“Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands for that is where my happiness is found” (Psalm 119:34-35, NLT).
Do you know that you have been called to a great work? Mary, the mother of Jesus, was called to a great work. The angel, Gabriel, came to her and said, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him 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 Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Mary trembled at the news, but she replied, “I am the Lord's servant.” (Matthew 1:36-38).
Mary had a heart to obey. She never walked away from God's calling. Don't walk away from what God has called you to do for the sake of time or personal need or even fear. The desire of His heart is for you to know Him completely, to be fulfilled in your calling, to have a pliable heart, to know the power of His presence, and to receive what He has promised. The promise is realized when you allow Him to work in your life, and you give Him the gift of a surrendered and obedient heart. What God has promised you is true, and He will bring it to pass in His time.
Jesus is the reason for this wonderful season. Christ was born for you and me, and He died for us. It came at the greatest cost─His pure life for our sinful one─His perfect love for our rejection─His pain for our stubbornness. And what will it cost? A repentant, and obedient heart. His will instead of our own. Perhaps you were once wandering, longing to be used by the Lord, longing to be fulfilled in His purpose. The Holy Spirit opened a door; you walked obediently through it and knew the joy of His promise and His purpose. His will is your anchor which sustains through all the trials and hardships. Never let go of it.
Have you made a decision about your life which has placed His will on the shelf? Have you let go of the precious gift of His calling for the sake of your own personal need or because of fear? Long ago I did. There was no joy in placing my desire before His calling. I knew great loneliness and pain. At the time my decision seemed so right, because my need seemed so great, but I learned later I had lost so much of what He had promised. And my greatest loss was in failing Him. I lost so much believing I was making the best decision, when all He wanted was for me to allow Him to be in control. He just wanted my obedient heart. He longed for me to trust Him to bring about what He had promised. And what it cost was the loss of His purpose and presence. Never again will I turn from His will for my life.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV). Mary realized the omnipotence of a great God, and the importance of what He asked. She realized that He was higher in every way than she could ever be─that His purpose and vision in every way surpassed Her own. If He has promised you something allow Him to bring it to pass in His time. His vision is sometimes beyond your human understanding and comprehension, but trust Him for His purpose. He will give you a heart of understanding. If you will obey His instructions–following the path He has created just for you, you will discover a happiness you never thought possible.
Give Him the gift of a surrendered and obedient heart this Christmas. Give Him all of you.