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The Way God Works

Luke 1:34-38
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. (NIV)

Mary was a teenager who accepted the angel's message as truth from God: she accepted that her baby would become the Messiah King (see Luke 1:31-33). Most would have thought that the idea was incredible, but Mary believed (see Luke 1:45). However, her faith did not close off her enquiring mind, true faith never does. She did not doubt what God would do, but she was curious as to how God would do it, and what part she might need to play.

Some say that science is the opposite of faith. But every scientific enquiry has to start with an axiom - an idea which is believed to be true - and only after that can the experiment be done. The research is done to either prove or deny the axiom. However, when God speaks, He always says what is true - so to know the truth, we just need to believe Him. When we do that, we can cooperate with Him and prove how wonderful He is. Mary wanted to know what she had to do, and the answer was, "God will do it". She was quite content to accept that God would use her, and was glad to have the privilege of serving the Lord.

Although Mary's situation was unique, there are some important principles which apply to all God's children. Firstly, when God speaks through His Word, listen carefully ... He is speaking to you. Secondly, do not assume that God will do what you expect ... He is God and is calling you to do what He expects. Thirdly, don't assume that if God's Word seems impossible, that it is wrong ... nothing is impossible with God. When you hear Him speaking, don't be afraid to ask Him what He wants you to do ... almost certainly, He will want you first to accept what He has done, and if He wants you to take any initiative, He will make that plain. The great thing is that God speaks to His people, and if they are humble and servant-hearted like Mary, they will cooperate with Him to their blessing and His glory.

Almighty God, who achieves what is humanly impossible. Thank You for every time I have heard You speaking to me through Your Word. Forgive me for not listening more, and for doubting You. Help me to know how to accept Your grace; and to pray so that I will know how You want me to participate with You, in the work You are going to do in and through me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams