Just Say Yes


Oftentimes, when most of us read the Christmas story, we focus wholly on the miraculous event that took place in the stable that night long ago. We truly celebrate the birth of our Savior, and the amazing account of God’s love for the world becomes the center of all attention. Rightfully so! Have you ever considered the Christmas story from Mary’s unique point of view?

Mary was just a young girl—a princess in God’s kingdom like you or me—dreaming of and planning her upcoming marriage to Joseph. On a day like any other, as she was going about her business, an angel suddenly appeared to her and said, “Rejoice, highly favored one; the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28b NKJV). Seeing she was frightened, the angel went on, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:30b-31 NKJV). Mary asked how this could happen and Gabriel responded, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:35, 37 NKJV).

To my amazement, Scripture records Mary’s response: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38 KJV). What a brave and powerful statement! Mary displayed such perfect submission and agreement with the will of God. I don’t know if I could respond like that. I might have said, “Let me think about it for a few days, Gabriel, and I’ll get back to you.” I mean, come on—stop and think about her situation! Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. How could she ever explain to her fiancé that she was pregnant? Who would ever believe such a story? I imagine her telling Joseph, “Honest! An angel came to me, the Holy Spirit overshadowed me, and now I am pregnant with God’s Son, the Savior of the world!” Joseph would surely refuse her, the wedding would be canceled, and her reputation would be ruined forever; or worse yet, she could be stoned to death for being unfaithful! It’s important to realize that God never told her ahead of time how it would all work out. By pure faith, Mary replied, “I am God’s servant, and whatever He says I will do!”  When God asks us to do things, many times it’s scary and risky. What if we are rejected? What if people don’t understand and think we are crazy? Who will believe us when we say we’ve heard from God?  Now, thank goodness, God did work it all out. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, told him that the child Mary carried was conceived by the Holy Spirit and that he could go ahead and take her as his wife (see Matthew 1:19-25). But when she agreed to all of this, God never told her how it would all turn out. She had no idea, and neither do we.

There’s a scripture in Psalms 45:13 which reads: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within…” (KJV). Mary was indeed glorious within; she was courageous and pure, completely willing to do whatever her Father needed her to do. So how can we—like Mary—become quicker in saying “yes” to God?  First, we must ask the question, “Do I trust Him?” It’s not hard at all to say “yes” to God if we trust Him. The secret to trusting is knowing His character. You see, there was a time that I could not say with all of my heart, “Lord, whatever You ask of me, I will do. Wherever You send me, I will go.” I couldn’t say it and mean it, because I was afraid. I was afraid that He would send me to Africa to live in a hut; maybe He would ask me to do something I couldn’t do or didn’t want to do. Sometimes, I was afraid that I would try and fail or that I would look foolish, but faith and fear can’t operate together! Once I truly understood God’s character, I was able to step out in faith and do what He asked. God can be trusted because He is love! He loves us and wants only the best for us. The King always has His daughters’ best interests in mind. Saying no will only cause us to miss out on an opportunity to grow and be blessed. Sometimes, when He asks me to do something, I pray, “Lord, help me to be willing!” Before I know it, my heart begins to change. 

When we step out in faith, we must trust God and allow Him to empower us to get the job done. When Mary asked the angel how God would do it, the angel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her. You see, God will empower us to do whatever He asks of us. Jesus said in John 15:5: …for without Me you can do nothing” (NKJV). The Bible also says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me(NKJV). He is in control, and the results are in His hands. It really gets exciting when God asks us to do something. We obey, and He comes through with a miracle! Then, as more opportunities arise, it will become easier to say “yes.” Some things will be difficult and take great faith on our part. It’s not easy to step out into the unknown and to try things we have never done before or to do things that we feel completely unequipped to do. There have been many times that I have obeyed (while scared!) and have gone ahead in faith. It was then that I would feel God’s presence and His anointing come upon me, and it was as if He was doing it through me. This is why He gets all of the glory! We know it is not us, but Him!

Get to know God’s character by reading His Word and thinking about all of the times He has come through for you; then, you will grow to trust Him and begin to obey His promptings. When you see Him come through in powerful ways, you’ll hardly be able to wait for your next opportunity to say, “Yes, Lord, send me!”

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