December 1, 2019 • Life for Leaders
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Faith is uncomfortable, and is almost always associated with the impossible. It’s this unorthodox dance between God and human beings where God speaks surreal things and then we respond with obedience to produce supernatural or highly improbable results. Such was the case with the Virgin Mary. She was minding her business, when suddenly her life was interrupted by a divine intervention. Actually, it could be characterized as a divine inconvenience. Mary had just been notified that her much older and barren cousin, Elizabeth, was pregnant. Now the archangel Gabriel was pronouncing more life changing news — Mary would supernaturally conceive the Son of God.
Has God ever spoken something to you that absolutely rocked your world? I mean something so improbable and laughable that you wanted to take a nap just to quiet the barrage of questions that had suddenly crowded your mind? The struggle that we have with faith is not the hearing of it, but the response we must give. Truth be told, hearing what God will do is the easy part. Holding on to what God said and responding properly until it manifests is the part that causes us heartburn. Maybe this is less because we doubt God, but more because we lack confidence in our ability to respond correctly to these divine pronouncements.
Faith is not a one-time response that is only displayed at the announcement of God’s plan. True faith to produce requires consistent trust (evidenced by obedience and submission) until the declaration becomes a manifestation. Like Mary, God has declared some impossible things to you, and you are in the midst of waiting for God’s Word in you to mature to a place of manifestation. This season of Advent is a celebration of the anticipated arrival of our Savior into the world. Christ was the solution to our sin problem. He was also the restorer of our breached fellowship with God. All of this promise, hope, restoration, and victory depended on Mary’s faith to submit to the plan of God. As a leader, your faith has the power to produce freedom and victory for others. This is why, like Mary, your response matters. Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant…may your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary recognized that this moment was bigger than she was, so she responded with simplicity. In essence her response was “whatever you say will be my truth.”
Your faith matters. The solution that you carry for the Kingdom matters. We have already seen the fulfillment of Advent in Christ’s birth. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the impossible promise of God that you carry. It is time for you to display your faith to produce.
God, we believe, but help our unbelief. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Gabriel is God’s messenger angel. But he is not an archangel.