In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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 unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38 NIV)
Mary was minding her own business when the Angel turns up. She was pledged to be married to Joseph. A Jewish engagement was binding, though the marriage wasn’t consummated they were already covenanted to be together. We don’t know anything about her past but we do know that she had found favour with God. High praise indeed.
Quietly going about her daily life, excited at the prospect of getting married, daydreaming of what it would be like and then here life is changed forever. I think God was watching her coming and going, the attitude of heart, and though it’s not about our works, I think there was something about Mary that moved Gods heart. He would have seen her devotion to the Lord, her quietness of spirit and her contemplation over the truths of her faith. She was the one He chose. No one else had that privilege and honour.
But it came at a price, and she was willing to pay.
God is sovereign but our actions can move his heart. Sometimes we are very fatalistic and don’t do anything as we feel God will do what He is going to do anyway. But we can move His heart with ours. Though it is not about works, it is completely by grace, our devotion and attitude makes a difference. How we set our course can move our Father.
My desire is to set my course such that the Sovereignty of God is moved by my devotion. I pray daily that I would find favour with God and man such that maybe he would look on me and find me highly favoured. *
* We all have favour through the death and resurrection of Jesus but there are things we can do that please the Lord and move his heart (Eph 5:10). It is not by works but Has good things for us to do (Eph 2:8-10)