Saturday, December 4, 2010

Abstinence and the Supernatural

I have about a 40 minute commute to work each day so I love to pray during that time.  Yesterday as I was praying during my commute, the Holy Spirit began speaking some really cool stuff to me.  It had to do with the birth of Jesus and how supernatural it was.  Lately I've been pondering the coming of Jesus and how He became one of us to save us.

I began to ponder Luke Chapter 1 when Gabriel, the messenger of God appears to Mary with an astonishing announcement.  "And coming in, he said to her, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you'.  But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.  The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus."  I'm not sure about you, but if I were a young teenage woman and an angel appeared to me with this news I would be a little taken back!  Listen to how she responds.  "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"  (Luke 1: 34).  Here's the key.  Mary was not questioning the validity of Gabriel's message.  Her question had nothing to do with unbelief.  Mary, a virgin, was honestly asking how it would be accomplished through abstinence.  Something unique and out of the ordinary, something supernatural would have to take place and she honestly wanted to know what it was!  Obviously Gabriel considered her question legitimate.  Listen to his answer.  "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."  (Luke 1: 35)

Earlier in the book of Luke there is a similar incident in that the angel of the Lord appears to Zacharias and announces the birth of John the Baptist.  Zacharias questioned the angel.  "How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years."  (Luke 1: 18)  This seems like a perfectly legitimate question, but Zacharias lost his ability to speak (until the child was born) because he doubted the message from God.  In this case Zacharias had been praying for a child...even though he and his wife were beyond child-bearing years.  (See Luke 1: 13)  When the message came...he doubted it.

In Mary's case it is clear she had no problem with unbelief.  After receiving the explanation of how she as a virgin would give birth to the Savior, here's what she said.  "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word."  (Luke 1: 38)  In other words, when Mary heard the explanation, she received the message which was the Word of God!

As you probably know, the Word of God is seed.  We can read it and study it.  But we must receive it through faith into our spirit.  This causes the seed of the Word to sprout and bear fruit in our lives.  The Word mixed with faith causes fruit to be born.  In Mary's case she, as a servant of God, received the message which was God's Word.  As a result, the Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of God, the Most High overshadowed her.  Nothing freakish happened.  She was supernaturally touched by the presence and power of God!  What a miracle!  What a supernatural occurrence...and it was through abstinence!  The Child that was born was the Son of God!  (In my next post I will talk more about how this Child, who was born of a woman was also born of God.)

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