “How much longer, LORD?” You see, for seventy years they had been in Babylon. We knew from Jeremiah 25:11-12 that this was going to happen. “11 This entire land will be a place of ruins and an object of horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the LORD, ‘for their wrongdoing, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation.’”


The next verse (which we will see tomorrow) begins God’s answer to the question. So, how does this verse apply to us today? One way I believe it applies is that God keeps His promises. Jeremiah prophesied seventy years in exile and then it would end. We see that happening in this verse. We are in an age where we see prophesies being fulfilled. Many, including me, believe we are near the day of Christ’s return. Now, I am not setting a date. Don’t worry. But the point is, God always is true to His Word.

Another point is that it is okay to ask God questions. The angel didn’t hesitate asking Him. Why should we? He tells us to ask Him. He wants to hear from us. He knows we don’t have all knowledge. He knows we have questions. Some questions He won’t answer yet, but He will. But don’t hesitate to ask.

I have so many questions for God. Some will wait until heaven – like “Why did you have to make mosquitos?” Other questions I ask every day. “Lord, why would you rescue me, as wicked as I am?” or “Lord, will You please draw ______ to You? They need Jesus.” I know as long as I ask with the right motives, God will answer in His perfect time.

Lord, are we almost there? How much longer?

Answers, Asking, Bible, God's Will, Questions, Scripture, Trust



“Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ‘I will show you what these are.’” 

So many times we are faced with questions for which we do not have answers? Why did this happen to me? Why would God allow this? Tough questions! I know I have had those questions in the past. I still have questions like that. As long as we are here on this earth, we will face these types of questions.

Zechariah was no different. Here he is having this incredible experience and he asks the angel, “What are these, my lord?” You can just imagine what he is going through. But he did not hesitate to ask for clarification. And better yet, the angel didn’t scold him. He simply said, “I will show you what these are.” I bet Zechariah couldn’t wait.


The next time you have a question for God, don’t hesitate. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 33:3. “‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” Just call on the Lord. He stands ready to give us answers. God doesn’t want to keep us guessing. He wants us to rest in Him.

He can give you the peace that passes understanding. He can give you rest for your soul. How about these verses from 1 John 5? “14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” What more could you ask?

So, ask away. God isn’t bothered by your questions. He doesn’t say, “Just cause.” Didn’t you just hate that answer from your parents, lol? There are some things that God does that defies answers. We can’t begin to explain God’s mind, but we can trust Him. I was reading in Job today. Remember what he said to his wife after she told him to curse God and die? He said, “‘Shall we actually accept good from God but not accept adversity?’” Know this – God is listening, and He will answer in His perfect time.

Help me trust You like Job did, Lord. I want to be bold to ask and then wait on You to answer.

Asking, Bible, Blessing, Change, Courage, Direction, Following, Future, God's Will, Scripture



“‘Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not produced fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’”

“From now on” hints at a change. Something is about to happen that will change your circumstance or maybe even your life. When my children left home, they faced some “from now ons.” They no longer were protected under my roof. They were either married with a new family or in a new city with a career. Some “from now ons” are scary while others are exciting. Let’s look at the one described in verse 19 today.

What starts out as a continuation of the description of their suffering due to their disobedience ends with a “from now on.” Look at it. The last sentence says, “Yet from this day on I will bless you.” The literal translation is “From this day I will bless.” Things were changing. God was returning His blessing on His children. Don’t you know a shout went up when they heard that news? After years of suffering, God was going to rain down His blessings on them again.


Have you been in a period of suffering? Take heart, friends. God has not forgotten you. His “from now ons” still happen today. He can change the trajectory of your life with one flick of His little finger. He has certainly done that in my life on a number of occasions. Moving to a new ministry or meeting that certain person can make a new “from now on” happen.

Are you praying for a “from now on” moment? Stop and pray for God’s perfect will in your life. I am reminded of the passage in James. James 4:13-15 says, “13 Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’” 

“From now on” in the life of the believer can mean many different things. But one thing is for sure – from now on the Lord will be with us. From now on His mercies are new. From now on Jesus is interceding for us. From now on…

From now on, Lord, I will pray that Your will be done in my life so that I can learn to trust You more.

Abiding, Asking, Bible, Blessing, Caregiver, Faithfulness, God's Will, Hunger, Provision, Scripture



“‘You have sown much, only to harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but there is not enough for anyone to get warm; and the one who earns, earns wages to put into a money bag full of holes.’”

One step forward and two steps back. Never getting anywhere. Have you ever felt that way? It seems no matter how hard you try, you never get the results you are looking for. Take dieting, for example. I can lose ten pounds and before I know it, I’ve gained in back. A lot of that has to do with my eating habits (who doesn’t like fried chicken and mashed potatoes, lol). I know I need to focus and be more disciplined if I want those pounds to stay off.

Haggai wasn’t talking about losing weight, though, in today’s verse. He is passing on the Lord’s point to the people. They were never satisfied with their harvest, their food, their drink, their clothing or their wages. Why? Because they were relying on themselves and not Him. They were striving after all these things, yet their heavenly Father promised to care for them if they would just follow.


What is your need today? Did you know your Lord wants to meet that for you? He wants to come alongside you and show you the depths of His supply. As we submit to Him and follow Him, He takes care of those needs we have. Will you get everything you want? Of course not. That’s not how it works. We don’t just order room service from God.

Do you believe God’s Word? Philippians 4:19 tells us, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Take that on faith. Believe God will do what He said He will do. Why should you doubt the One who has redeemed you from a fiery end? He has saved and will preserve you.

I have never been wealthy and probably never will. That’s okay. I know I have everything I need. Look up Philippians 4:10-14. Take a good look at Paul’s attitude. We can have that same attitude as we trust God to provide our needs. Will you trust Him today? God knows your needs but tell Him anyway. He loves to hear you talk. He really does.

I am thankful, Lord, for the abundance You have blessed me with. You are a mighty God Who provides for me.