Let the countdown to Christmas continue…five days! As I frantically wrap all the gifts for under our tree, including stocking items (why did I start that?!?!), I love the time we’re spending to pull gifts from Luke 1, unwrap God’s truth for us, receive it and make it our own. We’re all busy, so let’s get right to it. We’ll finish up verses 26-38 today, and God willing, I will have the time to write and post the more gifts from God’s word in the rest of Luke 1 and in Matthew 1:18-25.
Here we go!
Gift Six – Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be…” (verse 34a).
TRUTH: It’s okay ask God questions.
How is it that Zacharias asked, “How shall I know?” and Mary asks “How can this be?” and he suffers the consequence of unbelief for questioning God but she doesn’t?
Remember, in the Greek, Zacharias is asking God: How can I know absolutely? I mean seriously Lord, how can I be sure? Have you seen my wife? Shall I show you the date on her birth certificate? How can I have knowledge of this? How can I possibly perceive this as possible? How can I speak of this? How can I be sure? How can I understand?
Mary, on the other hand, is using the word esomai (eh’-so-my). She’s asking:
How shall this come to pass?
What’s going to follow?
What will happen next?
One is questioning God; the other is asking questions of God.
One is unbelief; one is tell me more.
The angel hasn’t yet explained how this would happen, so what do you think she’s thinking?
Will Joseph be the father?
Will we come together and produce this Son of God?
How is this going to happen?
When God speaks to us, we’re going to have questions. It’s natural and it’s okay! He knows our hearts and what’s behind our questioning: is it unbelief or wonder?
QUESTION: What questions do you need God to answer for you?
Gift Seven – “…since I do not know a man?” (verse 34b).
TRUTH: God’s timing for everything is specific and intentional.
Mary was betrothed; she was engaged but hadn’t had sex. If she had become pregnant after having “known” Joseph, her pregnancy could have been explained in the natural, but she’s going to become pregnant in her betrothed state without sleeping with Joseph. If people back then were anything like us today, I’m sure people found explanation through speculation of indiscretion, but there was no way of explaining it to the two who knew for sure it wasn’t them!
God is going to do things in a way that can only be Him. Mary hadn’t ever even been with a man. By her question, she didn’t intend to before their marriage was consummated, so there’s no way in the physical realm she could see herself becoming pregnant. NONE.
We saw this in Elizabeth’s circumstances too. She was old and barren, and that’s when God chose to birth new life in her. In both cases, the physically impossible would appear to make what God was saying impossible, but His timing was specific and intentional.
His timing in our lives is specific and intentional, too.
QUESTION: What’s happening in your life that needs to hope of God’s perfect timing?
Gift Eight – And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (verse 35).
TRUTH: The Lord conceives and brings forth the impossible in and through us by the Holy Spirit upon us.
If you don’t get anything else out of today’s gifts of truth, get this!!!
Mary asks, “How can this be?” and Gabriel tells her exactly how: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…”
When we’re staring down the impossible after hearing from God and we ask, “How can this be?” this is our answer too! Friends, when the Lord births something in us because He desires to bring forth the life of His Son in and through us, His Holy Spirit will come upon us and His power will overshadow us in order to produce that life in us!
Throughout scripture both in the Old and New Testaments the Holy Spirit comes upon God’s people to accomplish His will in given circumstances. He is no different today; He will empower us to do what He’s called us to do!
QUESTION: What is God asking of you that’s going to require the Holy Spirit upon you?
Gift Nine – “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren” (verse 36).
TRUTH: Our impossible may be in preparation for another’s impossible and vice versa.
Six months before Gabriel visited Mary, he visited Elizabeth. Six months before Mary received her impossible news of an impossible conception, so had Elizabeth! Just as the Lord was already at work in the impossible of Elizabeth’s circumstances to prepare her for the impossible of Mary’s circumstances, so He is at work in others’ impossible circumstances in preparation for the impossible to which He calls us.
I had two conversations with women I’d never met before last week, women who are living on the edge of faith, giving God their “Yes!” without any further detail of what that might mean, and they are seeing the Lord work in mighty and miraculous – impossible – ways! As I listened to their testimonies, longing to have that kind of faith and obedience, their impossible encouraged and prepared my heart for all the Lord will make possible as I follow the impossible I see before me. As I listened, though, was able to believe and celebrate their impossible because of the impossible I’ve seen the Lord do in my life already.
We need allies in our impossible, and others need us to be their allies in their impossible.
QUESTION: Do you have or are you another’s ally in the impossible?
Gift Ten – “For with God nothing will be impossible” (verse 37).
TRUTH: With God, nothing is impossible.
He doesn’t say most things. He says NOTHING.
Whatever your impossible, like we touched on last week, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE with God. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and God Himself lived inside her to bring forth Jesus through her. We are no different! Christ lives in us, and with God, nothing is impossible when it comes to bringing forth the life of Christ in us.
To whatever impossible you face in becoming like Jesus or in His life being lived out through you, declare the very words of Christ to your impossible:
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
This is both a promise to us that all things are possible with Him, and it’s a premise: something that is foundational to who God is and His sovereignty to do whatever it takes to bring to pass His perfect will, regardless of the impossibilities we see standing in our way.
All impossibilities become possible with God.
This isn’t license to decide our possible. It’s not a promise for a name-it-and-claim-it approach to God, by which we decide the impossible we want and declare His promises over it. God’s kingdom purposes will determine the impossible He will make possible, and whatever it is, we can know that with God, nothing is impossible.
QUESTION: Do I believe all things are possible with God?
Gift Eleven – Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (verse 38).
TRUTH: Yielding to God’s word is our best option!
Mary saw herself as nothing more than a servant of the Lord – someone He could do with and ask whatever He wanted. She could have argued, resisted, whined and complained, but instead, she yielded to the will of the Father.
I want to be Mary! I want a servant’s heart that says, “Let it be to me according to Your word,” even the hard parts. Even the parts that seem scary. Even the parts I don’t completely understand.
QUESTION: Am I yielded to God, willing that it be to me according to His word, even if it’s inconvenient and hard?
Let’s close with specific applications or the “Big Questions” for today’s passage:
- Do I see the life of Christ as God’s greatest most miraculous work in me?
- Do I trust the Holy Spirit to bring about the life of Christ in me?
- Am I willing to be the maidservant of the Lord?
Here’s how our “Big Gifts” from the beginning of yesterday’s blog answer!
- God chooses whom He uses and uses whom He chooses; He brings forth the life of Jesus in us.
- WITH GOD, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
- Our part is to love God and yield ourselves to Him in trusting obedience.
This is the gift of God’s word, the gift that keeps on giving, literally…into eternity!
Come back tomorrow, or if you’d like these posts to come directly to your inbox, just enter your email at the top right corner of this page where it says, “Sign Up!” You’ll get a post each day there’s something new, but after Christmas, I only send one email a week, and that’s only if there’s something new. I promise not to clutter your inbox!
 “G2071 – esomai – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (NKJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 15 Dec, 2016. <https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2071&t=NKJV>.