“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” (NIV)
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and called her “blessed” and “highly favored”, she was taken aback and “troubled”. She did not expect to be addressed this way (or to meet an angel in her home!), and was confused because she was taken by surprise. As with most young girls of her culture and time, Mary had no real status or identity of her own. She probably saw herself through the eyes of her society, where Girls did not have the opportunity of a formal education or a voice in the community. She may not have had much of a sense of self worth. Mary was therefore probably shocked that this beautiful divine being from Heaven was visiting Earth simply to talk to her. As she wondered if the angel had got the wrong house or the wrong town, he addressed her by her name, saying “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Heaven never makes mistakes, hallelujah!
* Today, the heart of the Father is crying out towards the many sons and daughters who have never discovered their real identity and who they are in Him. God has declared many wonderful Truths in His Word about us, his chosen children, but most of the time, we do not really hear what He says because we see ourselves through the eyes of our past, our shortcomings and challenges, or through the eyes of people in our lives who Satan uses to keep us down. God says “you are blessed, you are My own, my favor is upon you” and we look around us thinking “who me?”! He says “you are My righteousness in Jesus, and the apple of My eye” and we say “it can’t be”! Like Mary, we are “troubled” when we hear the mighty things our Father says about us, because it sounds so alien to our mindset, so different to what we have believed. Today the blessed Holy Spirit wants to free us from that old mentality, and renew our minds in Him so that we see ourselves through Abba’s eyes and for all the goodness He has placed in us His kids. We are precious sons and daughters of the King of kings!
* Gabriel told Mary not to fear because as long as she continued to be afraid, she would never see how favored and loved she was. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” When people believe that God is displeased with them and live in fear of His discipline, they will never see that they are, in fact, living in His favor, and recipients of radical blessing and amazing love! If you are a child of God, Papa says to you that He is not displeased or disappointed with you. He sees your heart and how you seek to walk His way. There is no need to fear His punishment because you have already been forgiven because of the precious and powerful blood of Jesus, hallelujah! You are the righteousness of God in Christ. You are His beloved son and His precious daughter, and He is well pleased with you.
* Gabriel went on to tell Mary that she would “conceive” and “bring forth” a Son and call Him “Jesus”. In the same way, God wants you to know that His hand is upon you and He has great plans for your life which are soon to come to fruition. There is much He wants to birth through you into the earth. There are revelations, prophetic words, dreams and visions, and new ministries that have been released in seed form within the womb of your spirit. This happens when someone prays over you for the impartation of a gift or a particular anointing, or when a prophetic Word is spoken or prayed over your life. It is “conceived” in your spirit. Then you “bring it forth” when you 1) have faith and believe it, 2) call it forth through worship, prayer and declaration, 3) nurture that seed through feeding on the Word, and 4) submit yourself to the power of the mighty Holy Spirit, yielding to His hand and His breath moving in and through you to bring that conception to a full term birth. There are new ministries waiting to be born; callings and giftings stirring in spiritual wombs and needing to be released. This is your time, dear friend, this is your season! The time taken for that seed to take shape and be birthed into the world depends on how much you co-operate with the Holy Spirit, and how much you believe in what God is doing in your life. He has big dreams for you and He is calling you to jump on board!
The angel told Mary that the child was to be called “Jesus”, which is taken from the name “Joshua” or “Yehoshua” and means “the Lord is salvation”, “God saves”, or “God save us”. Today, the Lord is reminding us to be the expression of His love here on the earth and to bring His salvation to those around us. This Christmas season, think of the hundreds of people you interact with or bump into each week who have not yet bowed their knee to the One who saves. We serve a Lord who wants to save, deliver and heal, and who passionately loves His creation. (1Timothy 2:3 & 4: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”.) Be the expression of His heart to those you meet. Be the smile, the eyes, the love of Jesus; be a burning light in a dark and dreary world because the One who saves is living in you and wants to reach those hurting souls.
Finally, let me remind you that the Father knows your name! You may be going through a season in your life where you feel like Abba has forgotten you, but you are always in His heart. Your name is written upon the palm of His hand. He knows and remembers everything about you, and loves you unconditionally. His favor and love are upon you, and He has only good things in store for you. Decide today to step into your new season of receiving Abba’s love and favor, and walking in it. Know that you are His valued treasure and His cherished and chosen child. There is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) so do not fear dear one, you have found favor with God. Forget the former things and do not dwell on the past for you will conceive in your spirit and bring forth something new and beautiful which will bring great honor and glory to the name of the One who saves. You are appointed and anointed, a vessel for His light to shine through for all the world to see! May you live in His favor. May you experience all the glorious blessings God has for you this season, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 03 December 2012