Luke is one of the books of the Bible that I usually skim through, especially the first few chapters. I’ve always justified my skimming by saying, “same story, different narrator.” (That attitude doesn’t glorify God and leads to people missing out on the vital information that God graciously chose to reveal to us.)
Triggered by an urge to get away and just have some alone time with God, I left my family, hid away in my room, and plucked my Bible off of the shelf. I didn’t know where to start so I went to YouTube and attempted to search for a sermon to watch. My spirit didn’t want to watch a sermon so I chose to do what I love—worship. After singing two worship songs, I opened up my Bible app and scrolled down to read the verse of the day. Luke 1:45 was the verse of the day and it reads, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” WOW! I couldn’t just read that verse and then go to sleep so I read chapter 1 in its entirety (I needed context). I read the chapter in both the message and esv translations. I even read some of the verses in the KJV translations for reassurance.
It was as if I were reading Luke 1 for the first time.
While meditating on Luke 1, the Holy Spirit said, “God wants you to be like Mary in this chapter, not like Zechariah.”
The angel Gabriel appeared to both Zachariah and Mary, telling them to expect pregnancy—which in both cases would be miraculous. Pregnancy for Zechariah’s wife would be miraculous because of her old age. Mary’s pregnancy would be miraculous because she was a virgin. Mary and Zachariah were told to expect the impossible.
Both Zechariah and Mary doubted the news delivered by the angel. Although Zachariah had prayed for his barren wife to conceive a child, he doubted that God could answer his prayer even after the angel told him that Elizabeth would give birth to a baby boy. The angel told Zachariah all that the baby boy would accomplish for God’s kingdom, yet Zachariah doubted. Despite Zachariah’s doubt, his wife conceived God’s promise.
Unlike Zechariah, Mary’s doubt was in herself, not in God’s ability to fulfill his promise of the impossible. The angel reminded Mary that God had done the impossible with Elizabeth. Mary’s doubt in herself quickly transformed into belief in God’s ability. She grabbed onto God’s promise, welcomed it, and celebrated (Luke 1:46-55). Zechariah’s doubt led to him being silenced until the birth of the promise. On the other hand, Mary’s pregnancy was joyous.
God gave you a promise and He wants you to grab ahold of it, believe it, and accept it. This pregnancy (period) is a time of joy, it’s not meant to be a time of silence. You get to choose how you will spend this pregnancy—in joy or in silence. Whichever you choose, God will be glorified at the birth of His promise.
I’m in awe of Mary. As an unwed teenager, she trusted in God so much that she said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” in response to the angel telling her that she would be pregnant with the Messiah. (Luke 1:38) Mary even had the audacity to worship God and be joyous during her pregnancy despite her community’s opinions and doubt of her fiancé. When God promises you the impossible, many will doubt. People will try to shame you, people will even think that you’re crazy to believe that the impossible is possible. However, you just need to silence the voices of the naysayers (including your own) and worship God.
When was the last time you trusted God to do the impossible? Will expressions of trust or doubt part from your lips?
Personally, I have never aspired to be like Mary. When I think of a worshiper after God’s own heart David is usually the first person to come to mind. However, after reading Luke 1 and connecting with Mary’s heart, Mary has made it to the top of my list. During the next,however many, months of my pregnancy, I want to be obedient and a willing carrier of God’s promise.