The Angel's Visit to Zechariah
Luke 1:11-17 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him. Fear not, Zacharias: because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call bis name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God. And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.
In deep concentration on the desired Truth of one’s being, one becomes aware of the thought of the Lord (the angel, Gabriel). The thought that we as spiritual beings can control our destinies, and that we are even now making our lives what they are, at first instills fear. Zacharias was afraid of the angel. Humility of spirit hesitates to take to itself power that hitherto has been conceded to God only. Also we fear at first, even in moments of exaltation, to cast off all reliance on previously accepts props and to launch out into the deeps of a new experience. We are sometimes afraid, too, of our own thoughts; afraid of leaving the beaten track and getting off into unknown trails; afraid of seeming “queer,” or religious cranks. However, the thought of God persistently held brings us the assurance that we are on the right road. The angel of the Lord stood “on the right side of the altar of incense.”
Prophecy is the pioneering instinct of the mind. When uplifted and inspired by an exalted ideal, the mind gains the understanding that desire brings its own fulfillment. Once the divine concept of life has entered the soul, that concept must, in the spiritual course of events, come to birth.
The law of mind action is that interest attaches to the point of concentration. Consecration, which is the putting of the entire mind on the idea of the Divine Being, in other words concentration on God, brings many of our instinct permanently under the dominion of the law that we have grasped with new understanding. “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God.”
A desire is a natural inward impulse. It may have been formed by the long-continued thought habit of previous incarnations.
Our religious ideals and instincts are already prepared for the new way of life to be ushered in by the better understanding of the law. We are simply “to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him,” by denying all lesser rules of action and turning wholeheartedly toward the light whose unfailing rays show the path that we must follow
John represents the crystallization in the soul of spiritual thoughts joined with regenerated substance. This union brings forth an ego that opens the way for a still greater ego, the Christ of God, the highest expression of Divine Mind in man. “And he shall go before his face in the spirit and the power of Elijah” means that force, energy, fire, power, simplicity, and naturalness are the characteristics of the ego developed under these devotions of man with God.