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Mother of Jesus: How Well Do We Really Know Mary?

Do we really know Mary? Yes, she is the mother of Jesus, the Messiah, but she is also called favored, and righteous. She sets the example of being a revolutionary, living full of God’s power, and being a world changer!



“Mary, did you know…?” Picture me rolling my eyes.

CAUTION: It’s possible that I’m about to ruin for you one of the most popular and beloved modern-day Christmas songs of all time. The song is soothing, melodic (thanks to Buddy Greene), and asks a seemingly pertinent question. What I’m wondering, however, is how intimately acquainted the songwriter, Mark Lowry, was with Mary’s story.

Do we really know Mary? Yes, she is the mother of Jesus but she is also called favored, and righteous. She sets the example of being a revolutionary. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #GodsCalling #revolutionary #righteousness #Mary

Mary: Favored

Did HE know that God sent the mighty messenger-angel Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19), to a lowly peasant girl? Did Lowry realize that Gabriel, whose name means ‘God is great,’ was the same messenger who caused Daniel to fall on his face in terror (Daniel 8:17), and struck Zechariah dumb for questioning his message to him concerning John’s birth, (Luke 1:18-22)?

Yet, Mary, (while frightened when heralded by this magnificent angel,) was first confused that he called her favored. She was well-acquainted with her standing in Jewish society – she was poor, young, and an unmarried woman.

Favored? That word had never been used in reference to her before.

Mary: Righteous

Of course, there was the matter of becoming pregnant while remaining a virgin; Mary wondered how. Scot McKnight, author of The Real Mary, states that surely Mary was surprised at all of these happenings, but the “biggest surprise was that she consented to God’s plan.” Today, we have trouble grasping what she was agreeing to as an engaged Jewish girl. Her saying “Let it be to me according to your word,” would have ripped her world apart. Even today, imagine telling your fiancé that an angel told you God had impregnated you…and keeping a straight face!

Not only was she offering her reputation to be ruined and exposing herself to public humiliation, but her engagement to Joseph would most certainly have been reneged. Ultimately, she knew the Torah stated that she could face stoning (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Life as Mary knew it would never be the same.

Most Protestants have cast Mary as the silent, docile, blue-clad mother of Jesus at Christmas. For the other eleven months of the year, we don’t have much to do with her because she was just some sweet girl God allowed to be the holy incubator for Jesus, right? Definitely, wrong; God isn’t in the business of giving anyone grunt work, (pardon the pun). And do we truly believe the Lord God would have chosen a random, small-town teen to be the mother of His pure and only Son?

In the NKJV, Gabriel calls her “highly favored one” and “blessed among women.” There is absolutely nothing random about those words. Because Mary was righteous, God chose to use her. Her faith in God gave her the courage to consent to His plan despite the suffering she would endure.

Mary: Revolutionary

Through the years, many of us have read or sung Mary’s Magnificat in a choir setting. Her Magnificat is found in Luke 1:47-55. Immediately after her cousin Elizabeth, saw her, she began praising God for what He had done in Mary! (And believe me, Mary hadn’t texted or emailed her beforehand). Afterward, Mary offered soaring praise to God her Savior. However, in occupied Israel, verses 52-54 could have been construed as sedition. Imagine, meek and mild Mary – a revolutionary!

Would it shock you to know that a level of concern remains in the modern world toward Mary’s song in places where dictators fear an uprising among their repressed people? In fact, in the 1980s, the Guatemalan government “banned any public reciting of Mary’s Magnificat because it was deemed politically subversive,” (McKnight). Isn’t that astonishing?

I believe we need a paradigm shift concerning our views of Mary.

Mary was gentle, but also brave… bold…

and apparently a revolutionary!

The Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

Luke 1:47-55, ESV

How dare she utter such provocative words: He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate. Herod had murdered for less under his bloody reign. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. Reckless utterances! The rich were the rulers, the powerful. With a word or nod, they could end her life.

Mary: Full of His Power

You know that sick feeling you have for a friend when she opens her mouth and spews out something at the absolute worst moment? Imagine she was stopped for speeding. You were with her. Instead of being contrite, she was belligerent. And you wish you could have slapped your hand over her mouth and said, “Woman! For the love of all that is holy, stop talking!”

That’s how someone listening to Mary might have felt… only more so. Her people were powerless, had been powerless, didn’t know the meaning of having power. While they obeyed the Torah, they quaked before the evil of which Herod was capable.

But she knew a greater Power. Mary knew the mighty One of Israel and believed He had come to set them free. She could not remain silent! Her faith in the Father emboldened her to follow Him onto a path that promised darkness and pain, but also mercy and deliverance. Mary stepped out into the inky unknown, resting in the palm of His hand.

Does this sound like the wallflower girl whom so many mistakenly picture Mary mother of Jesus to be? I think not. Truthfully, I doubt if Joseph’s mother would have approved of Mary. She might not have been quiet or meek enough…but as Lynne Hybels titled her book in 2005, Nice Girls Don’t Change the World.

What about you… Are you a revolutionary Mary? Would you like to be?

Do we really know Mary? Yes, she is the mother of Jesus but she is also called favored, and righteous. She sets the example of being a revolutionary. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #GodsCalling #revolutionary #righteousness #Mary

boldness, bold, fear, confidence, God’s plan, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Champion: How to Walk Through This World With Boldness

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness.



I recently saw a posting on Facebook that said, “Fear not can be found 365 times in the Bible.” As a natural doubting Thomas, I went in search of this for myself. According to the Bible App, there are only 71 instances of “fear not” in the New English Translation. However, I found the words “don’t be afraid” 342 times. Of course, this is completely unscientific research and open to mistakes.

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #boldness #courage #fear

Fear Not

I’m pretty sure our Father is telling us something important here. He doesn’t want us walking around this world with fear in our hearts. And yet I had to add that last sentence because I am afraid I may have miscounted and someone will think poorly of me for it.

So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6, NET

I fight this feeling of fear on a daily basis. Being a mother has only made it worse. I am afraid that others are talking behind my back or that they don’t like my kids. I am afraid my kids will get hurt, or that my husband will be in an accident. Then I am afraid when I hear noises at night. I don’t like the dark. When I get sick I’m afraid it’s worse than it is.

Now, I try to keep these feelings on a short leash and rarely ever share them with anyone (they sound crazy). But this fear also keeps me from doing God’s work. It keeps me from going up to a stranger who looks like they need help. Or from inviting an acquaintance to come with our family to church on Sunday. Fear is the weapon of the enemy.

The Struggle is Real

Earlier this week I was really struggling hard. I was overwhelmed by fear. When this happens I find strength in music. Because God speaks to me and calms my spirit with melody. In my hour of need, He put the right song on, “The Voice of Truth,” sang by Casting Crowns. I L-O-V-E this song.

Thinking about Peter stepping out of the boat and David facing Goliath gave me such encouragement. “I will listen and believe the Voice of truth.”

I can to all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13, KJV

Our Champion is By Our Side

Our Father is right here with us. He is our champion and we have no reason to be afraid. Fear isn’t a God-inspired emotion, it is from the enemy who puts a yoke on us to follow a path that isn’t ordained. For this reason, the weight is heavy and often impossible to throw off in our own strength. We need help, daily.

Another thing that helped me this week was having a stranger come up to tell me that I was doing a great job being a mom. My son and I were in Target walking through the isles and he was telling me an outrageously silly story. Afterward, I told him he was super creative and an out of the box problem thinker. The lady shopping beside of us said, “Great job mom. We need those kids to be creative thinkers and have fun doing it.”

Those words were a warm blanket to my heart. So, the next time I worry that his silly stories make him sound too juvenile or a little crazy, I’ll take that moment out and remember. God is always by our side. Sometimes, He speaks through other people.

Stepping Out of Fear

Earlier, I was considering which of my prayers I would put at the end of this devotional. They have been disjointed, sporadic, and definitely unfocused during this week of uncertainty and fear. In other words, none of them were any good to share. However, in my earlier research, I came across one that I think I will write down and speak out loud next time fear starts to lean into my life.

Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words. Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11, NET

love, me

The Lord is the Champion of our doubts and fears. He has overcome, let all we do be done to bring Him glory! Click To Tweet

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #boldness #courage #fear

unsplash-logoTaylor Leopold
self, focus, God's will, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Self: Shifting Our Focus from Ourselves to Christ in Us

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. 



Recently I received an email from a friend who asked me two very simple yet thought-provoking questions. She was writing a talk for an upcoming couples’ retreat and wanted to hear from the hearts of women closest to her.

Her first question was: “What does your heart long for?” And the other was: “At your core, what do you desire?” As I considered her questions, I realized how my answers have changed from what they once would have been. My responses signaled a shift in focus–from a limited self-focus to a greater awareness of Christ, who is living in me.

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Self-Focused…

As a new believer, I probably would have responded to my friend’s questions very differently than I would today. I might have said that my heart longed for love. That my desire was to have a successful career as a singer/songwriter. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with either of these responses, they are entirely self-focused. Me-centered. I needed to know that I was loved and that I was accomplishing things with the gifts the Lord had given me. Honest answers, yes. Selfish answers? Also, yes.

But as I responded to my friend, I said that my deepest desire is to experience being fully loved by my Father so that I can love others how He loves: unconditionally. It’s no longer enough for me to simply receive His love. I want to be so filled to overflowing with it, that when others are with me, they experience His love through me. Thus, the Lord is shifting my focus away from myself. Away from primarily considering my own needs and desires. And He’s redirecting my gaze toward Him. He’s teaching me what’s most important: that He is living in me.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

My Gifts?

My response to my friend’s next question about desire revealed a similar shift in focus. I replied: “At my core, I desire to create (songs, writings, jewelry, recipes, spaces…) that reflect the beauty that the Lord has given us. I want His beauty to shine through the work of my hands. For it to resonate from the song on my lips.” What was once an honest yet somewhat selfish desire-to get to do the things I love to do creatively-has changed.

I’ve realized that I really have nothing creatively to offer in and of myself. I am only creative to the extent that I recognize from whence my gifts come: from the Creator Himself. So in essence, they aren’t even my gifts. They are His gifts, to me, for others. And He doesn’t give His children creative gifts so that we can run away from Him to go make a name for ourselves. His desire is for us to stay close to Him. To heed the calling He has given us. And to make creative contributions to this world so that He is glorified.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

A Self-Obsessed World…

What the Lord calls us to do looks drastically different than what the world wants from us. The world is self-obsessed. Everywhere we look, there are books about self-love. Reminders that we need to practice self-care. Encouragements to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and be self-sufficient. Invitations to take selfies and plaster them all over our personalized social media pages. Sorting through all of this, we can become overly self-conscious. We might lack self-confidence. Fall prey to self-doubt. Feeling like we don’t measure up, we can tend toward self-hatred.

Interestingly, thousands of years ago, Paul wrote to Timothy describing how in the “perilous” last days, we would be caught in this cycle of self-destruction:

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

2 Timothy 3:2

But all of this self-exploration is a chasing after the wind. Because until we are grounded in I Am, we will never be able to make sense of ourselves. Much less create anything of worth. We must die to ourselves and be hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). But if we’re not careful, this process can get twisted.

All of this self-exploration is a chasing after the wind. Until we are grounded in I Am, we will never be able to make sense of ourselves. Click To Tweet

Twisting…

The way the world frames the notion of ‘dying to self’ is soul-killing. To the world, if you follow Christ, you will lose your precious personal identity. This carnal perspective claims that dying to self-means sacrificing our self-expression.

And the enemy warns us: “If you follow Christ, you won’t get to pursue the deepest desires of your heart or do the things that make you come alive.” Carnally minded believers might even encourage you to squelch your deepest desires in lieu of serving others. Don’t piddle your time away painting that painting when you could be dutifully sweeping the floors of the fellowship hall!

But this kind of twisting is of the enemy. Thank God, the Lord is not in the business of twisting, but of shifting. He shifts our gaze away from ourselves toward Him. And when we focus on Him, we learn who He truly is and what He actually desires for us. When we’re in right standing with Him, our deepest desires tend to align perfectly with what He is calling us to do.

A Paradox of Life and Death…

The world will never understand this paradox because it can only be spiritually discerned. But when we completely die to ourselves and allow Christ to fully live in us, we come alive. And when we’re alive in Him, we are able to reach the fullest expression of who the Lord has uniquely fashioned us to be. When we surrender our self-will to His will, we find that the results and the rewards are far greater than we ever could have arranged for ourselves. When we die to self and live in Him, He fully equips us to accomplish our deepest desires which He ordained for us.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

John 12:24

Beloved, when we are no longer living for ourselves but for Christ, we can begin to grasp what Paul meant when we wrote:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

Have you made a shift, from yourself to Christ in you? Have you died to yourself and come alive in Him?

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture references are from The King James Version of The Bible
calling, purpose, Oh Lord Help Us, ministry, Christian, women, encouragement

Nudging: Wake Up to What God is Calling Us to Do

Do you feel the nudging inside you to take action? Do you know what you are to be doing, but fearful to take the next step? You are not alone.



The Bud

For years, no matter where I moved, a colorful magnet was a constant fixture on my fridge. It read, “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This phrase was penned by Anais Nin, an author who was not exactly a bastion of wholesome purity. But her simple statement served as a powerful reminder: I too contained a bud, a story, that one day would flower into something beautiful to behold. But for far too long, my story remained an unfurled bud. My depression was a frost in spring. As it stung my petals with its bitter cold, I drew them back into my sheath so as not to feel a thing.

Do you feel the nudging inside you to take action? Do you know what you are to be doing, but fearful to take the next step? You are not alone.

The Knot

I’ve known for a long time that one day I’d write my family’s memoir. But the undertaking felt so daunting that I could never fully wrap my head around how to begin. How does one recollect, let alone accurately redact, all the details of a lifetime? There were far too many tangled strands of story lines. The intricate braiding and painful upbraiding of my unconventional upbringing. The unsightly split ends and splitting of hairs caused by my folks’ radical life choices and failing relationship. Not to mention the rigidly combed parting of social isolation and the starched white bonnet covering of my fledgling faith.

The Unraveling

My story, like so many of our stories, consists of innumerable loops. Its strands, so tightly wound, that the painstaking process of picking them apart presented an impossible mental knot to untie. But the Lord is beginning to unravel the intertwined mess to unveil the underlying beauty. And He knows every hair on my head.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:7

The Nudges

Within the last month, the Holy Spirit has nudged me to begin writing. Some nudges have been gentle; others more direct. One of the first nudges came during a sermon my pastor gave called “Creative.” In it, he quoted Psalm 139: 13-14, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

I’ve always loved the gentle image this scripture summons: God’s warm light hovering over a babe in its mother’s rounded belly. But this time, the take away for me was very personal: the epiphany set in that God has already written my whole story! He fashioned my petals, wrapped each one into the bud in my mother’s womb, and continues to cultivate my growth in ways I cannot even comprehend. He sees me as one of His marvelous works and longs for me to fully blossom! If that same God, through His Holy Spirit, now is nudging me and promising to lead and guide me perfectly, how can I not respond?!

God has already written my whole story! He fashioned my petals, wrapped each one into the bud in my mother’s womb, and continues to cultivate my growth in ways I cannot even comprehend. Click To Tweet

Gentle Nudges

The next nudge came the following day during a pleasantly lazy afternoon conversation on my screened in porch with my mother in law. Prompted by her simple questions, I was flooded with vivid memories of how my family had survived throughout my way-off-the-grid childhood. The petals of my story began to open. In one memory, I was holding up a large, lightweight screen to winnow wheat and then watch the soft chaff gently drift away. In another, my dad looked like an astronaut as he donned his beekeeping suit. As if slightly defying gravity, he softly and silently floated through the white boxed beehives. It was like watching magic to see him squeeze the smoker bellows, putting the honey bees to sleep before gently coaxing the treasured honeycomb from their hive.

Harder Nudges

Later that evening, more tightly wrapped petals of my story reluctantly revealed their edges: the fear I felt crouched in the dark shadows under the kitchen table as my parents screamed and violently flailed their arms at one another. And some of the thorny tips of my story’s stem pricked my heart. Like the night my mom, in a fit of rage, threw my beloved storybook Bible into the open flames of our wood heating stove. As my mind’s eye saw the edges of each sheet begin to curl, then smoke, then burn, it’s as if the Holy Spirit were restoring the pages of my own story. He was reminding me that because it has weathered strong winds of abuse and neglect, nearly drowned in rainy seasons of sorrow, and thirsted for life in the drought of depression, the little flower He fashioned is nothing short of a fearful, wonderful, marvelous work!

Laying It on Thick

A barrage of other nudges have come almost daily…

A pillow talk with my husband about hope and desire.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13: 12

My friend’s testimony at a ladies’ Bible study. She shared how the Holy Spirit inspired her to write a book of historical fiction, weaving her personal testimony throughout the story.

A sermon from my pastor’s wife about “Holy Imagination” and how the Lord, “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20).

Another sermon called “Inspiration,” in which my pastor described how the Holy Spirit inspires and anoints us to do things we can’t do in our natural strength or intellect. He literally even said the words: “Maybe God is inspiring you to write a book that will bless others through the power of God and His Holy Spirit!” At that point I was like, “Come on Lord. You’re laying it on pretty thick!”

The Last Straw

And the last straw came a few weeks ago over coffee with my new friend, Rachael. She asked about my story, and I spent the next hour sharing many of the memories I’d been thinking about for a memoir. As our time was ending, she asked me if I might consider writing for her blog. For over a decade, I’ve written nothing more than short song lyrics and grocery lists. But feeling the nudge, I said, “Sure, I’d love to!”

Awake, O Sleeper

It’s as if I’ve been tightly balled up in that bud, restlessly sleeping, and someone has been nudging me to wake up. The bud would feel the spring’s soft rain and warm sunshine but quickly seek shade from an overhead limb. I would pull the covers back over my head. But the Light is softly stroking my hair. The songbirds outside my window are perched on the budding branches, chirping their early spring refrain: “It’s time to rise and shine!”

Wherefore, he saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’

Ephesians 5:14

Have you been spiritually asleep in a certain area of your life? Do you have a bud inside of you that longs to be exposed to the Light and refreshed with Living Water? How is He nudging you?

Do you feel the nudging inside you to take action? Do you know what you are to be doing, but fearful to take the next step? You are not alone.

Michael Petrila

All scripture from the King James Version

Present: Responding to God’s Call

Throughout the Bible the Lord calls His people to action. The same is still true today, so how are we to respond to that calling?


There are many things that my kiddos do that drive me nuts. One of them is when I call them, and they say, “what” or “yeah”. My older son now knows how to respond, but my younger son is still learning. This is usually how it goes:

Me: Gage?
Gage: What?
Me: Gage?
Gage: What?
Me: Gage?
Gage: What?
Me: Gage?
Gage: Yes ma’am?

This is the point that I say the command. This is the point that I know he is really listening.

(Please note!! This is not a parenting blog, I am by no means telling anybody how their children should respond or how to train your children. You gotta do parenting the best way that works for you and your family.)

So what about us? How do we respond when we are being called?



Present

I am currently going through the bible study Seamless, by Angie Smith (which is an amazing way to see how the whole bible is woven together). Early in the study I saw a theme emerging of God calling people, and the way they responded. The first example, and the one I’m going to focus on, is Abraham.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am. He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him… Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together… Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am. He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Genesis 22:1-3, 8, 10-12

This is how I picture this happening in today’s setting

God: Hey Abraham!
Abraham: Yes, I’m here.
God: You know your son?
Abraham: Who?
God: You know, your only son. The one you waited decades for and didn’t have until you were a hundred?
Abraham: Oh yeah, him. What about him?
God: I want you sacrifice him.

Craaaaaaa-zeeeeee!


Responding to God’s call…

Respond immediately
There is no hesitation in Abraham’s response. He doesn’t even know the exact location of where he is to go. He just knows he needs to go. God only gives us the information we need at the moment we need it, not before.

God only gives us the information we need at the moment we need it, not before. Click To Tweet

Trust God’s timing
Isaac was actually not his only son. There was also Ishmael. But Isaac was the one promised to him to be the inheritance of a great nation. Ishmael was born as a result of Sarai trying to make God’s promise happen in her timing, and not God’s. God’s promises will come in God’s timing.

God's promises will come in God's timing. Click To Tweet

Trust God for provisions
When his son, Isaac, asks where the sacrificial lamb is, Abraham immediately responds with “God will provide.” At his ripe old age, Abraham has learned to trust God’s calling. Whatever the situation calls for, he knows that God will provide whatever is needed in order to accomplish the calling.

God will provide whatever is needed in order to accomplish the calling. Click To Tweet


Other examples of responding to God’s calling (just in case you are curious)…

JacobAnd God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. Genesis 46:2-3

MosesAnd Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:3-4

Samuel: Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” 1 Samuel 3:4

Isaiah: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Ananias: Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” Acts 9:10



Your turn…

What are you being asked to do?
Are you trusting God’s timing, or yours?
Looking back on your own life, how have you seen the Lord provide?