“For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:37–38, ESV)
The Angel Gabriel came to announce the birth of Jesus to Mary. Mary marvels how this could be. She wonders how God could accomplish this seemingly impossible task. It all boggled the mind. But the angel reminded her:
NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
Indeed, there is nothing God cannot accomplish. He is God! He is Lord over all. What seems like a big thing to us is a small thing to him.
Can God accomplish the impossible through us? Of course, he can! Consider the following.
God Uses Ordinary People
There was nothing extraordinary about Mary. Zachariah, the priest, and Elizabeth were described as righteous and devout people (Luke 1:5-6). But Mary is not described in this way. She did not stand out. Even her name was ordinary. If you looked at a book of the most popular baby names at the time, you would have found Mary at the top of the list of girls names. There is a reason that we count at least six other Marys in the New Testament.
The lesson for us to learn is that God uses ordinary people. He uses people like Mary. He uses people like you and me. We may not be extraordinarily gifted or stand out from the crowd. But when God uses people like us, it is God who gets the glory. Because we know it is not us. It is him working in us and through us. Yes, God used Mary to accomplish his great purpose. But it is evident to all who read this story that it was not Mary, but God who did this.
God Uses Those with Open Hearts
What did Mary do? She made herself available! She declares, “I am the servant of the Lord.” That is a powerful declaration. We are invited to make that same declaration today. To be used by God starts with opening our hearts and minds to what God would do. It is declaring and believing that God can and will work through us.
Realize that what you are saying in this declaration is that you are not in charge any longer. You giving the control and direction of your life to God. It is a letting go of what you have made most important for what God deems to be more important. A servant gives up the right to go first.
God Uses Those Guided by the Word
Another important thing that Mary declares is that her servanthood would be guided by the Word of the Lord. She says, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” It highlights the importance of God’s Word. We need the Lord to speak into our lives to guide us.
We cannot accomplish God’s purpose through what we think best. We do it through what God thinks best. It is impossible to go where God would have us go, do what God would have us do, and say what God would have us say if we are not directed and guided by him. Too many people try to do what God would have them do without knowing what God would have them do. So how do we know what God would have us do?
It is through reading and listening to the Word! It is through the opening and entering of the Scriptures. There is nothing we can do to help us grow as followers of Jesus than to read the Bible for ourselves. This is where we hear God!
This is why I would like to challenge you to join me in reading the New Testament in 2019. You can download the 2019 New Testament Reading Plan that I have laid out. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament and 261 weekdays in 2019. What that means is that if you read one chapter of Scripture each weekday you will read the entire New Testament in a year. This plan has no readings on the weekends so you can use that time to reflect upon what you read during the week or to catch up on readings you might have missed.
I pray that you will join me in this adventure that we might be used by God in a more powerful way in 2019. May we declare with Mary: “We are the servants of the Lord! Let it be done to us according to his Word!”