A post from several years ago about really listening to God.
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38
This is a special devotional for me to write. God used a Christmas Eve sermon by a former professor, over this passage, to inspire me to quit talking about this project and to take action. These verses bring much to my mind. One thing that I love though, is that once again God is showing up asking someone to do the seemingly unthinkable and impossible. I mean hasn’t He been doing this since the beginning. He asked Adam to give every creature a name. He asked Noah to build an ark when it had never before rained. He asked Abraham to trust Him and to be willing to sacrifice his son. He led Joseph to go from tending sheep, to imprisonment, to leading Egypt. He asked Joshua to conquer (wandering in the desert for 40 years is possibly not the greatest military training program). He asked Elijah to defeat the false prophets. He asked David to defeat Goliath. He asked Nehemiah to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem, when he knew nothing of construction. There are a multitude of other instances of this. Now, at the start of the New Testament, He is doing it again. Asking a young girl, (probably early teens) to give birth.
I love Mary’s practicality in all of this; the first chance she gets to respond, she brings up the fact that she is a virgin. I am sure to her; this seemed like an incredibly legitimate point. I know I respond to God in a similar way all the time. He leads me to something, and I bring up all the different obstacles I can think of. I am sure many of you do the same. I am not talking about small petty excuses such as: I have to be somewhere, or I do not know what to say. I am talking about legitimate verifiable excuses, or what we would deem as such. Maybe we tell God I do not have a passport or I have financial limitations. I wonder if we are so busy reiterating our excuses at times that we fail to hear God’s response. His response, delivered by Gabriel, to Mary was quite clear. Gabriel did not gloss over her concerns or berate her for having them: instead he gave her a specific answer. Is God that direct with us? If so, do we just not hear Him? If we do happen to hear Him, do we keep insisting on our excuse, or do we have the faith to echo Mary’s response and simply say, “may it be to me as you have said”?
Today leave His footprints by hearing God address your concerns, then believing in His power to accomplish what He says.