She was a poor teenager in a small backwater town. Enemy troops controlled her homeland. No one of power and influence noticed her.
He was a trained religious leader. He and his wife had been married for years. God called them “blameless,” yet God hadn’t answered their many prayers for a child.
For the past week or two, I read a familiar Christmas story.
As I read the story over and over, I noticed something.
A “you can’t make this up” kind of surprise interrupted Zechariah and Mary in the middle of an ordinary day.
How did they respond to God’s unexpected invitation to the extraordinary?
Mary was open. She said “yes,” to God’s crazy plan after asking a clarifying question.
She believed God’s word for the impossible (Luke 1:37, 45).
What seemingly impossible thing is God asking you to believe He can accomplish?
Do you believe truth exists although you live in what some call a “post-truth”(*) world?
Do you believe in Christ, you are forgiven and considered a saint, not a sinner (Rom. 6:10-12)?
(Not that you don’t still sin sometimes but your real identity is not “sinner,” but “saint” because of what Christ did for you on the cross.)
Do you believe God has good plans for your future despite what your life is like now (see Jer. 29:11)?
Do you believe God can take even the bad things, even your mistakes, redeem them, and use them to make you more like Christ in your character (see Rom. 8:28-30) if you cooperate in the process?
Mary believed God’s word to her, but Zechariah did not believe (see Lk. 1:20) at first.
I confess I am often more like Zechariah than Mary.
But I practiced being like Mary by saying “yes,” to birthing 7 Days of Soul Care despite knocking knees and a thumping heartbeat as its launch approached and even post-launch.
I had to choose to believe what God calls me to do, God equips me (2 Cor. 9:8) even when I wasn’t “feeling it.”
What is God calling you to cooperate with him in creating or birthing in 2017?
Are we open to God doing the impossible in and through us in the midst of our ordinary?
Are we open to God’s destiny for us (even if it is unexpected)?
Are we open to believing God can do the extraordinary with our ordinary when we surrender to His Spirit’s leading?
I pray God gives us the grace to be open to what God’s Spirit wants to birth in our lives.
May we believe God for the impossible dreams He births in our hearts.
Join me in praying?
Mary said, “yes,” to God’s unexpected invitation for her destiny and many were blessed.
“While 7 days to Soul Care can be read, in, well, 7 days, I recommend working through one chapter a week. I particularly enjoyed the caliber of questions and activities. The questions are ideal as prompts for journaling because these are not surface questions. The questions invite you to pull out your life experience and study it through Soul Care eyes.”
—Maryleigh Bucher, read more of her review here.
What is one way you practice being open to God’s Spirit in your daily life?
Can you believe God loves you and wants you to know him as part of your destiny?
Maybe, 7 Days of Soul Care can help you as you read and answer the journal questions after each day’s reading. It’s now $9.99 (over 20 % off for the next three days) and all proceeds still go to IJM.
P.S. Subscribers: I’m working on a special year-end post and gift for you.
Thanks for helping launch 7 Days of Soul Care into the world and donating $200 in royalties to International Justice Mission, which became $400 because of a matching grant, which ends December 15, 2016. Or you can donate directly to IJM.
If you bought a copy of the book, thank you! Could you please write a review on Amazon and/or GoodReads because reviews help.
Thank you to each person who left a review and/or shared about the book. I appreciate your partnership!
I was honored to be on Paul D. Johnson’s podcast, The God Zone Show.