Today in church, my pastor spoke about the all too popular Christmas story but for the first time something caught my eye that I have never seen before (shout out to Pastor Kirk of Living Hope Alliance Church) Here is a summary of the story: Mary had been betrothed to Joseph and one day, an angel appears to her and tells her she is favored of God and that she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the savior of the whole world.
A careful look at the story reveals some very interesting things: Even though Mary received God’s favor, her life did not suddenly get easy. She was about to be faced by a difficult situation- she was going to become a pregnant virgin who was betrothed to a man who was not responsible for that pregnancy! Talk of awkward and the possible ridicule and shaming! Many Christians today pray for favor and while that is a good thing, favor does not always or necessarily guarantee easy. What favor guarantees is that you get the presence and power of God within you and overshadowing you as was the case for Mary. She was overcome with power from on high as the presence of God in the form of a baby inhabited her.
Another thing was that even though Mary had been favored of God, receiving the power and presence of God was not automatic. Mary had to say yes to those things and she did so with the famous words “be it done unto me according to thy word”. Have you made a willing choice to be a carrier of God’s power and presence? Do you make this choice everyday to be an honorable vessel that carries His power and presence?
A large house contains not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. Some indeed are for honorable use, but others are for common use. So if anyone cleanses himself of what is unfit, he will be a vessel for honor: sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work.2Timothy 2:20-21 BSB