“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)
Mary was a young girl who received the most amazing message of all time. She asked but one question and then accepted her role in God’s plan with trust. The angel of the Lord! We read this phrase with familiarity and take it lightly, but this was life-changing for Mary, and for us too!
I am struck with Mary’s willingness and quickness to obey and trust the Lord. This was an exciting message for her but also one that would bring trials and hardships. The angel did not stay to share the news with her family, her friends, or her community. Only when Joseph decided to leave her did the angel share the news with him. She had to face everyone seemingly alone. God was with her and her faith carried her in obedience, but her assignment was not an easy one. Nevertheless, she accepted it willingly, immediately, and joyfully.
How do we react like Mary and be people who are completely surrendered to God’s plan for our lives? How do we become, and remain, as living sacrifices and live a life of obedience to God- even when its hard?We can’t do it alone apart from God’s strength and leading, but we do have a major choice and role to play. It is a choice we must make every moment of the day!
We must choose….
First and most importantly, I must give Him my heart, my desires, my very life! I must choose that I want to be surrendered to Him and call on Jesus as my Savior. This is the single most important decision every person will ever make. If you are reading this and do not know Him, please stop right now and ask Him to be your savior. He is with you and will never leave you. Then, tell someone about your decision and then hang on… the most exciting adventure you could ever imagine has begun- one that will last for eternity with peace, love and joy!
*Choose His Presence
Each day, before the day even begins, I must put God first. I must spend time in His Word before I let the world in. I must spend time talking with Him in prayer and listening. I must let Him speak to my heart and direct my steps for the day. It is at this point, before the day begins, I must choose to obey so that when God does give me direction, I am ready.
Just as God is in charge of the big plan for my life, He is in charge of every detail of every moment. I must choose to stay close to Him throughout the day, listening for His still small voice. If I have already chosen to fully surrender to Him, I don’t have to decide again. When I hear from Him, I can obey fearlessly because I can trust Him. He is my rock and my fortress. He is faithful and loving. I must choose to believe Him that He not only has a plan for me, but that it is good.
Daily, moment to moment, before He speaks, I must choose to obey. Once I have spent time in His Presence and been filled with His power, peace, strength, and His love, I am ready to move and act- wherever He leads. I do not need to be filled with fear or worry. I can move forward with excitement and joy, but I can only do this in His strength! God will often ask us to do something that is bigger and harder than anything we could do on our own- then when He uses us, we know it was Him!
In all things, give thanks! This can be the most difficult choice, especially when life hurts and our choice of obedience is hard. But this is where we can also receive the biggest blessings! Our Father in Heaven will work all things out for good- we must trust this and then thank Him! This frees us to worship and be filled with His peace in all circumstances, even the most painful!
Mary lived a life surrendered to God. She chose ahead of time that she loved Him and trusted Him enough to obey Him. Then her faith continued to grow as she lived her life daily surrendered to God. God has a different plan for each of our lives and like Mary, our choice of obedience will affect the lives of others. It might be one person or it could be far-reaching, but we can be used by God to bless others, if we surrender to Him. May we all choose to live a life completely surrendered and prepared to obey!
Father, thank You for the gift of forgiveness and salvation through Your perfect son Jesus! Thank You for equipping Mary with faith and trust to obey You. Please fill me with this same faith and trust that I can live my life for You, completely surrendered to You. And as You work in my life, may others be blessed by what You do through me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.