The Gift of Obedience

“Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Luke 1:39-41

I love all things “CHRISTmas.” What an amazing opportunity to ponder the incarnation~ God took on human skin and limitations??? I can’t wrap my mind around the truth. And that’s the reason I love to revisit during this sacred time of year.

Usually the focus of the Scriptures meditated upon are the announcement of the archangel Gabriel to Mary about the Holy Spirit’s supernatural work in creating the Savior in her womb. Included in this announcement is the news of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy in spite of being “advanced in age” (must mean she had some gray hair).

Alongside these stunning promises from Scripture stands Mary’s response upon receiving the messages. What did she do? Mary took a pregnancy test, called a few friends to gather their opinions . . . no, that’s not how it happened!

“Now at this time, she arose and went in a hurry. . .”

Mary acts on the Word of God without hesitation by going straight to Elizabeth’s house which is not around the corner but miles away. I speculate family and friends are bewildered by her departure, perhaps trying to stop her. Mary doesn’t know how the journey will unfold as she travels to her cousin’s house. She may face inconveniences and perhaps dangers.

What does her obedience bring about? “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaps in her womb. . .” Mary’s obedience brings blessing to Elizabeth and Zacharias through confirmation of God’s plan. It facilitates an encounter for their unborn son, John, with Jesus, as he recognized the Messiah in vitro.

“And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she cried out with a loud voice, ‘Blessed among women are you. . .’” Mary’s obedience positions her to hear God’s voice through the Holy Spirit, resulting in her encounter with the living God. Elizabeth proclaims blessing over Mary and her unborn child.

This Christmas we can offer God the gift of our obedience by acting on His Word without reservation. We need to place ourselves physically and emotionally in a position to receive the Word of God. There are many areas of obedience. Here are a handful:

Do not worry. (Matthew 6:25, Philippians 4:6)

Pray continually. (I Thessalonians 5:17)

Expose the deeds of darkness. (Ephesians 5:11)

Flee sexual immorality. (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:18)

Forgive others as Jesus forgave you. (Matthew 6:15, Colossians 3:13)

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. (Colossians 4:5)

When our feelings or reason tell us obeying God’s Word might cause harm or is not a big deal because our logic is more trustworthy, an obedient heart chooses to believe the truth. God is our Heavenly Father who is true and always possesses good intentions, giving us the courage to step out in faith. As you reflect upon God’s Word this Christmas season, offer to Him the gift of obedience by living what He says.

Help me add to the list so we all can offer this gift more fully to the Lord. Sister, what other areas of obedience do you read in Scripture? When you leave a comment below, I will send you a complimentary copy via email of the Christmas devotional I’ve written called “God’s Christmas List” which reflects upon eight gifts of the heart we can offer.   ~Laura

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