© 2021 Chip Kawalsingh / Harvest City Church
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:26-28, NIV)
It’s a great thought, isn’t it? ‘The Lord is with you.’ It’s mind blowing! This was not only true for the young virgin Mary who was tasked with ushering our Saviour into the world, but also for you and I. Think of her situation for a moment; a young teen, unmarried and pregnant, overwhelmed and daunted by the ultimate task ahead of her. What can we learn from this amazing woman to apply to our own lives?
Trust God and learn to identify His voice
We battle with constant noise coming at us—from influencers on social media, to 24-hour news, to friends and family—and of course from the struggles within our own minds. God’s Word helps us to silence the noise and tune in to His voice, even in the most challenging times. His Word is our guide and light.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105, KJV)
Be careful to not talk yourself out of God’s blessings
It’s easy to let earthly thinking and what culture accepts or promotes shape our choices. Mary had to rise above the norms of her day. It was very much taboo to be pregnant and unmarried but Mary didn’t let what was culturally acceptable dictate God’s plan for her life. Mary—in God’s perfect plan and will—had to face being outcast and rejected, yet through her walk with God she was able to do all that He had called her to do.
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. (Matthew 1:18-19, NLT)
Mary’s husband-to-be, Joseph, wanted to do the ‘right thing’ by her according to their culture, but God had other plans! I thank God for His plan over and above our good intentions!
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:20-24, NLT)
Thank God that Mary put her trust in the Lord—and also that she was engaged to a God-fearing man who heard and understood His voice. Joseph was a man of God and simply accepted His Word. I wonder how many men today would fail miserably at this point?
Mary’s response to God was, ‘I am God’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true’ (Luke 1:38). What is your response to God going to be when he asks you to do something that may not be acceptable in our culture, at work or at school? Will you stand up for Jesus? After all, aren’t we to carry His light wherever we go?
Like Mary, we are all called to share Jesus to the world. And like Mary, people will misunderstand us, judge us and even ridicule us for it. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. And remember: God is with you and He favours you.
Remember God’s majesty
Mary was a very special woman, called and anointed, but she had to see things through in fear for her life and the life of her baby, and she did it by secretly recalling in her heart all God’s wonders.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that she would have been given some kind of superpower to make her job easier—perhaps some special favour or a castle to protect them both—but there was no pomp or pageant. A stable was all that was left, and surrounded by animals (and in not the most of hygienic of places!) the special task that had gripped Mary’s young life came into being.
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger… but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. (Luke 2:16, 19 NLT)
Mary’s story teaches us that we’ve got to keep a simple, child-like faith in God. We need to think upon His wonders and let them fill our mind, heart and spirit. It’s easy to dwell on what we don’t have, but instead let’s recall all that God has done for us this year. You don’t need to tell everyone, just sit back, smile and enjoy the journey.
Jesus’ words still ring clear in my mind today: ‘And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20, NLT). God has tasked you today with an amazing plan and purpose. Don’t be discouraged or dismayed. Fear not, for God is with you!