“Although her dream of an ideal union with Joseph was temporarily blemished, she no doubt contemplated what this all would mean to her life, her family, and her dreams. Perhaps in her heart she said yes to her God but in her mind was afraid of the consequences of obedience. In the moment when she encountered the love of God through the voice of an angel, it was her faith that said yes, despite the consequences. In a moment when her feelings of love and hope for Joseph seemed threatened, it was her faith in God that remained. In these moments when only faith remains, we, too, are forced to ask the confusing questions.”
After Gabriel presents the calling of a lifetime, with a bit of clarification on the miracle it would require, Mary responds in Luke 1:38, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Amazing, right?! Pure obedience.
Yet, in that life-altering, most unanticipated and unexpected moment, did Mary respond from a place of fear or a place of faith? Perhaps a little bit of both.
Maybe you can relate. Do you tend to react or respond to events in life from a place of fear or a place of faith? If we aren’t careful, we can become obedient to fear and still call it obedience. Especially when we experience adverse events that by nature evoke the fear of the unknown, or the fear of losing control.
Most likely Mary felt both kinds of fear. Yet in the most important moment in her life, she says “yes” to God’s plan and ultimately “yes” to Jesus in faith, despite her feelings. She took a leap in the long walk of obedience.
Ponder your own obedience to God. In what areas is obedience easy? In what areas is obedience difficult?
Are you more obedient to fear, or do you respond to people, and events, and circumstances in life from a foundation of faith?
When we trust God, because we believe He is who He says He is, then we can respond in faith despite the consequences of obedience. Had Mary known the journey she would take to the cross, she might have reacted differently and missed God’s merciful preparation along the way. Instead she responded in faith, despite the unknown costs.
The consequences of obedience in faith is God’s best for your life in the context of eternity. The consequences of obedience to fear is isolation and separation from God in the context of the temporal. One obedience both humbles and exalts, while the other only humiliates and exacerbates.
I invite you to ponder your obedience as you treasure His truth. Yes, obedience, even in faith, has consequences, but they are rooted in the promises of God and in time, will bear much fruit.
“Dear Lord, help us arrive at the place of faith where we too, like Mary, can say, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” May Jesus be our life-changing yes. In His sweet name. Amen.”
Excerpts From When Only Faith Remains – Amy O’Reilly