“Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
The angel Gabriel had just told Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah and call Him ‘Jesus’. This was all a shock to Mary, and as she struggled to understand, she asked the angel how this could be possible, as she and Joseph had never had any physical contact or been alone together. (It was normal in those days for betrothed couples to meet in the presence of a chaperone).
The angel Gabriel replied: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” He said “With God nothing will be impossible”! Friend, the Holy Spirit is speaking to us today. There may have been things you felt you were called to do during this past year but never stepped into because you thought they were too difficult. Or a place the Lord said He wanted to send you to, but you did not feel you could leave the comfort of familiarity and go where you were being called to. There are relationships God asked us to break free from but we thought it would hurt too much; or addictions (not only to some substance but even to certain foods) which we knew we had to do something about but we knew it would hurt the flesh really badly. It could be that certain areas of your life do not seem to have progressed further than where they were at the beginning of the year! Even the dreams we thought we would work towards are still where they were when we first received them – dreams. Today God wants us to remember that if we yield to His mighty Spirit, and allow His power to come upon us and overshadow us, there will be nothing impossible for us.
There are many of us who seek to walk in the Spirit, and this probably sounds like something quite easy to do. However, there are two steps the angel Gabriel is talking about here.
1) Surrender to the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit and yield to Him. Allowing the Holy Spirit to ‘come upon you’ means opening your body, spirit and soul to His holy presence, and yielding to Him from day to day, allowing Him to teach you and guide you, learning to obey Him in everything you do. We all love the Holy Spirit and want more of Him in our lives. However, we may have invited Him into the house but only permitted Him access to certain rooms. Or maybe we have allowed Him to come in but told Him what He cannot do. Perhaps we have left certain areas of our memories, past life, relationships, or inner feelings covered from His gaze, because sometimes it is too painful or too difficult to allow Him to move into those places and straighten things up. We all would love to have the Spirit moving with power through our lives and touching people with His sweet presence. However, it starts with simple little responses to His sometimes mundane requests, as the sweet Spirit begins to teach us to take baby steps of obedience. In Holy Spirit school, we first learn to hear His voice, and then respond. Goose bumps are wonderful but surrendering to the Holy Spirit is so much more. It means heeding His voice and yielding to Him in all areas of our lives. You can begin by lifting your heart and hands to Him and inviting Him to come in to your life to fellowship with you. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” He is the Helper, Comforter, and Friend who wants to fellowship with you. He wants to make your life sweet and complete!
2) Allow the power of the Highest to overshadow you. This is not as easy as it sounds, because it means death to self. Being overshadowed means that you cease to be ‘you’ and you allow the Holy Spirit to take over your identity and your nature. He makes you open and receptive to His hand of direction. Being overshadowed means that you cannot be seen, because the one who overshadows has covered you with his larger presence. However, this is the best thing that could happen to any of us! In 2012, I want to lose my mind and walk in the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16, Philippians 2:5). I want to have less of me and more of Him. I want to be so submerged and saturated in the presence of Jesus that people will see Him and not me. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” When the power of the Highest overshadowed Mary, I believe she shook with the presence of God, as every fiber of her being was filled with the creative presence of the Almighty. She began to understand who the Holy Spirit was and yield to Him as her virgin womb began to stir with new life, and a supernatural awakening took place.
Precious child of the King of kings, you are so blessed because God has chosen you to be His own. He is showing us today how we can walk in the victory and the power of His Spirit. As we step into a new year, we can step into a level of fruitfulness and breakthrough that we have never seen before, if we decide to lay our lives down at the feet of Jesus and surrender to His sweet Spirit. Allow the power of the Highest to overshadow you. You can do all things through Christ as He fills you with strength, and there will be absolutely nothing you will see as impossible. He that is in you is greater than anyone out there in the world! Hallelujah!
Next week we will look further at the story of Mary and her surrender to the Spirit of God. Until then, let me leave you with these thoughts:
1) God wants you to know the joy and fullness of His Spirit and to walk in His presence and power.
2) Jesus said to His disciples that He was returning to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come to be with us always (John 16:7). The sweet Spirit helps us to live and look like Jesus and brings His reality and power into our lives.
3) Yielding to the presence of the Spirit makes us super heroes! There will be no challenge you cannot face and no battle you cannot win, if He fights it for you. Nothing will be impossible to you!
“Father God, I pray for every precious person reading this message. May they yield to the fullness of Your sweet Spirit and allow themselves to be overshadowed from this day onwards. Heal and strengthen each person inside and out, and may your power and presence flow through each of them to reach a hurting world. May they see from this day forth that there is nothing impossible for them, because they live and move through You! Let every hindrance be broken right now, and may your sweet anointing touch each one, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”
Minoli Haththotuwa, 19 December 2011