He told her that she would be with child.
She praised Him for favoring her.
His Spirit would come upon her and cause her to be pregnant.
She sang Him a song of gratitude.
His decision meant that her fiancé might leave her... Because really who would believe that God took her virginity? She would be an outcast. Life as she knew it would be dramatically different from this point forward.
She exclaimed, "... The mighty One is holy and He has done great things for me!"
He told her that her child would be the Son of God. And she would have to believe this... That her crying, pooping, helpless baby, the one that would require all of her attention... Was actually the Son of God.
She cried out, "Oh how my soul praises the Lord! How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!"
He told her that her son would be king and that his kingdom would reign forever and ever... But really? Not even her family was going to believe that. And even if her fiancé did choose to still be her husband, she was being set up to have a bumpy start to marriage.
She lifted her voice to God, "His mighty arm has done tremendous things!"
God was coming to earth. The most monumental event this world had ever seen. Yet His entrance onto the scene was so completely contrary to how I would have predicted it. The most glorious moment in history... Took place in the most glory-less of circumstances.
Yet Mary got it. And she praised Him for it. She was so filled with faith that it didn't matter how life altering this would be for her. She was all in. She believed in God's word and trusted that He had a bigger better picture than what she had planned for her life.
Sure this baby would change her life upside-down and likely ruin her reputation. Every dream of hers would be halted for the sake of birthing Jesus.
But she was confident that nothing in life is better than fulfilling the plans of God... So she praised Him.
And good thing she did. Because she didn't know it then, but her joyful obedience to God would bring about the saving of all mankind.
She joyfully obeyed because she had faith in God, even before she saw it come to pass.
Makes me think of my own life. If its God's style to flip things upside down... To halt the plans of His people... And radically change the course of history through inviting people to lay down their reputations for the sake of Jesus...
Would I be willing to let Him do that with me?
...I think so...
But how do I actually live that out?
I think the answer is found in having a heavenly perspective. It is looking upward and seeking God's plans and purposes, over my own.
He knows the whole story. He has the bigger picture. AND He delights in communicating with His children.
So as we seek Him....
He will tell us what to do....
And even if it seems crazy....
We can praise Him like Mary did....
Believing, by faith, that He will come through in glorious ways.
Recently Shaun and I decided to move out of our little house on the YWAM campus and into a room at a church. It's a long story but basically- this will enable us to fulfill our ministry roles more effectively and with more freedom in our schedule. It's great but it is a sacrifice. Nothing like what Mary faced... But we are certainly downsizing.
In making the decision to do it I could feel the Lord telling me that it was the right idea. But it was scary. I enjoy having a living room, kitchen, and bathroom of my own. Decorating is fun. Privacy is nice. Not to mention... I was comfortable there. But reflecting on Mary's responses to God makes me want some heavenly perspective of my own. I know that God's plans are better than mine. Better than any living room or kitchen. Better than comfort. And I want to be like Mary as I joyfully give up my home and move into this amazing church that he has provided for us. I'm learning to do that.
Just as Mary embraced the plans of God and praised Him before the glory of Jesus had even been revealed... I want to do that too. I want to praise God now for the opportunities He will open up by having Shaun and I move into this church. I want to praise Him for the lives He will touch and the depth of intimacy I will have with both Him and Shaun.
"... The mighty One is holy and He has done great things for me!"
((this story and the scriptures have been taken from the book of Luke in the Bible))
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1