One of my favorite parts of the story of the birth of our Savior, is when the angel told Mary she would have this baby Jesus. “During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl named Mary, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Rejoice, beloved young woman, for the Lord is with you and you are anointed with great favor.”
Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.”
Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!” Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. “Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!” Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.” Luke 1:26-38 Passion Bible
Mary was startled and didn’t understand what the Angel was saying to her but do you notice what the angel said? “Do not yield to your fear,”. Your fear. Wow! When we have fear, it is our fear we have chosen to yield to. That’s a powerful truth to mediate on. Mary believed. When she didn’t yield to her fear, Mary had peace. The past couple weeks the Lord has been showing me that I have made a decision to yield to my fear.
The last couple of years all of us have had a life shift, an actual “suddenly” that effected our lives in some way. The Word tells us what the reaping and outcome of a godless nation and world would look like. He has told us through His Word how to prepare our hearts for such a time. When our world got turned upside down almost 3 years ago, I didn’t have much fear. I listened to faith-based news believing and trusting the Lord. I trust Him with all my heart, but my own understanding creeps in sometimes. I have to resist the temptation to fear.
But fear got in my heart big time! In what way? With making sure we had enough food, water, and were prepared for the nuke attack that is supposedly inevitable. I heard words that were not God based but fear based and let them in. I’m sharing this today because I know I cannot be the only one. The picture that has been painted for the holidays is very gloom. I took extra efforts to be sure we would have enough food. But then the thought comes, “What is enough?” Right there was the clue I wasn’t trusting Him because HE IS ENOUGH!! He told me to remember that I was taught from childhood to always have food. As farmers and a self-employed family, you always prepared for a tough winter. We always have food in our freezers, canned goods, a wood stove, a gas stove, and the basic stuff for eating for a couple months, probably more like 6 months at least. Yet, I thought I wasn’t prepared enough because of FEAR. I think my real fear was being sure I could take care of Mom. That’s a huge responsibility and I wanted ENOUGH☹. It hurts me to write this and that I let my heart go that far but I know I am not the only one. I got where I was snipping at Ed if he used too much butter since it was a staple I wanted to not run out of. He just went on using the butter😊. The Lord has been working on my heart daily for the last couple years peeling away the “not enoughs” that creeped in with all the situations that happened. Not enough help, not enough time, not enough finances, too many bills, not enough fellowship, not enough room, not enough at church, not enough love, and the list goes on.
I’m so grateful Mary didn’t have that answer. Mary didn’t yield to fear so her heart was open to say, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” As His servant, I accept whatever He has for me. That is how I want to answer Him when He speaks to my heart. That is my desire.
One of my next favorite parts of this story is in Luke 2:21-35. This is where Joseph and Mary take Jesus to be dedicated. An elderly man, Simeon, was waiting for them to come. “For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him, Simeon, that he would not see death before he saw the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. Keeping his promise, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered to fulfill the requirement of the sacrifice.” (26-27) Simeon means, “he who hears”. I want to be a Simeon. I do hear and I do believe but this attack of fear coming from my position of responsibility took me off course. I did hear the Lord say, “you have prepared with supplies, you have enough. I AM ENOUGH”. Sometimes we hear, listen to understand, and take to heart the wrong advice. It’s “that take to heart” part. My heart wasn’t guarded but consumed with responsibility instead of faith, trust, hope, joy and love. We can hear and listen to warnings and suggestions but then we must filter those words through the I AM ENOUGH truth. We have made declarations, we’ve spoken His Truth into our lives and for me, I am living in His peace this Christmas season. “For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
The last few months I cannot say that I answered as readily as Mary. I did yield to MY fear. We all do at some point but the answer is not to stay there but to spend so much time in His presence that you know that you know how much you are loved by Him. If He says we can do this, we can. He gave us a way to live and walk in all of His promises but we have to trust, believe and obey. When we give in to the power of deceit, we get going in in whirlwind of waves that tosses us to and fro, up and down. If we are not putting His truths in our heart, meditating on His promises, letting the Holy Spirit flow through us and not being still to know He is I Am, we end up with some fear. Knowing without a shadow of doubt that He loves me no matter what and that His love is unconditional changed how I can come to the throne of grace. “So now wrap your heart tightly around the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises!” Hebrews 10:23
My fear is this area of “being prepared for the worst” is being healed and gone. I now choose His promises and seek Him daily, hourly, minute by minute. I let His love saturate my heart so I can trust, believe and obey His words for me. “You’re my place of quiet retreat, and your wraparound presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your Word!” Psalm 119:114
During this Christmas season take extra time to seek Him. Desire to be as prepared in your heart, not in this world, as Mary was. To trust the Lord with all your heart, to believe him and know not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God! His love for us is beyond our comprehension but with Him living in us and through His grace and the Holy Spirit we can have all He has for us if we choose to. Don’t yield to your fears. Cast your fears on Him.
For me, I am making this the best Christmas ever, not the worst. My heart is full of ideas to share His love with my kids, grandchildren, great-granddaughter and others in special ways that He is showing me. It’s not gloom time like some speak, but a time to speak and believe “Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!” Make a choice to let Him guide you in amazing ways this Christmas season. People are seeking and we KNOW their answer.