“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33, NKJV).
Sometimes when the Lord speaks, it will challenge us. To say the enunciation challenged Mary would be to understate things greatly. And yet, as a man whose desire it is to walk by faith, I have learned that if what we think we are hearing from God doesn’t challenge us, it probably isn’t God after all.
On this particular day, the angel spoke to Mary, telling her she would give birth, not by man, but by a sovereign move of the Holy Spirit. Her response is both interesting and telling about her own personal faith. She told the angel, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38, NKJV). She didn’t know HOW it would happen, but she believed the word of the angel and that it WOULD happen – that is faith!
Just a few months prior, another enunciation of sorts occurred. The same angel, Gabriel, took news of another birth to an aging priest, Zacarias, as he prepared to burn incense in the temple of the Lord. Zacarias’ response, however, was different. He questioned the angel by saying, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” (Luke 1:18, NKJV). Notice the difference. Mary said, “How will this be…” Zacarias said, “How do I know this will really happen?” As a result, Gabriel was forced to give Zacarias his stunning resume’, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God…” (V.19).
When God speaks, we must believe what He says. Faith alone will cause what He wants to do in us to grow into the finished product. Not only did Mary have to believe, she also had to endure ridicule; first from her own family, who could have had her stoned.
Mary was required to live through all the aspects of receiving the promise. Sadly, she had to endure jeers and sneers for the remainder of her life. The promise took time to come to fruition. Most of the time when God speaks there is a time of waiting with expectation until the answer comes.
Often, fear will dissuade many from stepping into the miraculous. God has chosen to partner with people to bring about His sovereign plans. When we say “Yes” to God, what begins to happen in our lives may seem unusual, even scary, but if we will trust in Him, He will bring something to pass that is far more than we could ever imagine. Mary said “Yes” and now, her name is synonymous with giving birth to the Christ.
What is God saying to you this Christmas Season? Perhaps He wants to give birth to something amazing through your life. I encourage you to listen for His voice, and say, “Yes.”
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.