“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, NKJV).
Imagine being 14 years old, engaged to be married and living in a culture of strict religious law – when an angel comes into your room at night and tells you that God wants you to give birth to His Son. And not just for any reason, but in order to bring about the Redemption of all humanity through Him. That would offer many opportunities for emotions we work very hard to overcome—such as fear, pressure, stress and pride to name a few—to rise up.
You see, in those days, a Jewish marriage was a process we don’t really see throughout much of the world today. Mary and Joseph would have been engaged and living apart for likely a year. During that time, Joseph would be studying the holy texts and preparing to become a husband.
During this time, his fiancée, Mary, went to visit her relatives for some time, and when she came back, she was visibly pregnant! Imagine how concerned Mary might have been to come back to Joseph in that condition. Also in those days, Joseph would have had every right to break off the relationship and even to have Mary stoned to death for becoming pregnant by another. Imagine that! But God.
Not only did God send an angel to talk to Mary and prepare her for what was about to happen, He also sent one to Joseph to give him reassurance. Thankfully, this covenant couple got on the same page – with God. But they were still surrounded by family and the religious community. Likely, everywhere they went, Mary would have been glared at, questioned or ridiculed, accused and chastised for becoming pregnant before her marriage. The worst would have been assumed about her, and then others might have aimed their ridicule and condemnation at her fiancé for his acceptance of all of it. Perhaps they would have mocked her claim that God had entrusted her with His Son, as a blasphemous excuse to cover up her immorality.
Not only was she going through her very first pregnancy (in which she was required to make a faraway trip that resulted in a foreign birth, had strangers coming to see for themselves, faced an ungodly king hunting her son’s head as a newborn, and ultimately had to move to a completely different country), but she would have had to also endure extreme outside and societal pressure. But God.
Through it all, God protected Mary. He protected her heart because she had turned toward Him. God knew what He was doing. He knew Mary would humbly accept His call, and He knew Joseph would boldly protect her and her baby. Mary’s heart for God ultimately became the heart of God beating in Jesus’ chest. God was once again fulfilling His Word about the Redemption of mankind…and no one could stop it!
Find Your Identity In Christ and God’s Purpose for Your Life
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).
Live the Word
What does your heart chase after? What garners your attention and your love? What directs your plans, and where do you find your purpose? God has good plans for you. You can trust Him and His purposes. And He is worthy of all your love, praise and honor. Declare today that He is the Lord of your life…again, anew, completely! (Jeremiah 29:11; Mark 12:30).
Speak the Word
God has plans for good and purpose for my life: to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future. I trust in and love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength. He is a good God and a faithful Father. I choose to have a heart toward God that He can use mightily for His purpose!
Scripture Study: John 15:1-5; Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Psalm 33:11
Mary was very likely called all sorts of things that were not true. People assumed things about her because they did not know the truth. At any moment, she could have let those words and opinions from others penetrate her soul and take away her God-given purpose. But she didn’t. She saw herself the way God saw her. She knew the truth and she grabbed onto it and did not let go. She knew that she was carrying the Savior of the world, and she was not going to jeopardize that purpose. You are born with a God-given purpose as well. Each of us has a unique and important role to play in the time in which God places us. We cannot allow the darts of the enemy—even when they come through friends or family—to stop us or distract us from the purpose of God on our lives.
Walking it out to victory:
- Declare you are who God says you are and hold onto it, no matter what you hear, what you are called or what people think about you.
- Choose to believe only one opinion: God’s! His is the only one that matters.
- Remember that you are carrying Jesus to the world, and God has purposed and prepared you for such a time as this. Trust His plan for you today!
Click on the image below to download the PDF with the devotion and the craft activities related to Mary.