Lessons In The Life Of Mary
WHEN GODS WILL IS HARD
-CHOSEN FOR A HARD ASSIGNMENT-
There are several scriptures we find information about the life of Mary in. Of course we would. She is the mother of the Savior Of the World.We will do a quick run through on these moments in time and where they’re listed.
We find Mary is engaged to Joseph when she becomes pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph figuring out what to do. An angel of the Lord comes to him and explains the plan to him. She will have a son and his name will be Jesus. He will be the Savior of the world. Joseph is a just man and takes her as his wife.
That is just a quick quick run down of what we find in Matthew about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
These scriptures share many moments in time from Gabriel announcing the birth of Christ
to Mary conceiving of the Holy Spirit to Mary’s visit with Elizabeth.
Luke 2: 1-52
Luke chapter two is packed with goodness. We start out with the birth of Christ. Jesus birth is announced to the shepherds by the Angel. The shepherds visit Jesus. Jesus goes to Nazareth. Jesus celebrates Passover and Jesus grows in wisdom in Luke chapter two.
Mary is at the foot of the cross.
I have entitled this study, when God’s will is hard: chosen for a hard assignment because often times in the middle of God’s will are moments of toughness, loneliness and uncertainty.
It’s hard for us to grasp that God gets the glory in the middle of our tough season, our loneliness, uncertainty and social isolation but often times His will is accompanied by these things. She birthed the Savior of the world but let us not forget the heaviness of the assignment.
As we begin this story of the mother of Jesus, we automatically associate her with just that. She is the mother of Jesus but her story didn’t start out that way. She was young, poor and unknown. Yet she had extraordinary faith as we will see in the snippets of her life we are privy to. We see some attributes exposed in her life as she trusts Gods plan.
There is no fan fare as she is told she has been chosen. She doesn’t have facebook to announce her grand news of her new appointment on.
There are no parties thrown for her as she enters into this grand position placed on her by the Lord.
We often associate elevation with an assignment from the Lord but that’s not always so. No one would understand this assignment. It could get her stoned yet God had called her to it.
God had asked a lot from Mary.
Sometimes He asks a lot from us. We look at her story with grandeur that she was chosen as the mother of The Christ but oh how her story wasn’t grandiose to live in many ways.
Let’s dig into her faith walk, her ponderings, her love for her child and the road God has asked her to walk.
OUR MAIN POINTS WILL BE
HIGHLY FAVORED FOR ASSIGNMENT
RIDE TO DELIVERY
LET IT BE UNTO ME
REMEMBERING THIS IS HIS PLAN
-THE “COMMON” IS HIGHLY FAVORED-
There is so much goodness right from the get go in these passages.I love that in Luke 1:26 and the following passages, the angel speaks right to Mary. She was given direct instruction straight from Heaven.
Before we even start, can we just acknowledge how amazing that is?
We know this story so well I think often times it becomes too familiar and we fail to sit in the majesty of some of these moments. Scripture tells us that Mary gets a one on one encounter with a Heavenly visitor that speaks directly to her and converses with her. God uses Mary in a supernatural way. She was to have a child by the Holy Spirit and call His name Jesus. He will be the Savior of The world.
Let us not dismiss the fact that while God will not use us for immaculate conception, He can use us in supernatural ways.
Just as Mary partnered with the Lord and by faith stepping into the assignment God had for her, we do the exact same thing as we walk with Christ.
I have spent many years of my life realizing God used people in supernatural ways to accomplish His plans but not really coming to grips that He can and does use me in the same way.He uses and can use you as well.
God uses the “common” things and people of this world to do “uncommon” things for His kingdom.
If you feel yourself too “common” or ordinary just remember the life of Mary.
Luke 1:28 goes on to tell us Mary was highly favored to carry Jesus. She is to carry the Savior of the world. What an assignment! What an honor! We often times don’t look at it in this context “because we know the rest of the story” but from the get go in the flesh this definitely was a “how can this be” moment. She asks the angel that! How can this be?
The plan of God for her life is to be pregnant out of wedlock. We all know she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. God asks Mary to carry a child that could potentially cause her to be ridiculed.
There is absolutely no way we can compare our assignments to the assignment Mary had been given but when I look into the sovereignty of God I know He has assigned certain tasks and seasons for me to walk through as well.
I have definitely had moments of asking, “how can this be?” So I want us to look at moments when God doesn’t make sense yet He is producing a great work within us.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good pleasure.-Philippians 2:13
What a refreshing verse that is to keep in our “faith pocket”. What an awesome reminder to us that God chooses to use the common for uncommon purposes.
I am no different than Mary in many ways.She was very common. I am very common. Mary was a country girl from Jerusalem.I am a country girl from West Tennessee yet God chooses to use me every day to advance His kingdom.
In full transparency, I often times take that lightly. Just recently He has shown me once again that I matter and that I am a huge part of His kingdom. God uses you every day to advance His kingdom as well. No you didn’t birth the Savior of the world but you have influence nonetheless.
So often we walk around not realizing how important we are in the kingdom of God.
You are highly favored in the role He has chosen for you. You can’t read Psalm 139 without knowing just that.
I hope that sits heavy within your spirit. God can use you.
-THE RIDE TO DELIVERY-
We all know the story of Mary and Joseph and how they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. This was no easy ride.
No air conditioning,
No shock absorbers.
Her ride to delivery was a camel ride for 70 miles. While they are there, it’s time for Mary to give birth. Let me just say I can’t imagine the birth process in that day and time not counting the 70 mile camel ride. Birth is hard enough today with modern conveniences.
Let’s also keep in mind that she is still a young girl giving birth for the first time. She has been chosen by God to give birth to the King of Kings but she also is a young first time mom giving birth in a cattle stable after a 70 mile camel ride.
I have no doubt these women were tougher than we are today but that’s still a lot when you start laying the picture out there of what she’s been through.
HERE’S THE REVELATION….
She is smack dab in the middle of God’s will for her life yet it has taken her through some long rough roads.
-From pregnancy out of wedlock…
-To God choosing to use her in a “never happened before” kinda way….
-To a long camel ride fully pregnant…
-To giving birth in a stable….
Some scholars this 70-90 mile camel ride would have taken 4-5 days. Others believe it was more like a 10 day journey. We can only speculate. One thing is for sure is that she was very pregnant when she started this journey.
I can remember my mom really uncomfortable when she was pregnant with my little brother just going over potholes. I can’t imagine this long ride full of camel pot holes.
There was nothing easy about this assignment but she is right in the middle of God’s will.
Scripture is going to be fulfilled that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem. That’s how we know she is right where she is supposed to be.
Let’s apply that to our own lives, often times, the journey to where God is taking us is long just like the journey Mary was on. God has not left us when the journey is difficult. The journey may just be a difficult one.
God may call us to an unusual journey. Mary’s journey was one of a kind yet she was called by God to walk in it.
She had heard from God as to the specifics of the plan He had for her life and she is walking it out by faith.
As we walk this faith journey with Christ, there will be parts of our journey that are smack dab in the middle of God’s will that are difficult. Keep the faith in the middle.
What a blessing to be chosen by God and to trust Him through the unknowns in the journey He has chosen for your life.
A “common” faith filled follower can be used in “uncommon” ways for His glory. Make no mistake about it.
-LET IT BE UNTO ME-
In Luke chapter 2, we find Mary and Joseph are in the stable with baby Jesus. An angel has gone to the local shepherds and let them know that the Savior, the Christ has been born. The shepherds have been instructed where to find baby Jesus.This is very personal moment of child birth in a stable that is now on display for others to share in.
In Luke 1: 38, Mary had responded to the angel with a simple phrase. The phrase, “let it be unto me according to your word” holds a ton of faith to it. She is given a simple explanation of the plan God has designed for her life.
Oh to have a faith like the faith of this young girl Mary!!! That God could come to me and say this is your assignment and my response be, “let it be unto me according to your word”.
What faith goals as a woman?
As we walk in His designed plan for our lives, our lives becomes a living breathing testimony of who God is. Mary for sure is a living breathing testimony of what childlike faith looks like.
Our faith being seen by the world is a byproduct of walking out a real faith in Christ on a daily basis.
As I unpack the simple phrase, “let is be unto me according to your word”, it has shown me that this level of faith can happen in the life of a common girl that truly trusts her heavenly father.
-REMEMBERING THIS IS HIS PLAN-
I love in Luke 2:19 tells us Mary pondered these things in her heart.
During this wonderful moment of the Savior’s birth, Mary is found pondering. The shepherds have returned glorifying and praising God but Mary is found pondering. I have no doubt this was a whirlwind on Mary’s life. She has been chosen for this great assignment. She has gladly agreed yet she is pondering….
What is she pondering about?
We don’t know.
I don’t want to speculate but I can imagine where my mind would go.
My prayers would go something like this….”Oh God I will do your will but this is crazy.”
I think my prayers even after his birth would go something like this….“God I still can’t believe you’d use me”!
Maybe another thing I would pray is… “God please tell me the next thing that is going to happen so I can prepare myself. God this is a wild ride!”
Whatever her silent ponderings were, their significance made it into scripture. God hears our ponderings that are never uttered. They are significant to Him.
As we walk through faith assignments that are bigger than we are let us remember that our “ponderings”go along with it.
Let’s make sure we don’t delve into doubt as Zacharias did and be stricken mute because of it.
In John 19:25-27, we find Mary at the foot of the cross.
She is there for the railing.
She is there for the beating.
She is there for the words Jesus screams out to His heavenly Father.
She is there for the gambling of His garments.
She has been ring side for all of the ups and downs of Jesus ministry I have no doubt but still we see her finishing strong.
Yes! Mary is highly favored to carry the son of God. You could also take it one step further. She was highly favored to walk through the most darkest day in history, The death of Christ.
Being a woman God can trust for a hard task is such an honor.
Many of us have been chosen by God for some hard assignments as was Mary. Many times we wince with pain or doubt in the middle of a tough assignment and question if this was really God’s plan. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not God’s plan.
We can be sure we need to question some of the foundational layers of our faith when we question the hardness of our task He’s assigned to us.
If our “faithfulness” to God makes us question why He would allow us to go through tough seasons then we need to dig into our faith foundation.
We see countless examples of those faithful to God, wholly and blameless, upright before God go through tremendous trial for the glory of the kingdom.
Mary was no different. Mary started out as a young faithful woman. She continued through out her journey with Christ through horrific trials and family scorn yet remained faithful to the plan He had laid out for her life.
The bottom line is my life as a child of God is to give Him glory.
My life exists to bring Him glory.
My life doesn’t exist to never have trial. My life exist to give Him glory through the trial.
My life exist to trust Him through every season.
I can honestly say I am thankful for the sunshiny days that He allows the sun to shine on me and give me rest from tough seasons. He gives that more than I give Him credit for.
Mary’s life is a wonderful example of “uncommon” faith that never stopped.
The phrase spoken by Mary, “let it be unto me according to your word” packs a punch that we can all grow from.
What a prayer of selflessness to a Father who desired to use her?
What a calling on our lives to submit to a Holy God for Him to use us in His plan?
Let us learn to pray, “let is be unto me according to your word” and finish strong in the glorious plan He has for our lives.
Mary finished strong as she followed her son to the foot of the cross.
Carry your cross and finish strong.