Responding to God in Faith 2
In our article last week we saw how Zacharias responded to the news of the birth of his son John the Baptist in unbelief and not in faith.
This week, in stark contrast, we want to see how the Virgin Mary responded in faith to God’s announcement to her that she had been chosen to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:26-38 NKJV: Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth , 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 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. 36 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. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Here, we see Mary’s response was in faith and not doubt. Her response was Word centered not self centered:
‘Let it be to me according to your word’.
The question then is why was Mary’s response Word centered and in faith while Zacharias’ was self centered and in unbelief?
Mary had developed the habit of speaking, praying and meditating on God’s Word daily.
Luke 2:19 NKJV: But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:51 NKJV: His mother kept all these things in her heart.
It was this habit which she had had all these years that qualified her to be chosen to give birth to the Christ.
Joshua 1:8 NKJV: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Romans 10:17-18 NKJV: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Obviously, Zacharias did a lot of physical activity in the service of God, probably read the scriptures daily, as a matter of routine, but did not ponder on it in his heart. His prayers must have been routine ceremonial prayers but not from the heart. So when the angel Gabriel appeared to bring him good news in a spectacular supernatural manner he responded in fear and doubt and not in faith.
The lesson is that our service of God must not just be a lot of physical ceremonial or even moralistic physical good works alone commendable as these may be. All physical good works and service must be done on a foundation of keeping spiritual law by the Word and prayer from the heart.
By doing this, we will position ourselves in a place where God will be able to chose and use us as He did Mary, for holy and noble purposes for the furtherance of His Kingdom and for His glory.