I love thinking about the Christmas story from Mary’s vantage point.
Everyone remembers being a teenager… you’re figuring out your gifts and beginning to envision the future. Imagine teenage Mary and her prospects for the future as a poor, obscure Jew. Suddenly, she is visited by an angel and endowed with a mandate like no other in history!
“In the Sixth Month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!’” (Luke 1:26-28, 31-33).
Despite her questions and the magnanimity of the angel’s revelation, Mary’s response is total obedience: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Mary understands her call
Total obedience requires that you understand your calling.
Surprisingly, our call is essentially the same as Mary’s. And Christmas always seems to bring a renewed sense of expectancy, wonder and urgency to be obedient to the call.
As a believer, you carry the miraculous mandate to birth Jesus into your world.
Mary understands her times
As Mary accepts her call to be the mother of the Messiah, she factors in the reality of her times.
People of her day were waiting for a Messiah to come. Yet the most highly educated among them resisted the idea that the Messiah would come while still under Rome’s oppression.
But this simple, young woman — by faith — cut through the cultural clutter and heard nothing but the voice of God. Sensing the power of the Holy Spirit, she put aside the circumstance and situations that clouded other people’s minds inhibiting them from understanding that it was, indeed, the right time.
“…All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NLT).
While Mary lived God’s first Kairos moment, we are living in immanency of His second coming.
That’s nothing short of exciting and motivating!
Mary understands her anointing
When the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, she was immediately transformed from a fearful young Jewish girl to a Spirit-led woman infused with boldness and purpose. She even burst forth in a song of faith:
“From now on all generations are going to call me blessed.”
What catalyzed her change was God’s anointing and the realization of who she is in Christ.
If Christ is in you, the Holy Spirit rests on you and you ARE anointed.
Just because the anointing came on Mary that day doesn’t mean that suddenly all of her roles and responsibilities became easy. In fact, she experienced the greatest days of trial and tribulation ahead of her. The walk to Bethlehem, the rejection at the manger, the persecution of Herod, the mocking and laughing of the people around her her entire life, Gethsemane, Calvary, the empty tomb.
We, like Mary, have every reason in the book not to have faith and confidence in ourselves. I don’t have the strength, the ability, the talent or education to do this. There are people who can do things far better than me. But we have been chosen, and nothing is impossible for Him!
“His divine power (i.e. the Spirit) has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).
There is nothing more gratifying than the moment you say, “Lord, I am your anointed one.” It’s the only thing worth living for: having the faith to believe, have boldness to walk confidently in our anointing despite obstacles.
I want to be like Mary, who recognized her calling and refused to waver. I pray that as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we take a moment to aspire to Mary’s fortitude as we renew and celebrate the reason for this season. We’ve been birthed into this pivotal moment in history for a reason. This Christmas, I pray that our hearts will be fully focused on walking in our anointing.
A prayer anointing from Rob
Jesus, help us to hear your voice today, Lord, as clearly as on that day when Mary heard your voice and understood her destiny and her mandate for her life. Lord, I pray that all of us would walk in that same certainty of calling. Oh God, open our eyes to see the unseen. Open our eyes to see how soon your coming is. Invade our lives, Lord Jesus, so that we can see what You see, Lord God. So we can see Your Word going out to these nations, even this morning Lord God, and hope coming into homes, Lord Jesus. We can’t see them all, Lord God. Our vision is so limited, Lord, we don’t know all the stories. We try and capture them but Lord, You look down and You see them. You see every one of them. You know them by name, Lord. And You urge us on as your people today. And Your anointing is available to us as Your people, to once again be renewed by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to come in and invade our lives with all of our fears and all of our doubts and all of our need. Oh Jesus, anoint your people, Lord God. Lord, we look forward to fulfilling the destiny you’ve set before us. We pray that every person on this planet would have the chance to know who You are, Lord. Help us to understand it, help us to see it.
Lord, I pray for anyone who has been feeling discouraged in their walk, Lord. That the power of Your Holy Spirit would touch them this morning, and You would transform them. Lord, I pray that they would have a certainty of their calling.
Lord, we pray for those that we serve today. We pray for the literally hundreds of thousands of workers around the world that we serve. Help us to see them today, Lord. Help us to see them going in behind enemy lines with white flags. Help us to see them walking those extra miles in the heat. Help us to see them facing persecution and mockery. And Lord, I pray that we would pledge to do our best, not only for You, but for them as well, Lord. And one day Father, when everything is revealed, and we stand with You in eternity Lord, and you wrap Your arms around Mary and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant, with you I am well pleased”… Lord, may we be standing in that same line, to feel Your same embrace upon our lives.
In your name we pray, Jesus, amen.
Rob is President of OneHope and Chairman of the board at Oral Roberts University (ORU). His innovative Outcome Based Ministry model and training has helped thousands of global ministries shift their paradigm and begin incorporating best practices that dramatically increase their effectiveness.