"Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." Luke 1:45 NKJV
The Christmas story has a a life lesson that is much more than what it appears on the surface. The above verse is when Mary is visiting her cousin Elizabeth and this is what Elizabeth says after her unborn baby, later known as John the Baptist, leaped in her womb.
Mary is the picture of obedience and faithfulness. And not reluctantly. When the Angel of the Lord first came to her and told her of God's request, did she say, "O.K., well thank you Mr. Angel. Let me think about it and I will let you know in a few of days." or "Well, Mr. Angel, this is all very nice, but I'm pretty busy right now. Can you come back in a couple of months? Maybe by then my calendar will open up."
No, she was a faithful servant, and humbly said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38 NKJV) And as I was reading the full passage, I am struck with the thought that God didn't tell Mary through His Angel, that this is how it was going to be and just do it. The way that Mary responded is that she knew it was a request. That she had the right to say 'yes' or 'no'. And she chose to say, 'yes'.
Isn't that the heart of God? He doesn't ever force Himself or His will into our lives. He always gives us the choice--the free will--to decide for ourselves. He doesn't want His precious child, you, to serve Him in fear or grudgingly. No. He desires to have a relationship with you that is open and candid.
As I ponder more on Mary's story, I pray that I have a Mary's spirit to be able to say 'yes' without question--without hesitation--when the Lord speaks into my life. How about you? Do you realize that the more you say 'yes', the more opportunities are opened up? The more times you are faithful, the rippling effect is contagious. It goes way beyond just you and your life. It may go farther and touch more people and lives than you ever dream of.
This Christmas season, pray for the gift of "free will" obedience. Can you imagine the spiritual opportunities that you may be opening yourself up to? It's a gift that will keep on giving.