Mary, a young girl, was called by God for a great work. The angel, Gabriel, came to her and said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”
Mary trembled at the news, but she replied, “I am the Lord's servant.” (Luke 1:30-38)
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 an obedient heart. What God promised Mary was true. 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. His gift came at the greatest cost—His pure life for our sinful one—His perfect love for our rejection—His pain for our pride. And what will it cost us? 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, and you walked through it, and the joy of His promise and His purpose became your sustenance. His purpose—His will is your anchor which sustains through all the trials and hardships of life. Never let go of it.
Have you allowed the precious gift of your calling to become second place? Have you let go of it for the sake of your own personal need or maybe even because of fear? There is no joy in placing your desire before His calling. I have experienced this. 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. What it cost at the time was the loss of His presence. I pray to never lose that again.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT). 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.
Give Him the gift of an obedient heart this Christmas. Give Him all of you. That special promise He has brought into your life will be fulfilled in His time.
Lynn Hampton Lacher