"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 message focuses on two essentials to a victorious walk with God. Many of us have been battling year in and year out with the same struggles. At the beginning of each year we are full of good intentions and New Year resolutions! However, when we come to the end of the year, it somehow feels as though we may not have progressed very far since that time! It is time for transformation and victory in those areas we have struggled with.
In our passage of Scripture today, we see the angel speak to Mary about two physically impossible situations; one is a young virgin girl becoming pregnant without any physical contact with a man; and second, an elderly woman long past the childbearing age, who had been known as 'barren' all her life - in her sixth month of pregnancy! God had a beautifully woven plan for the lives of both these mothers, and the babies to be born. Elizabeth's child would be John the Baptist, whom God chose to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus; Mary was the carrier of a precious and powerful seed - the Word made flesh who came and dwelt among us (John 1), the One who would be the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Most High God and the Savior of all humanity! She was certainly favored!
Friend, I know and believe that God has a wonderful plan for your life too. His Word tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." As we move towards the end of this year and into a new year, I want to claim this Word for each of us - that God has good plans for us in 2009; plans to prosper His children, to fill us with hope, and help us see the awesome year He is preparing for us! He has plans to give us victory in areas of defeat, and to strengthen us in our places of weakness. God desires to bless and not to curse; to bring healing, deliverance and overcoming into our lives - He has GOOD PLANS for us!
Mary was chosen by God because her heart was pure, and her life was pleasing before Him (we looked at this last week); But there are two essential keys which we can take from this Scripture today, which can completely transform our lives!
1)Yielding to the Holy Spirit - Most Christians believe in God the Father; they also believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. They may even believe in the Third Person of the Trinity - the blessed Holy Spirit. But are we submitted to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do in our lives? Many of us have not recognized that He is God! He wants to draw us to the Father, and wants the name of the Lord Jesus to be glorified in our lives. He wants to bring God's plans and purposes to pass in our lives; He wants our lives to bear good fruit and be ones of powerful witness and victory in this dark and depraved world. He wants us to walk in the BLESSING of God Almighty! He is the Counselor, Comforter and Helper (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7 etc.)
However, this is only possible if we permit Him to come to us and fill our lives, without placing limitations upon Him or telling Him what He cannot do. Mary yielded to the precious Holy Spirit, permitted His presence to come upon her; and lived her life in that state of surrender. If we invited His presence, but then were insensitive or resistant to His voice, then it is not likely that we would see the fruit we long for, because He may not continue to speak or act. I want to ask you dear friend to seek the Holy Spirit in these days to come. He is the most precious and beautiful friend you could ever have. He is longing to lift your life to higher heights, so invite Him to come (with no conditions!), and allow Him the access to do whatever He desires to do in your life. This could be the missing link you have been looking for. He will bring God's plans to fulfillment in your life, as you begin to submit to His Hand upon you. As you fall on your knees and open your heart to Him, you will begin to have an encounter with the most beautiful person you ever met! If you are already experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit and His power flowing through your life you are indeed favored by God, as Mary was!
2) Yielding to the Holy Word – Our walk with God is hindered when we are not surrendered to His Word. Many of us love to pray and seek the Lord, and spend time in worship, but it may be a little more difficult to pin oneself down to read and meditate on the Word! Of course, there may be all kinds of hindrances cropping up, because of the power and anointing that comes from absorbing the Word and the way it makes our faith grow strong!
There may also be people who read the Word consistently, but do not agree with many aspects of it; or they may resist doing what God is asking them to do through His Word. Remember Mary - she heard the Word of God and simply said "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said"! This took a lot of resolve. It is hard to submit to the Word of God for your life when you do not know what the consequences will be, or how you are going to be affected. It takes faith in God! For Mary, in the culture and context of the time, this was a big, bold step. She was a simple teenage girl who knew that she could even lose her life for being pregnant before marriage; but God's Word spoken over her life was sufficient for her. She believed. She surrendered!
Friend, in these last days, when the Lord Jesus is waiting for His Bride to prepare for His return, We can only be truly ready for Him when we grow in the power of the Word of God and surrender to all aspects of it, obeying with a whole heart.
I believe that God desires to see us walk in victory in the coming year. He wants to strengthen us to stand firm, so that we will not be knocked down by situations that we may have to face. As we yield to the Holy Spirit's work upon our lives, and as we surrender to the Word of God, know for sure that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You will overcome every hindrance and obstacle that rises before you, and you will see your life PREGNANT with the POTENTIAL that God places within you. I pray that the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and that you will see great fruitfulness in all those areas of your life which you thought were barren or dead. May you see the overflowing blessing in your prayers, ministry, relationships, your finances, and in your own personal walk with God. May you see that as you yield to the sweet Spirit, nothing is impossible for you!
This Christmas season, know that God has good things in store for you. He says He Loves you and has great things for you. May it be to you according to His Word!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 13 December 2010