Devotional Thought for Today
For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.
This Christmas season, I have been drawn to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and I wonder at the kind of relationship she had with God. There must have been anxiety and fear when she received the news that she was going to be pregnant with the Son of God, but she aligned her life to what God had laid out as His plan.
Mary risked being stoned (Old Testament punishment for adultery), and being misunderstood and ostracized by those around her. This woman walked in obedience, her soul glorified the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. When I am misunderstood for even the smallest of things, I am thrown into emotional and spiritual turmoil. So how did Mary do this? It hinges on her humility. “For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant” (Lk. 1:48).
Humility, as it is defined by Andrew Murray, is the place of entire dependence on God. When I think of humility, my thoughts are usually filled with surrendering my pride or beating back my own desires; but Mary’s humility reminds me that it is about cultivating a heart/place that is completely dependent on God.
It reminds me that it is a daily encounter with the greatness of God that allows me to lay down my fears, anxieties, and thoughts of myself to put on His person and His confidence. It is trusting on Him to go before and behind me as I listen for His leading, obey and align my life to what He wants so that my soul will glorify the Lord. This kind of cultivated heart happens with intentionality and over a period of time. It is also God’s grace to us. God chose Mary, not because she was deserved, but He was mindful of the humble state of His servant.
It is a commitment to keep cultivating a heart of dependence, even in the face of adversity, even when we are faced with our own sin, and even when the odds seem insurmountable, because we are loved by a great God who has called us to live a life that will glorify Him.
So today I will not be shocked by my own shortcomings or the ways in which I can improve. Instead, I choose to trust God who knows my thoughts, my attempts to serve, my intentions, my sins—and loves me still. I choose to cultivate a heart of dependence on the One who has a plan for me, and who is now restoring and refining me for that purpose.
Prayer: Lord, cultivate in me a humble heart like Mary, who could let go of all her fears and risk even her life in order to glorify You. May Your greatness far outweigh anything else in this world. May I bring glory to You in this Christmas season and rejoice in the gift of Your Son/my King. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 24-25