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by Minoli Haththotuwa
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HIGHLY FAVORED (1 Luke 1:26-33)

"In the sixth month, 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."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words, and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.'

'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.'
'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered, 'May it be to me as you have said.' Then the angel left her."

This Scripture may be a familiar one to many of us, because we may have heard it many times during the Christmas season each year. It is the account of how a sweet young girl in Galilee over 2000 years ago received an angelic visitation. Her visitor was the angel Gabriel who came to her from the presence of God (Luke 1:19) and brought her unusual news! He told her that she was going to give birth to a baby boy and name him Jesus! Mary was naturally shocked and confused, but the angel explained to her how this would happen, and as God's grace began to fill her, she was able to surrender herself to the plan God had for her life.

There are some special revelations we can take out of this passage of Scripture.

1) The Bible normally distinguishes people according to their lineage (their parents' name), their calling (prophet or priest), or their tribe. However, here we see that Mary was just described as 'a virgin', and simply 'Mary', (while Joseph was described in this passage as 'a descendant of David'). She was chosen by God for a powerful role which would impact generations ever after; she was to bring into the world the Savior of all mankind, the Son of God, but she was still simply described as a virgin, whose name was Mary! We can see that connections or educational achievements, family background, or any other worldly qualifications do not count for much in the eyes of God! He is interested in the hearts of people, and how they live their lives. When He looks for people to raise up and anoint, He looks to see whether (like Mary) they are walking in the righteousness which His redemptive blood made possible. He seeks those who's hearts and lives are consecrated to Him; those for whom Jesus is Lord and no other; those who walk in faithfulness and seek to be obedient to His Word actively pushing back every compromise with sin and the world. God is looking for men and women, who, like Mary, are humble and submitted to His hand upon their lives; those who will be vessels for His honor, bringing His salvation and redemption to a hurting world! This is only possible when we permit Jesus to be Lord, and receive the enabling of His Spirit to live in victory and for His glory.

2) Mary was troubled and fearful when the angel came to her and said 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' But the angel reassured her of God’s favor and presence upon her life. Mary was a simple teenage girl, with no education, and with no knowledge of the world outside her little community. In the time and culture of the day, she was no different to scores of other young girls. But the angel was saying to her that she was 'highly favored'. The only difference between her and many others may have been that her heart was submitted to God, and that she walked in purity before Him. The presence of God had been with her all along, even when she never felt Him or knew He was there. You may be going through a difficult time in your life and may be wondering where God is when you're hurting, because you know you have been walking God's way and have done nothing to grieve His heart. Please know that although you have not been feeling God's presence lately, He is surely with you. He has promised in His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 12:5b) and that He will be with you always (Matthew 28:20). Friend, I believe you are moving into a season of His favor. The doors that have been closed to you up to now will be opened before you, because the favor of God is upon you! He loves you and has the best plans for you, and nothing the enemy tries to do to block His plans for your life can prosper! Psalm 5:12 says “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous. With favor You will surround him as with a shield”. God’s favor is a protective covering! His favor makes the rough way smooth. His favor is His indulgent ‘yes’ on you His precious child! Begin to receive it from this day forth; begin to stand in His favor! He is your Father, who loves you!

3) Mary was confused and asked how she could conceive a child when she had never been with a man. The angel explained to her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her; she would be 'overshadowed', covered, enfolded deep down into the very depths of her being in the embrace of the Almighty! As she breathed in the sweetness of Heaven, the Power of the Most High would saturate her every cell, and absorb into the core of her, and as every organ was immersed in the sweet essence of the Creator's Anointing, a seed would begin to stir and live, and take root within her womb; a Holy Seed - the Son of God, the beautiful baby Jesus! She was going to know the most awesome spiritual, supernatural experience, as she became pregnant with the baby she had been chosen to deliver - the one who was coming to deliver! The angel reminded Mary that even Elizabeth who had been thought of as 'barren' was now expecting a child, because 'nothing is impossible with God'!
Friend, I want to leave you with these thoughts to remember:

Firstly, remember that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and moves over your life, nothing is impossible! You belong to the mighty God of the impossible! You can see mountains move and strongholds destroyed, so long as you surrender to the Power of the Most High, even as Mary did, and receive His WORD, saying 'May it be to me as you have said...' God has plans for you and I which we cannot begin to fathom or see fulfilled unless we realize our own smallness and His awesome Omnipotence. Stop trying to manipulate your circumstances! Stop trying to figure things out! Simply yield to the precious Spirit of God. Allow Him to fill your life and take over every battle. Allow the power of the Most High to overshadow you. Whatever you need to believe for today, ask the Holy Spirit to enable you, and as you submit to His awesome love and reality, you will see your faith lifted up, and supernatural things begin to happen in your life!

Secondly, remember that the Lord is with you, and His favor is upon you! You are His very special and precious child, for whom He laid down His life. Walk in that favor and know you are loved!

Thirdly, God is birthing something new through
you. You are entering a new season of fruitfulness and joy, where you will finally see promises fulfilled and prophecies coming to pass. But this will be so when you stop looking at the past and start, instead to align yourself with God through prayer and worship. He will direct you and guide you; He will raise up people to help you; He will open doors for you no man could have opened. He will show you He is omnipotent, almighty God for whom nothing is impossible!

I pray that the power of the Most High will be your portion during this Christmas season. May you begin to see from today that nothing is impossible with God! As you believe, you will receive! You are highly favored!

Minoli Haththotuwa, 06 December 2010

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