With Christmas just around the corner, the story of Jesus will be shared throughout the world with millions of people. Individuals will gather in churches, on mission fields and in homes to hear the greatest story ever told. Today, I want to shine a spotlight on a particular part of the story that has recently moved my heart in a powerful way, one that has made me stop and consider my faith voyage.
Before the journey to Bethlehem, a visit took place. Before the manger scene, a decision was made. Before the star shone brightly, a young girl chose to believe God, in spite of the impossibility before her.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38 NASB)
God’s hand was on Mary’s life, and He wanted her to know it. The angel proclaimed to her that she was favored and the Lord was with her. This was reassuring news to a frightened young girl.
The angel continued to bring good news to Mary: 1.) He told her she didn’t have to fear for she had found favor with God. 2.) He told her she would conceive in her womb. 3.) He told her she would bear a son. 4.) He told her she would name Him, Jesus.
Mary listened as the angel proceeded to tell her great things about Jesus. Then she humbly asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel conveyed to her exactly what would happen. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” The angel reminded Mary on this day that, ‘nothing is impossible with God.”
How often do we too hear from God and wonder, “How can this be?” Yet Mary’s response to the angel should be our very response today to our Father. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Mary believed God, period. No back and forth, no doubting, no running. She chose to just take her Father at His Word.
What promise has God spoken to you? Do you go back and forth with His answer? Not too long ago I was conveying to a brother in Christ my strong belief in what I felt God had spoken to me. Through periods of prayer, he too perceived that I had heard from the Lord. Yet as time went by, I found myself doubting. I was up one minute with, “I believe,” and down the next with, “I give up.” Finally, one day I received a picture from the brother in Christ of two children sitting on a seesaw. He had titled it: Shea-saw. I laughed hysterically for a time, then regretfully proceeded to sway him to stop believing in order to justify my own unbelief. His reply was one I have not forgotten: “My mustard seed isn’t affected by your seesaw.” His message was clear. He was believing, no matter what. And no amount of my unbelief would derail his belief.
Which side of the road are you on? Faith? Doubt? What circumstances are CALLING you to give up? Has God spoken a word to you? Believe it?
After Mary’s visit from the angel, she departed to stay with her cousin Elizabeth for a period. While there, her cousin recognized that God’s hand was on Mary. She also recognized the value and importance of faith.
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1:45 NASB)
The Children of Israel missed their Promised Land because of their unbelief. May the same never be said of us. What has God spoken? Believe Him and move forward according to His word. Get off your seesaw of unbelief and plant your mustard seed of faith. (And watch mountains be moved.)
Written by, O’Shea