Wednesday, October 21, 2009
An odd question, don't you think? Well, not really, as you will see when you are done reading this short writing. It is a writing I have had on my mind for quite some time. I felt this was the right time to write it. Several years ago while I was studying the Word, I came across the chapter where the angel came to Mary and told her that she would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and she would give birth to the Son of God. I stopped and thought about her reaction. How frightened would any of us have been if an angel appeared to us and told us the same thing? I have seen the same angel twice, and wrote about it in “My Life Of Miracles”, and I realized that I had not been frightened when I saw that angel.
But have the Son of God? That is a whole other country! I had to stop reading and really try to think about what I would have said or done. I realize that a lot of the stories in the Word are parables and that within the story is another story or lesson. But it didn't come to me right then. I walked around asking questions like I usually, because I found out a long time ago that if I didn't understand something in the Word, all I had to do was ask and in due time I would get the response and receive revelation. First I had to ask the obvious question; 'Why Mary? What was so special about her?' She was a young woman of 16 or 17 from what I have learned, but her age doesn't matter. She was also not from royalty, no blue blood, or any title. She was an average peasant young girl who lived with her parents and was betrothed to Joseph, a peasant from the same village.
I couldn't find anything that would have made her the perfect candidate for this task. Of course I was thinking with my own human mind. I knew there had to be more to what I was reading and thinking. So I waited and listened and waited some more. I returned to the same place in the Bible and read more about Mary. Not being Catholic I knew only what I had read in the Bible, and since she is not spoken of very much in other churches I had nothing but a few sentences to go by. I knew that Catholics prayed to her, something I have never done, and most have statues of her in their homes, their cars and even have altars built to her.
Let me clarify something here. I am not against Catholics, or any other religion. I believe that God didn't give one sect or another all the truth and not to any other denominations or groups. Man would only use it as a weapon to control others. No, I believe that God gave all the different religions a part of the truth, because in every thing that I have read about other denominations and creeds, a part of the truth is hidden within them. I think that God did this so that maybe someday, we would all come together and and piece it all together, like a quilt, and we would be able to see the whole picture. I think that even those people who pray to man made likenesses of those who were considered saints, would also lead them back to God. Many of these saints believed in God and if their stories or biographies are read, they speak about that faith in God, and point the way back to God.
Growing up most of my girlfriends were Catholic and they were always saying, 'Mary, Joseph and Jesus' when they heard or saw something that surprised them or frightened them. I was used to 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost', never Joseph and Mary mentioned. It would not be until much later that I would question this, but it is not for this article. I will include that in another one. But I knew there had to be a very good reason for her being mentioned in the Word, aside from the story about giving birth to the Son of God. Though that was certainly a very good reason, I sensed there was another reason I had been stopped at that chapter in particular. One of the things that came to me when I recalled that many people prayed not only to Mary, but to numerous other saints who had once lived on the earth, other humans who had been declared saints by the Vatican.
I paused at this and recalled that before Jesus died on the Cross, He had told the disciples that after He went to the Father, 'you will then ask nothing of me, but of my Father for I go to Him'. That to me meant that we were not to pray to Him but to the Father, in His name, but not directly to Him. I had to pause there too because nearly all Christians I know pray to Jesus. Were we wrong in doing so? Well, the word 'wrong' didn't seem to apply but I did wonder, and set it aside for a question to answer later. I didn't want to go forward until the Mary questions were answered. I had learned a long time ago that God always has a reason for giving me questions to answer. He was trying to tell me something. So I persisted and kept listening, not wanting to move forward or go on to anything else. I have had God stop me and keep me on a verse for over 30 days and disclosed many things through one verse.
The answer that I got was not unexpected, though I had never really voiced it. Mary was selected simply because she was willing to do what was asked of her. No other reason. She was simply willing to comply with God's desire. (Read “What Does Love Mean to God?) She may have been frightened, nervous and maybe even panicked, but she made the decision to simply obey. She didn't know how it was going to happen, she was a virgin. She didn't know why she had been selected. She didn't question the angel, though I am sure in her mind, which must have been racing, every question must have crossed her frenzied mind. Did she know that her son was going to be crucified? I don't think so. Would she have agreed, had she known? We will never know because we don't have any written testimony as to her faith and trust in God. However, I imagine she must have had both or she might not have agreed to anything. Why didn't she get frightened when the angel appeared before her? From personal experience, I can tell you that when an angel appears to you, you will not be frightened either. I wasn't, and I have seen the same angel twice, in two different states; California and Texas. He must be my personal angel, though God has assigned more than one to me. I don't know his name but he looked exactly the same both times. Tall, over 6 feet, very blond hair, muscular and looks to be around 30 years old, but he may be ancient, since I don't think God made 'more' angels, once having made the first batch. They don't die, so he must be as old as time, God's time.
Having gone through all these thoughts in my head, I felt more than ever that God had something else to tell me about Mary. Mary didn't know, or maybe she sensed, that if she were to have a child out of wedlock, she would be criticized, ostracized even, and maybe even shunned by her family. We don't know exactly what she went through but do know that Joseph, her intended, was quite upset. What man wouldn't be? But he got over it with the 'help' of God. I am sure he was 'encouraged' by God to do the right thing by Mary, even if it wasn't his child.
As I was going through all these ramblings in my mind, I thought maybe this was what God wanted me to see; that Mary had endured much and that all of us would be asked the same of God. I know this is the reason many of us don't give our will over to God because we are afraid of what He may ask us to do. It has for very long been a fallacy that we are asked 'to suffer for God'. I am not sure where that is in the scripture, but I can tell you that any suffering we do for God is not that God requires it, but it happens at the hands of man, not God. It is man who points a finger at the people of God and judges them, criticizes them and have persecuted them throughout history. God doesn't require that we suffer for Him, but He does say that for His name's sake we will due to what man does. I get very upset when I hear people say, 'I am suffering for God'. I feel like telling them, 'don't you think He has suffered enough? This especially riles me when I hear that people think they have an illness because they are suffering for God! What happened to Isaiah 53:5, 'by his stripes we were healed?' Don't even get me started on that! That story is included in 'My Life Of Miracles'.
Yes, there was a lesson in Mary's story, many stories in fact, and lessons. But the one I didn't expect came just as I thought I had learned all I was supposed to. As l was getting ready to walk away from the story, I heard it very clearly and it stopped me in my tracks. 'If you let me, I will also create a Jesus in you, just as I did in Mary'. This is what the story of Mary is about and why it was an immaculate conception! The parable of how God wants to create a Jesus inside of everyone of us! Two reasons it had to be an immaculate conception. The first one was so no 'man' could take credit for having sired the chosen one of God. Secondly, because birthing a child in the miraculous way He did, was His way of telling us that He could do the same for us IF WE WERE WILLING, like Mary. That is all He requires for us, to be willing to let Him do the work in us so we can Jesus created in us and we could be Christ like!
Are you a Mary? Does that question seem odd now? It shouldn't be. This is what the big hurdle is; to trust God enough to allow Him to do a work in us and we represent Jesus wherever we go and whatever we do. This is the work only the Holy Spirit can do and it doesn't require that we struggle to get there. There is nothing we can do except allow God to do the work in us. Anything we do ourselves will be useless and worthless because only God can do the work that changes our heart, and our spirit.
The Word says that we do not know our hearts, only God does, and why it is required the He do the work. Besides, when He does the work, it is permanent. We have all tried to be good and patient, peaceful, and loving, and so many other things, and we all know it doesn't work because we are making 'human' effort to be Christ Like and it doesn't work, does it? We can do it for a short time and then some unlovely person comes into our lives and guess what? We go from Christ Like to brat like in 30 seconds flat! So we get into the guilt and condemnation mode and have to go back to square one, again! In the meantime God is standing by waiting for us to get out of the way, His way, and allow Him to do what He does best; make us new creations and help us to be re-born.
Getting out of the way is not easy for us humans (read my “You Must Be a Child to Enter”) and some of us, like me, are stubborn ad contrary.
Mary doesn't appear to have argued with God but do you think she may not have had a few things to say to God when she started getting static from Joseph and maybe her family and friends? I think so, but it is no different than what we go through and you know What? God knows the dust He made us from and He expects us to throw a tantrum here and there and to fear the unknown. That is what makes us human and why He is God and has to do the work in us.
The Word speaks about how God once having started a work in us, He says, 'shall I not bring it to the birth?' This is why when we witness to someone, we merely plant the seed, but it is God who waters it and once the Word of God goes forth, it shall not return to Him void. This is why when we speak for God, we need to be sure that it is what He wanted us to say and do. Speaking God's Word to any one does no harm, but if it isn't the right time, it will bear no fruit because the person hearing the Word has to have soil that is ready to receive it. God does not deal with us the same way because we are all different, and we have different histories and experiences in our background. Some of us are more pliable than others and some of us fight, scream, kick, rant and rave all the way to our own spiritual rebirth. Trust me, I know. It is not by accident that I call myself God's Favorite Daughter! Why? Because whom He loves He chastises and He loves me a lot!
I tried to imagine what I would have said or done if an angel came to me and said I was going to give birth to any child out of wedlock, never mind the Son of God! Well, now I know that is why He picked Mary and not me! And stand by and watch my Son being crucified? I would have been like a commando and attached the entire village to save him or die trying. See why He didn't pick me?
In any case, the Jesus He wants to create in us is of no lesser importance to God because we have a work to do while on the earth. His plan for humanity is no less worthwhile now than it was before. In fact, I told God once that I wished I had been on the earth while Jesus was on the earth. Of course we have all felt that way at one time or another but He said, 'during those times people had to see to believe and yet many still didn't. I have picked people for this particular time because they believe without seeing'. I know that made me feel better, doesn't it you? It is difficult to believe without seeing, isn't it? But keep in mind that if we really listened and paid attention, we would see God ever more clearly.
It occurred to me that maybe Mary knew God well enough that she knew what we so often forget; that God means to do good for us and not evil. However, at that time Jesus was not yet born and the enemy not yet defeated. So things were a lot worse, wouldn't you say? We have a totally different situation than Mary had to face. We have the Lord Jesus, His sacrifice and His salvation. Mary didn't have that. She could not go directly to the Father. Remember that the veil had not yet been rent, as it was after Jesus was crucified. She could not ask the Holy Spirit for help. She, in fact, had to walk in blind faith. She didn't know that her son would be crucified when He was 33. Remember that at that time people saw many things done to people who didn't obey or believe like the priests of that day.
I don't know if Mary saw the injustices done to the people by these priests, or felt that God was a God of wrath and felt she had no choice but to go along with what the angel came to tell her. All of that is immaterial, what is is important is that she was willing to do as God asked.
Did God ask another young woman to bear His Son and that young woman refuse? No, I don't think so. God knew that Mary would be the one who would be willing. That said, be assured that when God asks us to do something, He already knows if we will do something, or if we are capable of following His Plan for us. Remember that He is the author and finisher of our faith and only He knows the work He has done in us for us to be able to do what He asks. This should give us reassurance that if God asks us to do something, He has already prepared us. Remember the saying, 'God never gives us more than we can bear?' This has been misinterpreted to mean that He is going to put us through pain and that no matter how much we hurt, we will survive it. Does that sound like what a Father would do? No.
This scripture means that He will not ask us to do something we are not prepared to do because of His work in us. So, yes Mary may have felt a little trepidation at giving birth to any child, never mind the Son of God, but I realized that she didn't know He was the Son of God she was going to give birth to. She was only told that she would bear a son and what His name was going to be. I bring that up because often we hear what we should do and we want to know the outcome. How is it going to affect us? Will we go through suffering, be hurt, suffer loss, and on and on.
I realized that then, as now, Mary wasn't told she would bear the Son of God, just a son because can you imagine what she would have gone through if she told anyone she was pregnant with the Son of God? They would have stoned her for blasphemy, at the very least! And so it is that we today are not always told 'why' we are being asked to do whatever is asked of us. We want to know the end result but God knows our heart, and if He told us the end result, and it isn't something that we can 'see' in our lives for what ever the reason, we would balk, be unwilling to do as He wills. But we only do this if we don't know God well enough to trust him and have faith in Him.
Have faith and trust in God that if He asks you to do something, it is because He has already prepared you for it. Have trust that He means you good and not evil. What kind of Father would He be if He wanted just blind trust to prove that you truly thought of Him as the Creator? He would be an arrogant and controlling, and yes even an egotistical God. God has no ego and He is not arrogant and He doesn't play games with us to see if we will do as He bids just to see if He is in charge. He knows He is and all He wants is to have His children enjoy what His Son and He paid for.
Lastly, when we are asked to do things that we feel we are not 'qualified' to do, remember that you didn't apply for the job, He chose it for you. He doesn't make any mistakes when He chooses someone. He is the perfect Human Resources Manager and always selects the perfect person to do any job He has in mind for each of us. So do not ever say, 'Father, I am not qualified to do that! I have never done it before!' Or whatever other nonsense you can think of . He has already trained you, you just may not know it. Besides, you go in HIS POWER, not your own. But you are only able to do whatever you do IF it is His Will that you do so. He said, 'I will light a lamp onto your feet', not 'I will light the way in the horizon so you can see what to expect'. No, just onto our feet, meaning that He wants to guide us step by step, not in leaps and bounds.
So I went back to Mary and asked myself, 'did she wonder what would happen to her if she got pregnant while still out of wedlock?' We will never know what she thought, or if she questioned it at all. Maybe that is why there is nothing about Mary's reaction after the Angel left. Maybe she didn't question anything, maybe she did, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that she was willing and that the result was that she bore Jesus. That is all we should look at and in so doing, follow suit. Allow God to create a Jesus in us and be grateful that we don't have to see him being crucified! Oh, really? Well, let me assure you that there will be many people and many things that will attempt to kill the Jesus in you. This includes family, friends, neighbors, circumstances, situations, and many other things. Most of all, be aware that you will be the first culprit who will put your 'Jesus' in jeopardy because we are the ones whom we have to fight to keep what God is trying to give us. As someone once said, trying to be funny, I looked for the enemy and the enemy was US!
Let me just in passing say, that too many of us pay entirely too much attention and give too much credit to the enemy. Lest you have forgotten, when Jesus died on the cross the enemy 'was publicly humiliated and defeated. And he was sent to the pit where he belongs.' Then God asks, 'Why do you then go by the rules of the earth as you are no longer subject to them?' This is my own paraphrasing, but you can find it in the New Testament. QUIT GIVING THE ENEMY SO MUCH CREDIT! You walk with God now, and under His hand. You are no longer subject to the tactics of the enemy unless YOU forget not who you are, but WHOSE YOU ARE! End of discussion. What I do if I feel that the enemy, not my own mind, is attempting to derail me is simply say, 'You want to discuss this or that with me, my worthlessness or my sins and how I don't deserve to walk with my Father in heaven, let's go to the cross and let's discuss it!' Funny, he never wants to go there! Some times I love to say, “I am the daughter of the most High God who made you and then threw you out of heaven due to your pride, and if you want to discuss my worthlessness, let's go to the Throne Room and visit with Your Creator, you nitwit!' Funny, he won't go there either! Wonder why?
Don't give the enemy any more credit than he is due. He is defeated, he knows it, and he is expecting you to have forgotten that he was. So he will lie to you and attempt to deceive you by telling you that you aren't really hearing from God to do something because you really aren't worth it. If you know that you know that you know that God has spoken to you to do something, don't listen to the thoughts that tell you that you aren't worthy enough to do God's work. Stand up straight and say, 'Yes, I am! Jesus made me worthy and God already knows what He has prepared me to do and with His help and in His power, there is nothing I can't do!' Understand that the enemy does not have the power or the ability to put thoughts in your head unless you let him! The enemy is afraid of you, don't you know that? He is afraid that you will finally learn who you are in Christ and that you are God's child. So don't run from him, go at him with what you know. You have been redeemed through the blood of Christ, you were worth his sacrifice because God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son so that you could have ever lasting life!
Mary didn't have any of this. We have Jesus, and He is everything we needed to go forth and do what God requests of us knowing that according to John 17, we are to have on earth as it is in heaven. How are things in heaven, God's territory? Do you see what we have that Mary didn't have? We have it all. All the help we need, all the advise we can possibly need under any circumstances, and most of all we have Christ. Our advocate, our friend, our attorney, and we are His co-heirs. Heirs to what? We sit at the right hand of God, just like Jesus. We have the power of God behind us and we have the Holy Spirit, our advisor with us, everywhere we go. No one knows this better than the enemy and his only helpers. We are his helpers in our own failures and our own destruction because he uses us against ourselves through our own minds, our words and thoughts. When we finally realize that, we will be ever watchful of our thoughts and our words.
This may be nothing new to you, but how often do you give thought to the idea that you create your life with what you say and think? Well, it is true and because God Created the world with His words, so do we. What did Mary say to the Angel? 'Let it be onto me even as you have said'. And so it was. And so it will be with us.
In having said that, Mary gave birth to God's power on the earth. In allowing God to create a Jesus in us we will finally see something that few of us do not realize or think about; that the same power that rose Jesus from death, will reside in us. The very same power. Think about that for a minute and the implications. Jesus said, 'and greater things than these shall you do BECAUSE I go to the Father'. What greater things? What did Jesus do while He walked on the earth? He made the blind eyes to see. He raised people from the dead. He cast out demons. He turned water to wine. He fed the multitudes with a couple of baskets of fish and bread. This is why the book of Acts is the only book in the Bible that doesn't have an Amen at the end of it. IT IS NOT YET FINISHED! We are supposed to finish it!
We were meant to do what Jesus did and more. Why more? Look around you and you will see that there is more disease in the world today than before. When Jesus died, there were only 31 diseases on the earth. That is why He received 31 stripes on His back and 'by His stripes we were healed'. We also have more stress, more depression and many other things. We have more young people committing suicide than ever before. Drugs and alcohol are killing so many of our young people before their time. Our elderly are being placed in homes where they are neglected and some die before their allotted time as well.
Are we in dire need to walk in the Power of God? Is there a need for us to reach out and help others? Now more than ever we are needed to walk in His power and in His ministry of redemption, to reconcile God's people back to Him. Do we need more Marys? Yes, there is a great need, but we need not despair. We cannot afford to ignore what is happening around us. We don't have to despair because we have not only God's power with us, but redemption is part of His plan for us all. His Plan will not be thwarted. He will accomplish what He has started but it will take all of our participation because just as we are co-heirs with Jesus, we are also co-heirs of the mission He started; 'that none should be lost'. John 17 is what I call Jesus' 'deal' with the Father before He died. Read all of it and you will see that Jesus asked for nothing less than 'let it be on earth as it is in heaven'. This is very clear; Jesus is saying 'let it be on earth (now) as it is in heaven (now)'. Not after we die. I don't believe this has been clearly understood by most Christians.
They keep saying, 'when I go to heaven, I will have everything'. We don't need ANY THING in heaven. We need it here. We need to quit trying to be so falsely humble and pretend we don't need any thing but Jesus while we are here. He died so we could have what we need while here, healing, abundance, peace, joy, victory and salvation NOW! Otherwise there would have been no need for His sacrifice, would there?
Want to be a Mary? The answer is one only you can supply and your response to it can be as simple as Mary's; 'let it be onto me even as you have said', and God will do the rest and He will create a Jesus in you. The world should be able to see God's people and know, without being told, that we are Christians. They should be able to see God's abundance in our lives, peace and joy, serenity and fearlessness. They should be able to see that you are 'pregnant' with Jesus, and see you give birth to Him in your life. This is more necessary now than ever before.
Never have families been more fractured than they are now. We have more diseases on the earth than ever before, nor have we had more murders and suicides. We have more homeless families now than ever before, more children living on the streets than ever before. People are living in fear and depression. Do you see why we need more Marys on the earth? God wants to pour His Spirit through His people, upon the earth. He is looking for those who are willing to be 'heaven'. This word means 'the Abode of God'. We are to be His Abode on the earth.
Everything we are seeing now has been prophesied in the Bible, and we ought not to be surprised at what is happening. Personally, I feel that great things can come out of the chaos we are seeing. I see more and more people looking for a 'source of hope', a 'greater power' they can turn to because people are realizing that what they have done in the past is not working! And it hasn't for a long time.