The Way God Works
Mary was a teenager who accepted the angel Gabriel's message as truth from God (Luke 1:31-33). She accepted that her baby would become the Messiah King (Luke 1:38). Most would have thought that the idea was incredible, but Mary believed (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.
Mary believed: but was this virgin conception true to science? Every scientific enquiry has to start with an axiom (an idea, a starting point) which is believed to be true. If you do not believe the axiom there is no basis for any experiment. However, when God speaks, He always says what is true. To know the truth, we only 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: the answer was that God’s Holy Spirit would do all that was necessary; and the child would be God’s Son.
God is kind. He had demonstrated to Mary that His Word was powerful, and effective when believed. Barren Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy in her old age was evidence that God can give new life to whoever He chooses (Luke 1:24-25). The Holy Spirit had quietened Mary’s heart to listen (Psalm 131:1-3; Zechariah 2:13), and the reminder of God’s power to a close relative was compelling encouragement to trust God. When God speaks, it happens. Mary believed that it would. She was quite content to accept that God would use her. She was glad to have the enormous 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, do not assume that if God's Word seems impossible, that it is wrong ... because nothing is impossible with God (Luke 18:27). When you hear Him speaking, do not 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 people who are willing to believe and receive His Word. If they are humble and servant-hearted like Mary, they will cooperate with Him to their blessing and His glory.
© Dr Paul Adams