Walk With God: According to His Word

Then Mary said…. ‘Let it be to me according to your word’. [Luke 1:38]

Isn’t this the battleground we so often find ourselves in with God. My word versus His word. My desire to have control versus giving God permission to have control.

Walking with God well is possibly only about one thing, centred around adopting the same attitude and heart Mary so easily demonstrates. In fact, there are 3 things Mary does so well…

She has a willingness to serve. Let’s be honest the Bible reads so calm sometimes. Surely she was a little freaked out when an angel appears and tells her what’s about to happen. Or maybe she really was that calm. Ready to serve, ready to hear God’s word, ready to respond.

She accepts God’s Word. Let it be to me, just as you have said. Amazing. Mary is amazing. This is not your average request God is making here, this is a world-changing moment. Ready to trust God, ready to let Him bring to pass what He has spoken, ready to respond with a yes, no questions asked.

She remembers to magnify the Lord. There is no panic shown by Mary, just thankfulness and rejoicing. God has moved miraculously in her life and in the life of her relative Elizabeth. She was able to notice that God was most definitely up to something. Ready to praise, ready to see what God was doing in her own life, ready to see the difference He was about to make in the world.

I desire this kind of walk with God. There is great power in the simple faith Mary shows us. It wasn’t complicated to her that God would ask something of her. This was not about looking only for great things from God. This was about being willing and obedient. You get the feeling whatever the request had been it would have received the same response ‘Let it be to me according to your word’.

Let’s take a moment today to reflect on our own walk with God and how well these three things Mary did are demonstrated in our lives.

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Reflective Mode is Good

The last few weeks have had me focusing on the cross, what it represents and how I should respond to it with my life.

God has definitely been on my case, challenging me to be honest and to be willing to answer the question about myself and my walk with Him. How am I doing? How am I ‘really’ doing?

When I’m asked that by others I might just say ‘fine’. None of us are particularly great at being completely honest with others. Yet God knows what’s happening with us.

When God asked Adam where he was in the garden, He wasn’t asking it because He didn’t know where he was.  It was more an opportunity to be honest.

The same would be true for us. If God asked how we were doing, He’s not asking to be told by us that we are fine, He knows what we need and exactly how we are doing. I think He just wants us to be open and vulnerable enough to answer in complete truth. When I can do that, I position myself better for God to work IN me and THROUGH me

So how would we answer? And how willing are we to let God shine the light of His presence on our lives and reveal where change may be needed?

 

Eagerness or Excuses

In scripture we find a verse that tells us ‘if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land‘. [Isaiah 1:19] 

Unfortunately the culture of today is often more unwilling and disobedient. We want to work less for more pay. We want to pay less tax but gain more benefits. We want to receive without contributing. We want a great future without all the effort.

John Maxwell tells the story about a young man asking a millionaire about his secret to success. ‘How did you make your millions?‘ is the question from the eager young man. ‘Hard work’ is the reply. After a moment the young man asks another question, ‘Is there an easier way?’

We want it and we want it now, yet I’ve learned that God doesn’t really work like that. We may have an eagerness for the things of God yet we seem unwilling to exert any effort on our own behalf. We expect God or someone else to do all the work.

We are willing but not obedient. Which means we don’t get to enjoy the good place we really want to be in. We are eager for the future plans and purposes of God but have a long list of excuses as to why it just can’t happen. And that makes me sad.

I am guilty of this myself, more times than I care to remember. Laziness. Procrastination. Ignorance. Pathetic excuses like ‘I’ve got no time’, yet I find time for some stuff that must make God laugh (otherwise He might cry).

Eagerness + excuses usual equals unfulfilled dreams, plans and purposes.

Willingness + no obedience equals not ending up in the good land that God has for me.

An unwillingness to pray means God cannot answer. One thing I know the best way to have prayer unanswered is to not actually pray. An unwillingness to act means the project, the dream, the idea will never happen. To many say ‘God said’ but then never follow through with any movement of their own.

God doesn’t need to change, we do, I do. The question is whether I am willing to. Can I, with Gods help and the Holy Spirit within me, overcome the daft reasons and obstacles so I live out His best for my life? The answer of course is a wholehearted yes, but only if the willingness is followed by some action, if the eagerness is not followed by excuses.

I would love to know what you think…

Waiting On Tables

Comparison is a dangerous thing yet if we are honest we all do it. We look at how others are doing and it can go one of a number of ways…

Why aren’t they doing more? At least I’m doing more them? Why am I doing this when I could do be doing ‘that’? I’m better than this.

In Acts 6 we see the all too familiar problem of people needed to serve and serve in what could be considered a fairly menial type task. However the qualifications for such a team were quite high.

John Maxwell says that the Apostles looked for people who were…

Known from their sphere of influence
Able to serve on a team
Trusted among the people
Full of the Holy Spirit
Competent and intelligent
Responsible

I am challenged to not look down on the role I get to play, after all Stephen was chosen and became a martyr, Philip was chosen and he was a great evangelist too. I wonder how God would pick me and that I actually measure up.

There is no limit to what we can do for God wherever we might be involved. Our responsibility is to keep being the kind of people that God is looking for, to stay willing and obedient, and enjoy the opportunity to serve that is right in front of us today.