“Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30, HCSB)
You have found favor with God. Perhaps you’ve noticed. Life is harder for some people than it is for others. While some people seem to glide through life others appear to hit every bump in the road. Why is that? The Bible calls it, “the favor of God,” literally it means the smile of God is upon them.
Remembering that Mary lived in an obscure village … ok, a notorious village, and she was born into humble means, God took note of her. Her character, her godliness, her purity, her intelligence, her spiritual acumen all combined to fulfill what God so longs to find in His children: Humble obedience and trust.
There, in that small hamlet at the end of the dusty road, Mary trusted God and accepted the life she had been given. Excited at the prospect of marriage to a skilled man in town, she had to have thanked God repeatedly that she was blessed by His providence. No doubt she cared for others and chose the life of service to them.
And then one day, while she was going about her daily duties, God broke in. And there, in that moment we learn so much about being a willing worker for God. So many want Him to bless them and then they will serve Him. So backwards. So powerless. So wrong.
God blesses His children after they obey. He favors them once they have trusted, once they have submitted, once they have risked all they have to accomplish all He desires.
And where do they get such direction? From His revealed, recorded, written words laid down on the pages of His Word, the Bible. For Mary, an ardent listener of the taught word of God, she knew the hope of Israel and she trusted God so much she awaited the new King of Israel to arrive at any moment.
Like Mary, you and I have a choice every day. Will we allow life to sweep us away or will we allow God’s revealed words to direct us into the service of His Kingdom and His right paths? If the latter marks our path, we can be sure He will slather our walk with His favor!
Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realties of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.