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Advent 2012: Day

The angel gabriel’s annunciation to the virgin mary of the incarnation


Today's Text: Luke 1:26-38

Text: Luke 1:26-38
What’s He calling you to?
Simple faithful Christian living can sometimes pose the biggest questions for us? How do you want us to do this, Lord? How is it going to work out?Loving our neighbors, being a light to coworkers, showing grace + love to our kids. Turning down an opportunity, stepping up to one we know we’re called to. Go. Wait. Listen. Stay. Run. Speed up. Slow down. Hold on. Hold fast.If we get still and quiet and ask Him – He’ll always give wisdom about what it is He wants from us.

Mary is so different from us and so the same all at once. May it be said of us that we look the messenger of the Lord square in the face, set aside our fear to make room for faith in the Lord, and say – “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

  • Tahwahnah

    Valerie – it is a process that takes a lifetime. Jesus is changing you day by day. He is working in you part of him, a little at a time. This can not be done in your strength but it can be done in his strengthen. Apart from him we are nothing. Jesus gives us faith to move forward and as you die to yourself a little bit at a time, he comes taking that part as you allow. It is a mystery but it is true,

  • Tahwahnah

    Yes Lord, may your word to me happen. I am listening.

  • I was blown away by the difference in responses between Mary and Zacharius to angelic encounters and miracles. In my mind, having a baby without having sex seems more impossible than having a baby when your in menopause! Either way though, these stories challenge me to live with a readiness for God and pray for a servants heart ready to do His will.

  • So difficult to do, but it’s true! The Lord wants us to turn to Him for answers and choose to love others, forgive, and be at peace with those around us. Even if that means letting go of our pride or what we may think is right. Love conquers all evil.

  • Valerie, please know you are not alone in your struggle to trust and obey. I am going through quite a long season of struggling with this very thing. And I can’t stand that I question whether or not I should obey God on certain things. It makes me think sometimes, that God looks down and is standing at the gates, ready to slam them shut in my face. But I know that prayer works, and that I need to continually seek Him to overcome this. I so wish I wasn’t so lukewarm about this so many times. Valerie, you will be in my prayers! Know that you have a sister in Christ fighting for you.

    • Cathy

      Laura, always remember that God loves you as His precious child. We all struggle with trusting and obeying at times and learning to completely surrender to Him is a lifelong journey. One of my favorite and most comforting verses is 1 Thess 5:23-24:

      "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

      He will do it! He works through our imperfections. Yes, sometimes we choose to do things "the hard way", but as a loving Father, He knows how to discipline us to get us back on track when needed. Pray for that fire in your belly. Pray that your love and obedience for Him will deepen with each passing day. He loves to answer that prayer!

      I needed to remind myself of these truths this morning. Thanks for being open and willing to share.

    • valerie

      laura, thank you for sharing your struggle as well. i’ll be lifting you up in prayer also. the “temperature” is going to change for both of us!

  • Bless all of you sisters today. Dear Valerie, that’s a struggle for us all. To trust and obey leads to peace, but why is it so darn hard? I think it may be an illusion that to trust is dangerous and to obey leads to suffering. I’ve found if I stay mindful about the way I talk to myself it can help.
    Whenever I am finding myself suffering because of some outward circumstance, after praying about it to find if the suffering is caused by me being “off my path,” I then remind myself “I asked for this.” I asked for trust, I asked for obedience. Usually, this creates a feeling of immediate relief and peace because of the shift in perspective. It doesnt always make the pain go away but it makes it bearable.
    For example, I wanted to become more diligent in my discipline at work. I prayed about it. I knew the answer i received was clear..”Do the work.” my business partner started getting tougher on me in his demands for productivity. I resisted him at first, until I remembered…”I asked for this.”
    That was enough to remind me this wasn’t about my business partner it was about God and me trusting and obeying.
    Sometimes it seems I can’t even let my mind off the hook for one unguarded moment without it running wild with distracting thoughts. What a blessing to have the peace of Mary, so young and vulnerable and so at peace with her path. I pray today to have the fortitude to keep my eyes on You, Lord, to put your Word in my heart where it focuses and strengthens me. In this current hard time I’m in, I’m no different than many of us, struggling, but not alone. Never alone, for You are with me. In Jesus name, amen.

    • Valerie

      thank you jessica! i am going to work on "shifting my perspective" – that really spoke to me.

  • Danielle

    Hey Valerie!! I am 22, no children, no husband.. BUT I am a daughter, sister, granddaughter, girlfriend, friend.. The first step in surrendering is to acknowledge it as a challenge– NOT HARD– just something you will have to work on daily.. When interacting with the world, I always ask myself would God be pleased? In every act I ask myself that.. I don’t always do things pleasing to God, when I chose to do what I want to do instead of what is pleasing to Him I “check” myself by talking to Him about what I’ve done in that moment and ask Him to show me what I should have done.. Therefore I go to Him in that moment to get clarity, I use it as a learning experience for “Next time”..

    I also try not to be so hard on myself.. My sins are already accounted for by the blood of Jesus. HALLELUJAH, knowing that allows me to take some of the pressure off of me and allows me to attack living in Christ with a fire in my soul!! As long as I am trying I know God knows my heart and sees me in this struggle called life..

    I also like to say– if I can commit to worldly routines like listening to non-Christian music, meeting all my responsibilities at school, making time for my friends, eating when I’m hungry.. Why can’t I live for Christ?! Learn and study daily, pray, give, etc..

    Yes, like you said it can be difficult to juggle but when you change the way you think about it, you’ll simply do what you have to do for the love of Him! To me the Christian lifestyle is addicting!! Once you experience His grace, His love, His mercy– you’ll want to be the BEST YOU.. You’ll strive harder and harder to be closer to Him!!

    Hope this helps..

    I am so glad we are all able to connect and learn through SRT:Advent study!!

    Blessings to all*

    • Valerie

      danielle, thank you for your words of encouragement. i do need to take the time to "check in" and then learn from it. that was good!

  • “let it be me according to your word”. i often pray & say those words but am i REALLY willing to accept & do whatever that may be – regardless of the cost, the adjustment, the sacrifice, the commitment? do i really put my will aside? i want to, but unfortunately i don’t think i do. this scripture really made me stop and think about the responsibility & obedience that goes along with praying that prayer. i think i’ve “assumed” that whatever His will for me is will fit nice & comfortably right into my own life.

    does anyone have any advice on how to really surrender? to honestly put God’s will before your own? it sounds simple, but actually living it out on a daily basis is a challenge. it’s easier when i’m alone during my prayer time or bible study time, but the minute my kids, husband or the real world come into play it’s a different story.

    thank you to the SRT community for challenging me to grow in my spiritual journey

  • The challenge is discerning God’s call from another persons call. Mary was an obedient servant who said yes to God. Yet, not every call is from God, and not every yes is His plan for us. Scripture tells us that God has designed acts of service specifically for us, before we were even born. Yet, many call with acts that were not planned. How often do we say yes, without discernment and prayer, and do someone else’s job? We are robbing them of God’s designed work for them. Pray before saying yes or no and then when you feel God’s direction, make your yes…yes and your no…no.

    • thewerths2012

      Such a great point! I struggle with this SO much and so often…trying to be everything to everyone. Not only is that not possible, it's exhausting to attempt. How often I forget that saying "yes" to something isn't always a good thing and how I may be stripping another person of the blessing of acts of service. Lord, please help me to wait more on your direction and not just jump on every opportunity. Truly let my yes be your yes, too.

  • StephanieR

    There is so much information in the short passage I have never noticed before! (I love how God opens our eyes when we are willing!) The book I am reading called "Rabboni" by W. Phillip Keller says Mary was probably around 14 years old when the angel visited her. She was everything we would see as not valuable to God–poor, young, female yet she was a "favored woman" by God! She was human, though and had her doubts! She was afraid as the angel talked to her and even questioned the angel as Zachariah did in yesterday's passage. I wondered why Zachariah was struck dumb but the angel did not do that to Mary? It amazes me that at fourteen she "accepted" the job God had for her! In the following verses Mary goes to visit Elizabeth–did she know Elizabeth was pregnant, also? or was she going there to talk to an older cousin who might help her understand what was going on? She could have told God no–she didn't even understand everything going on–but she accepted it still! What a lesson for us! We don't have to understand everything God sends us, it is okay to question what is happening, but in the end we if accept what God has for us what wonderful blessing will come our way!

  • Terri V.

    Father, Abba have mercy on us sinners lord, we gather on this site to praise and adore you. May each participant be one step closer to obedience to your will . Yaweh we rejoice in knowing that the victims of Sandy Hook are with you in heaven, may you pour out your peace amongst all those they left behind. In Jesus’ holy name Amen.

  • rocknitat55

    Total surrender without a fight. I know that’s what Christ desires. To accept his will for my life not because I ve believed, fought , desired some other thing so long and then given up because I am so exhausted in my own strength .
    Lord let it be with me according to your word. Lord I desire to be at peace with u.
    Mary your post really spoke to my heart. My prayer is that I reach that point. All things r possible with God.

  • How amazing! For those from whom the world expects nothing,God is ready to speak His word, do His work and bless us in unimaginable ways. I am sure that little Mary had her time of fear and doubt, but after asking just one question of the angel, her response was,”I am theLord’s servant…may it be to me as you have said.” Pretty incredible faith for a young girl……maybe that is why she was chosen!

  • Please pray for all the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting! This is such a tragic event it’s even more tragic since it’s so close to christmas

  • There is immense blessing when God puts it upon our heart to do something that’s not something we would have chosen to do, and we obey with total reliance upon Him. That’s surrender and a test of our faith. Obedience brings incredible blessing, just as Mary experienced being chosen to birth the Son of God. Her unwavering faith is a testimony for us all. To never question when God calls. To not let our flawed humanity, thinking only of our comfort, decide what we do, but having complete faith that God will accomplish His work in us.

  • Working to get back to this place. We really have to stay in this place of surrender because it can be so hard to come back. I am so grateful for our awesome God who never let’s go, even when We Do.

  • Yes, Lord! I am yours to command! Be it unto me according to YOUR WORD!

  • Charliie

    Lord Let it be to me according to Your Word.

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