34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” 35 The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Have you done anything lately that represents conformity to the world? Have you succumbed to pressure to shape your Christianity around your life situation, rather than shaping your life around Jesus Christ? Someone who doesn’t know better may study our current culture and think Christians are the root of society’s problems. The hostility towards Christians seems to get stronger every year. It can be easier to shy away rather than standing up in the face of hostility.
Imagine if we all simultaneously stood up with resounding courage to lead Christ-centered lives. Imagine if all followers of Christ consistently feared God more than we feared man. Mary, most likely a young teen, had that courage. In a time when women were stoned for extramarital affairs, Mary received Gabriel’s news with confidence. She completely submitted herself to the Lord as His servant.
I can confidently say my response would be sheer panic. I know my thoughts would be flooded with the societal implications this premarital pregnancy would have for my betrothed and me. I would be guilty of fearing man over fearing God.
Mary has set a high bar for us by her faithfulness at such a young age. She recognized her place as God’s creation, and she showed great wisdom in accepting the assignment placed on her life. There is a bigger picture at work in our lives. Mary knew this. Our day-to-day decisions, big or small, shape the people we become and how we center our lives. We can work toward this “Mary-like” submission, practicing each day by making conscious decisions to check our thoughts, words and actions. We should look to Mary as an example of someone who had everything to lose, yet who accepted God’s Word. Imagine, again, that world where we all stood up with resounding courage to fear God more than we fear man.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What can you do today to work towards Mary-like submission?
- Have you implemented a daily routine of studying God’s Word?
- What worldly habit can you give up in order to make room for more Christ-like habits?
Pray for Steven and Tricia, global workers in our church family living in Europe. Pray for gospel fruitfulness in relationships, community, and ministry projects, as well as for their family.