When a person takes their walk with Jesus seriously and they truly begin to believe, “I am a son or daughter of God and I am going to live like it”, they set themselves against the powers of darkness and they set themselves apart from everyone around them except those who have made the same choice.
At that point you have set yourself apart exclusively for God’s use.
That is what the Apostle Paul was describing when he wrote to the believers in Rome.
“I beseech you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God which your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV).
Mary of Nazareth had a similar experience when God asked her dedicate her body exclusively for His use.
The angel Gabriel was “sent by God to a city of Galilee name Nazareth.”
Gabriel’s greeting startled Mary, just as it would you and me. “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28 NKJV)
She had found favor with God.
Mary was just an ordinary young woman living in a small village on the side of a mountain, in Galilee, overlooking the Jezreel Valley. There was nothing she did to earn or to deserve this honor.
God chose Mary and gave her favor, the same as He chose the Patriarch Abraham and gave him favor.
- Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
- God chose Mary and gave her favor. She believed God and it was counted to her for righteousness.
God has chosen you and given you favor.
“[J]ust as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:4-7 NKJV).
Why would God choose you?
The Scripture explains, “according to the good pleasure of His will.”
- You didn’t earn it.
- You certainly don’t deserve it.
- God chose you because He loves you and because He wanted to choose you.
He chose you to be holy, without condemnation and to be in a face to face relationship with Him. He made you acceptable and gave you favor by redeeming you from the slave market of sin and adopting you into His family as a son or daughter.
“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you…”
Mary and Joseph had to wrestle with many things when they began walking this out. Just like you have to wrestle with many things when you make the decision in your life to live authentically sold out as a child of God.
If Gabriel’s greeting startled Mary, his message must have flooded her with anxiety. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS” (Luke 1:30-31 NKJV).
“That not possible,” she responded, “I am a good girl. I am still pure and have never been immoral.”
God knew that, Gabriel assured her. This would not be a natural conception. Gabriel continued, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35 NKJV).
That sounds amazing, but “with God nothing will be impossible.”
Mary would literally carry God in her womb.
Every day she lived for nine months, every place she went, every conversation she had, God was within her. Imagine, placing her hands on her tummy and feeling God move within her.
It is challenging to grasp when you are born again that God, Himself, takes up residence within your body.
When you repent and ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and make you a new creation, the Holy Spirit comes upon you and the power of the Highest overshadows you and you are born again “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9-11).
Every day you live, every place you go, every conversation you have, God is in you.
It may seem impossible for you to live that kind of life. Maybe you come from a narcotics addiction or alcoholic background. Maybe you have not Christian background and it just seems impossible.
Remember, “With God nothing will be impossible.”
When Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 NKJV), she could not take it back, no matter how difficult it became.
Four months into it she could not say, this is much harder than I ever dreamed, I don’t want to do this anymore.
She may feel that way emotionally and those thoughts may go through her mind, but she would have to learn how to make quality choices to deal with the challenges that came her way.
There were choices she would make because she loved God and was sold out to Him for a life time.
Imagine her conversation with Joseph, explaining her condition.
How do you tell your mother and father and your siblings, you expecting a child and it is a miracle and you really are still a virgin?
How do you tell your best friends, “In a few weeks it will look like I’ve gained weight; I am expecting a child and it is by the power of Almighty God. I’ve not been with Joseph or any other man.”
She would face the ridicule and rejection of her closest friends and the neighbors of that small community. They would not understand.
There are other aspects that would require loving obedience.
The marriage covenant with Joseph could not be consummated for more than nine months after their wedding.
They would have to face being ostracized by the synagogue and by relatives who did not understand and would not accept “the obvious.”
Walking out authentic discipleship; living a holy life as a son or daughter who carries God where ever you go and in every conversation will require loving choices that many will not understand and may bring ridicule and even rejection.
God wants you to make a commitment to keep your body exclusively for Him until He brings that man or that woman with whom you will make the covenant of marriage; and then not until the wedding night when the covenant has been made.
God wants you to have eyes only for your covenant partner and that will limit the magazines you read, the web sites you visit, the movies you watch, and the music selection to which you listen.
Relatives, best friends, and coworkers will not understand the change in your behavior.
Your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé may not accept the change.
You will suffer ridicule and maybe even rejection.
There is no turning back, no quit, just because it gets rough and difficult.
This is where you learn to find joy in suffering for Christ’s sake.
Do not fear child of God. Strengthen your faith in the one who chose you. You can live this out by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within you.
You have found favor with God.
You have been chosen to be His son or His daughter.
He has redeemed you and adopted you into His family.
He lives in you and has blessed you with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places.
It is the best way to live!