#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Hello Dear and Beloved One, hope your week begins well. This is out last week of posts for the year 2015 and we really hope you enjoy them all. May the mercies of Christ see you through every situation and into the glorious goodness of God in 2016. Today’s #MeditationMonday verse is:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
— Luke 1:38 (NIV)
Imagine you’d fallen in love with the dream of your life. And what was even better, she’d fallen in love with you too! When you made up your mind to ask her to marry you, SHE AGREED!
A while after she comes to you with some new news, she explains that an angel told her that she would be the mother to the saviour that had been long waited for nearly 400 years.
Well, great my love, that’s wonderful news.
Then she lands the final blow, she’s now already pregnant, right now, with the said child through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I can guarantee your first response isn’t going to be:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” “May His word to me be fulfilled.”
You’re gonna be like:
WHUUUUUTTTT? WHAT DYU MEAN FAM?
Assuming you even believe this pathetically crazy story about getting pregnant by the “Holy Spirit” rather than assuming she was unfaithful to you, you’re still gonna have a couple of questions:
“Well, what do you mean Holy Spirit?”
“Couldn’t they find some other maiden?”
“Did you not tell the angel that we were getting married?”
“Did you not mention that I had paid your bride price?”
“Did you not tell Him?, Did you forget to mention me?”
“What about me?, Did you ask what part I had to play in this?”
Well, here was Joseph in this wonderful predicament. The Angel just shot several bullets in his plan to marry the fairest lady in town! But it’s not like Mary wanted this either, I’m perfectly sure she just wanted to live a normal married life with her husband.
It was never in either of their goals for Mary to become pregnant before the wedding night. Certainly, the idea of becoming pregnant miraculously and giving birth to the Lord Jesus Christ was not at the foremost of their thinking, they were probably engrossed in the preparations and decorations for their wedding, and then boom boom pow! God came and poured salt inside their garri.
Lol, just incase anyone’s wondering, Garri is a kind of African Cereal.
The birth of Christ was a literally a time filled with messed up plans! And though we often focus on them, it wasn’t just messed up for Joseph and Mary.
In Luke 2, a lot of people got their plans turned around unexpectedly by the Lord. The shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock got the greatest shock ever when the angel appeared and told them the news. They had gathered that night to go about their regular business, but it suddenly turned into a night filled with unexpected changes.
In Matthew 2, Herod’s plans to be king were interrupted by the Magi’s news that the true “king of the jews” had been born. We always paint Herod in a bad light but think about it, if you hear that your enemy has been born, wouldn’t you be eager to find out where they were so you could take action against them? Well that’s exactly what Herod was doing when He told the Magi to go and find the child and report back to him.
The Magi, who journeyed from so far to visit the newborn king, also got their plans turned around by the angel who instructed them to go elsewhere after they had seen Jesus instead of returning back to Herod.
And before all of this drama, just a year earlier, there was Elizabeth & Zacharias; the wonderful couple, the servants of the most High God. They must have really had their plans messed up when God finally granted them their heart’s desire of having a child after they had long given up on it. We know it must have been a real shock because Zachariah had to ask the angel for a sign to be sure of this and when it happened, Elisabeth hid herself for a while from the gossip and rumour mongers.
And then after all that drama; God moved Joseph, Mary & Jesus to Egypt, a totally foreign land and by the time they were probably getting used to the area, He called them back. It’s like God just kept on flinging them from one uncomfortable place to the other.
There’s a lot we can learn from God messing up our plans. One of God’s many talents is the ability to create order from Chaos. God works well to bring the best out of something that is scattered. Whether He scattered it by His hand or the enemy scattered it, God’s creative ability shines through every situation. Because we can read these stories from an eye of God point of view, we already know how God worked it all out for good, but imagine you were one of the people involved – it must really have been an upside down moment in life!
To really show you that she was flung far from her comfort zone, we see that Mary’s reaction to the news was one of perplexity. She asks in Luke 1:34; “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” She also ends up having the baby in a manger because there was no room in the inn! That’s far far far from anybody’s comfort zone. Most of us would be screaming no.
However, Mary was up to this task because of how she received the news:
“I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Instead of panicking, how many of us can respond like Mary when God flings us out of our comfort zones? We’re usually like:
Mary on the other hand, didn’t even ask about Joseph or what would happen to her marriage, she took the news selflessly, with honour and humility. When Angel told her, she was in shock but she was okay, she rolled with it. Mary was like, Oh yeah me? Mother of Saviour? Wow, Sure, Okay.
Even when Joseph planned to undo his now ruined proposal, the angel came and proposed that he change His plans and stick with the now pregnant Mary. A glaring, NOT MY COMFORT ZONE moment. Many men today would respond like this:
But Joseph knowing the decision before Him would be tough to explain to everyone else, still decided to weather the storm.
Joseph really is the hero of the whole story. If Joseph had left Mary, it would have made the burden ahead of her harder to bear but he stood by her through it all and we must not overlook his courage.
Okay, so God changed all their plans for the big stuff yeah, the Birth of Christ, important stuff but imagine God ruins your plans for something much more smaller and less favourable?
(obviously, it’s for your good, but you can’t see that right now). It would only make things harder for you to accept, especially when God calls you from a place of luxury to somewhere far lower.
No matter what happens, we must have Mary’s attitude when God messes up our plans.
Let’s contrast Luke 1 vs 38 & 45 with Luke 1 vs 18 & 20 – We’ll see the difference between how Mary took the news and How Zachariah took the news.
Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
The Angel’s response:
“But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
The Holy Spirit’s response:
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Of course there is a profound difference between these two individuals, and we can in no way paint Zacharias as a bad guy for the way He responded but we must look at the results. My man Zach asked for a sign and got muteness, now ain’t that something?! But Mary simply said “May God’s word to me be fulfilled” And through the Holy Spirit in Elizabeth, we see God confirming His word to her.
Immediately, we see that Mary isn’t just rolling with it anymore, when God confirms His word to her, she gives praise because she now really understands the favour that has been bestowed upon her. She sings a song of selfless praise known as “Mary’s Magnificat” in Luke 1: 46 – 55.
Anyways, the point is that as christians, we need to understand that the perfect enforcement of God’s will comes only when we accept God’s instructions like Mary did.
As Andrew Draper just tweeted, God doesn’t want us to try to explain the things that He has not yet revealed to us. God has a plan for your life. He made that plan before He created the world And He has no intention of asking your permission to proceed with His plan!
Now, you can choose not to obey His will but it will only be to your own detriment. It’s like choosing to walk on glass because you are in a hurry rather than waiting for God to complete the bridge He’s building for you.
We think that if we are in the will of God, everything will be a bed of roses and life will be without trial or difficulty. That was not the case for Joseph and Mary and it sure won’t be the case for us. We make a terrible error in our concept of Christianity when we believe that God makes life easy because we are in His will and that the easy way is God’s way. Even baby Jesus’ grew up and told us that the broad and easy way that almost everyone takes is the way that leads to destruction.
Are you feeling like you’re full of messed up plans? Well this week, meditate on learning to respond like Mary when God messes up your plans and proposals.
Pray for God to reveal HIS perspective in every bad situation. Ask Him to show you the bigger picture – the purpose behind every messed up plan.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone, I trust that your will for me is for my good and that you are on my side. Father sometimes I may need signs to reassure me, but no matter what happens: I am your servant, may your word to me be fulfilled in Jesus name (Amen).
Grace & Peace!