God Favours the Ordinary [Part – 7]

This passage is truly beautiful. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes each time I read it. Its profound nature resonates deeply. Allow me to provide a brief context for those who might be attending church for the first time.

August 18, 2023

Today, I will dive into the life of one of my favorite characters from the Bible – Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This won’t be your typical Christmas sermon, although it might appear that way due to our focus on his birth and the angel’s visit to Mary. However, the essence here is that every day holds the spirit of Christmas. This mindset was instilled in me from childhood – we didn’t confine Christmas to December 25th. Rather, each day was an occasion to celebrate, much like Easter or any other joyful moment.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the theme of favor. The title I’ve chosen for today’s discourse is “Favor: Embracing the Ordinary.” This message particularly resonates with me because I’ll be sharing a part of my own journey. I come from an utterly ordinary family and consider myself an unassuming individual. It’s a feeling of inadequacy that makes me question my presence here, yet I remind myself that my qualification comes from a higher power. It’s through Him that I find my worthiness.

The Angel’s Visit to Mary

Now, let’s delve into the Scripture. I invite you to turn to Luke chapter one, specifically verses 26 to 38. Though it’s an extensive passage, we’ll explore it together step by step.

Luke 1:26-38 – In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

This passage is truly beautiful. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes each time I read it. Its profound nature resonates deeply. Allow me to provide a brief context for those who might be attending church for the first time. Mary holds the esteemed role of being the mother of Jesus, the son of God. An angel named Gabriel, a divine messenger, appeared before Mary to convey a remarkable message. This message foretold that she would give birth to a son, who would be known by the significant titles we are about to read. This child would be named Holy Emmanuel, a manifestation of God among us. He would assume the role of the ultimate King of Kings, his reign originating from the lineage of David, as detailed in the scriptures. These extraordinary revelations were bestowed upon Mary by the angel.

However, Mary found herself grappling with the inconceivable nature of this proclamation. After all, she was merely engaged to Joseph and not yet married, and she maintained her status as a virgin. Naturally, the prospect of a virgin birth seemed implausible, if not impossible. Mary’s bewilderment and curiosity are palpable. She wondered about the meaning of such an unexpected greeting. Now, let’s delve into the narrative. The angel, tasked with revealing that Mary, as a virgin, would give birth to the son of God, occurred at a time when her cousin Elizabeth was also expecting.

While doing a brief study, I discovered the age of Elizabeth when she found herself pregnant. Astonishingly, she was around the age of 88, or thereabouts. It’s a notion that might appear impossible to fathom. In our contemporary era, it’s unclear if anyone has experienced the miracle of childbirth at such an advanced age. Nevertheless, let’s delve into the narrative. Gabriel’s message included these two remarkable pieces of information. Now, let’s shift our attention to a significant backdrop: the 400-year interval of silence that preceded these events. If you’re not already aware, there was a span of 400 years characterized by divine quietude. During this period, God’s direct communication, as witnessed in the Old Testament, subsided. He had previously communicated through individuals, speaking through his people, and conveying his messages directly. Prophets played a pivotal role in delivering God’s word to the masses.”

During a period of profound silence, there emerged a time when God’s voice seemed absent. The Israelites found themselves pondering, “Where is God? What is unfolding?” Then, unexpectedly, God revealed himself to Mary, an ordinary teenage girl. He conveyed an astounding message: she would conceive a child, a feat defying physical possibility. Additionally, Mary learned that her cousin Elizabeth would also experience a miraculous pregnancy. Remarkably, after enduring 400 years of silence, God’s first utterance centered on two narratives of favor and impossibility. This peculiar choice, amidst countless possibilities, to share stories of the improbable and the favored is truly astonishing. It’s a concept that invokes amazement. Today, we delve into these narratives, delving into the themes of impossibility and favor.

Jesus: A Different Kind of King

The Israelites held a steadfast belief that their awaited Messiah, the world’s savior, would manifest as a formidable warrior king—a figure destined to lead them in battle, triumphing over nations and establishing Israel’s dominion through warfare. However, as we encounter in the Book of Luke, a striking contrast emerges. The birth of Jesus unfolds in utmost humility and obscurity, taking place in a lowly setting. His entry into the world is within a humble stable, marked by a manger crafted from hay. This depiction, familiar in the Christmas narrative, showcases an extraordinary contrast with grandeur. The circumstances of his birth were far from prestigious; there was no suitable birthing place available, ultimately leading to their refuge in an animal shed. This unexpected backdrop reveals Jesus’ birth as an epitome of humility and simplicity. Contrary to the anticipation of a mighty king emerging, the reality is characterized by ordinariness. The Israelites’ anticipation for a warrior king endures, even as the circumstances of Jesus’ birth depart dramatically from their expectations.

Yet emerges a different archetype: a servant king. This king arrives amidst the ordinary, embracing the most commonplace circumstances. His birth takes place in Nazareth, a town that holds no remarkable distinction. This is evident in the Book of John, where Philip invites Nathaniel, two devoted disciples of Jesus, to behold the long-awaited Messiah, none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Nathaniel’s skeptical response, “Nazareth, can anything good come from there?” underscores the lack of renown associated with Nazareth. Inexplicably, the king of the world enters this very place – Nazareth – to initiate his journey. This narrative holds a profound lesson: the perception of lacking uniqueness or significance should not deter one. As exemplified, God’s selection isn’t contingent on overt talents or prominent gifts. Just as Jesus’ birth in Nazareth defied expectations, remember that feeling devoid of distinct attributes should not obscure the potential for divine purpose.

You might say that I’m not conventionally attractive or qualified. Why would God choose someone like me? However, if God could choose Mary, an ordinary teenage girl from the humblest town of Nazareth, then He can choose you too. Now, I’d like to bring your attention to something that captured my interest.

Luke 1:28-29 – The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

Mary: An Ordinary Choice

Have any of you ever encountered angels?

Well, even if you have, I’m not sure how you’d react. Picture this: a teenage girl standing face-to-face with an angel. She’s there, trying to make sense of this extraordinary encounter. Honestly, if I were in her shoes, I might just bolt in fear. The situation would totally freak me out. In the Old Testament, we come across numerous instances where people fell to the ground, their faces down, trembling with fear at the presence of divine beings. But this girl, she’s standing her ground, attempting to unravel the meaning of this greeting. She’s asking herself, “What kind of greeting is this?” If it were me, I’d take it as a sign to run for the hills. Yet, this situation implies something significant: she was attuned to the voice of God. I can’t say for certain if she was familiar with angelic encounters, but she clearly had some familiarity. It’s possible she had heard similar greetings before, but this one was distinct.

So, she was diligently trying to figure out the nature of this greeting. And then it says, “Oh, favored one.” Have you ever wondered why Mary is referred to as “favored”? It’s because the Lord is by her side. You can find a similar idea in Genesis 39:2, where it mentions that the Lord was with Joseph, leading him to success and prosperity. This concept of favor essentially boils down to having God’s presence with you; that’s when you’re truly favored. And guess what? We’ve got even better news. God isn’t just with us; He resides within us. Every single person here carries that favor. You don’t need Gabriel to descend and inform you of that. Today, believe deep down that you are genuinely favored, chosen. So, once again, why did God choose Mary? This leads me to the question of what made her so special. Was there a unique quality that set her apart from all other potential candidates to give birth to Jesus? The answer is that God chose her precisely because she was ordinary. She had that special spark, but at the core, she was ordinary. One of my cherished verses in the Bible, and it’s the very first verse I mark in every new Bible I acquire.

1 Corinthians 1:26 – Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

I’d like to share my testimony and a part of my personal journey. I was born in Kuwait, leading a rather ordinary life there. Attending a regular school, I had a typical childhood. Later, I relocated to Bangalore, India. However, in Bangalore, my confidence took a hit, and I started grappling with insecurities. I felt like I was never good enough, never excelling in school or any particular area. I did have a small talent in singing, but it wasn’t something I could confidently boast about, as I was never the best.

Upon moving to Delhi, I continued to struggle with these feelings of inadequacy. Looking back, I consider it a stroke of divine favor that I met my husband. This marked a turning point in my life. Despite moving to Delhi, my feelings of insignificance persisted.

I observed those around me and couldn’t help but wonder, “Do I truly belong here? Did I make a mistake in marrying him? Did he make a mistake in marrying me?” The feeling of not fitting in was pervasive. It seemed like everyone else belonged to a certain class, a different league altogether. I felt like an outsider, as if they were on a higher intellectual and spiritual plane. And then there was me, feeling inadequate and disconnected. Shame was a constant companion whenever we were in social settings. I felt as though I was in the wrong circle, out of place.

However, because of my commitment to Sam, I went along with the flow. I accompanied him to his ministerial work, prayed for the same people he did, all the while battling my own self-doubt. I never truly believed in my own worthiness and ability to contribute.

In 2018, a pivotal moment occurred when I had a profound encounter with God. This encounter transformed my relationship with Him; it was the first time I truly perceived God as my father. Despite having referred to Him as “Father” throughout my life, this experience enabled me to deeply understand and feel the love of a father. This encounter marked a turning point, reshaping my entire perspective.

From that point onward, I no longer sought validation from external sources to validate my self-worth. I recognized that I was the daughter of the ultimate Father, the King of Kings. This realization was enough to reshape my self-perception. I ceased searching for further qualifications or approval to feel special, wanted, and adequate. The love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father were all the validation I needed.

This transformation in my perception of self is the core of my testimony. It empowered me to stand here today and share my story.

Today serves as a testament—a realization of a dream I’ve long held, but one that I’ve lacked the courage to pursue. Some of you may be aware that I’ve nurtured a desire to speak, a dream that until now has remained unfulfilled. During my school days, my teachers would nominate me for speaking engagements, which I consistently avoided, often by skipping school altogether due to my apprehension towards speaking. Yet, standing here today is not intended as a boast, but rather as an acknowledgment that it’s through divine favor and grace that I find myself in this moment. If I can achieve this, then truly, anyone can. So, this is my story.

Back when I was a student in Bangalore, I was considered among the least qualified in my class. I pursued studies in social work, although my current occupation has taken a different path. During those college years, my teachers would single me out—I’m not fabricating this—calling me forward and making disparaging remarks in front of the entire class. My teachers did not favor me. Some would look at me and bluntly assert that I didn’t belong there. However, I persisted, persevered through tears, supported by friends who lifted me up, and somehow made it through college.

Let me share something now: those classmates who once surpassed me academically now approach me, seeking job opportunities. It’s because God has equipped me and placed me where I am. There’s no intention to boast; my qualification comes from Him. Now, let’s delve back into the story of Mary and explore why God chose her.

My initial point revolves around the fact that God selects the ordinary—a notion I’ve already established. Mary had nothing to boast about—absolutely nothing.

Her origins weren’t traced back to a prominent lineage, nor did she hail from a distinguished family. In the Bible, scant details are provided about her, leaving her past largely uncharted. Yet, she managed to secure God’s favor—this is the sole mention of her. She found favor in the eyes of God, and in response, she humbly surrendered and wholeheartedly embraced His will.

When the angel appeared to her with an astounding proposition, the notion that she, a virgin, would give birth to the Son of God, she inquired, “How can this be?” Nevertheless, the dialogue culminated with her resolute statement, “Let it be to me according to your word.” This highlights her readiness to undertake the monumental task. Essentially, she conveyed to God, “If you desire to bring forth your son through me, I’m prepared. Let it transpire according to your word.”

She displayed her willingness to fulfill that divine commission—to bring forth God in human form. She was resolute in delivering that reality. Therefore, God’s preference lies with the ordinary. So, if you perceive yourself as ordinary, consider it a fortunate status. He has handpicked you.

God Values Availability Over Ability

Another point I’d like to emphasize is that God values our availability over our ability. Even if your repertoire of abilities seems limited, your readiness to be available and to respond affirmatively to Him is what truly matters. As Pastor Sam just mentioned, the Bible recounts a tale where God communicated through a donkey—yes, a donkey actually uttered words. If He could utilize a creature often regarded as simple and unintelligent, imagine what potential lies within His creation made in His own image. What truly matters is your affirmative response. If you say yes to Him today, you are chosen; His favor rests upon you. Consequently, He will entrust you with that divine mission.

At times, the assignments that God orchestrates in our lives may lack apparent coherence, much like Mary’s assignment. There are instances when God directs us to undertake actions that seem utterly nonsensical to us. These directives might defy conventional wisdom, right? Yet, if His favor rests upon us, that very blueprint can thrive and prosper. Hence, today, I sense the importance of seeking from the Lord that His purpose transcends our own designs. As articulated in the Bible, His ways are loftier, His plans are more expensive. The more we cling to our own blueprints, the less space we provide for His purpose to unfurl and become a reality, don’t you think? So, as we absorb His word, let’s collectively entreat the Lord to prepare our hearts to embrace His purpose above our own plans. May His purpose be fulfilled.

In the Bible, there’s a well-known shepherd boy named David. We’re all familiar with his story. David, while still a youth, was selected to become the king of Israel. Despite having multiple brothers, none were deemed suitable for this role. However, this one young shepherd, whose primary task was tending to his father’s flock, emerged. He lacked the traits associated with kingship, possessing no evident qualifications, but what he did possess was availability.

When the need arose for someone to confront the formidable giant Goliath, this shepherd boy stepped forward. His willingness to deliver provisions to his brothers, who were engaged in warfare, set him apart. Due to his readiness, God employed him, ultimately designating him as king. However, did he ascend to kingship immediately? No, there was a period of waiting.

He received the promise of becoming king, yet a prolonged period of waiting ensued, during which little seemed to be unfolding. He found himself engaged in the humble task of shepherding the sheep. However, within this seemingly unremarkable role, he encountered challenges in the form of lions and bears that sought to harm and kill the sheep under his care. Remarkably, he engaged in combat with these threats and emerged victorious, as the Bible recounts him defeating and tearing apart these adversaries. This phase served as God’s preparation for a greater calling.

David’s journey commenced with confronting lions and bears—no small feat in itself. This was God’s way of honing him, molding him for something grander. His experiences with these formidable creatures paved the way for an even greater battle: facing Goliath, an enormous adversary. David confronted this towering figure armed with nothing more than a slingshot and five stones. The odds seemed insurmountable, yet it was precisely these trials that God employed to groom him for this pivotal moment.

Embracing God’s Call and God’s Plans

I vividly recall the early days of joining my current job. There was a colleague on my team who inquired about my thoughts on the role. Given that it was a field I had not studied and was entirely new to, I shared my genuine sentiments. I admitted that I felt as though I could be replaced any day since I lacked the qualifications and experience, especially in communications, which was the domain I was entering. This colleague shared something with me that deeply resonated and has stayed with me. It’s akin to why David is one of my favorite characters as well. He recounted David’s story to me and pointed out that even though God destined him to be a king, He assigned him various tasks along the way.

He assigned a task to him, which was to become a shepherd. David faithfully embraced this role until he ascended to the throne. He diligently served in accordance with God’s will, including singing songs to Saul and even using his music to drive out demons. David wholeheartedly accepted every assignment, responding affirmatively to God’s plans. He remained open to fulfilling whatever God required of him. This is why the Bible describes him as a man after God’s own heart—a remarkable honor. It’s truly a privilege to carry such a title, signifying a deep alignment with God’s desires. This outcome is the result of responding positively to God and being readily available. To possess the designation “a man after God’s own heart” reflects the impact of saying yes to God and allowing oneself to be used according to His intentions. It involves submitting to His plans and purposes, prioritizing them above one’s own.

Approaching God with Simplicity

This is my prayer today. Another key point I’d like to highlight is that God seeks the simple-hearted. Often, we approach Him armed with our knowledge and facts, presenting our plans and expecting God to align with them. We lay out our logical framework and ask God to follow our reasoning. However, God values those who come to Him with a child-like simplicity. Jesus himself, while sharing parables and profound truths from the Scriptures, noticed that even His disciples—the ones who observed His daily ministry—would sometimes inquire, “What does that mean?” These were the individuals who closely witnessed Jesus’ miraculous works and teachings, yet they too encountered moments of bewilderment. They wondered how certain things were possible. In response, Jesus offered a prayer expressing gratitude to the Father. He acknowledged that the mysteries of His teachings were hidden from the wise and revealed to those with childlike hearts. This particular passage resonates deeply with me. It highlights how God unveils His plans and purposes to those who approach Him with a heart willing to embrace simplicity. They declare, “Lord, my heart is uncomplicated. I’m eager to obey Your calling.”

At times, embracing God’s will might lead to situations that appear somewhat unconventional. Let me share a few instances from the Bible that illustrate this point. Take Noah, for instance. He constructed an ark—an unprecedented feat at the time. It’s likely he wasn’t even familiar with what an ark was meant to be. Building it without prior knowledge of a flood, which is not mentioned in earlier biblical accounts, exemplifies his faith. Moses, too, found himself facing the Red Sea with merely a staff at hand, while Pharaoh’s formidable army approached. Sarah’s situation might seem remarkable as well. Despite her infertility, she received a promise of bearing a child.

Understanding the Nature of God’s Favor

Sarah, for instance, received this promise when she was already 90 years old. The Israelites’ unconventional method of marching around the walls of Jericho, guided by the sound of a single trumpet, might seem peculiar. David’s bravery against Goliath was demonstrated with just five stones and a slingshot. Esther, displaying remarkable courage, approached the king without a prior summons. Caleb’s determination at the age of 85 to claim a mountain as his own is yet another testament to unwavering faith. Mary’s unique circumstance involved her being a pregnant virgin, while the wise men followed a star to witness a baby lying in a manger. Peter’s bold step out of the boat and the woman afflicted with the issue of blood, who pushed through a crowd in pursuit of healing, further underscore the power of faith and determination. She pushed her way through the crowd and reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. In a prison cell, Paul and Silas began to worship and praise God. A young boy presented his lunch of five loaves and two fish to Jesus. Jesus, the King of the world, was crucified, enduring mockery, scorn, ridicule, and beatings that seemingly made no sense.

But amidst this, there is good news, just as Noah’s story doesn’t end in despair. He saved his entire family by answering God’s call, just as Moses parted the Red Sea with his staff. Sarah gave birth to Isaac despite the odds. The Israelites marched around the city walls, which subsequently crumbled. David triumphed over Goliath, and Esther halted a Jewish genocide. Caleb claimed his inheritance. Mary delivered Jesus, the Messiah. Wise men successfully sought the divine. Peter walked on water beside Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood found healing. Paul and Silas shattered their chains and sparked a revival.

The young boy with his five loaves and two fish miraculously fed over 5,000 people. Jesus, the sovereign ruler of the world, triumphantly rose from the dead, conquering both hell and death. He now possesses the keys to these realms, and His spirit resides within us. Our own narrative often features assignments from God that might initially appear trivial. However, if you choose to embrace His call, I assure you, it won’t culminate there. His plans for what He urges you to undertake hold a grander significance. Sometimes, aligning yourself with God’s will might seem irrational until it suddenly becomes clear. Eventually, a moment will arrive when all the pieces fall into place, and you’ll retrospectively realize why events unfolded the way they did. Gratitude will fill your heart as you acknowledge that God’s design surpassed your own intentions. Embracing His purpose brings profound contentment.

Mary’s interaction with Gabriel showcased her questioning nature. She posed the query of “how can this be?” seemingly anticipating a biology lesson in response. Yet, Gabriel’s answer took a different route, revealing that the Spirit would overshadow her and emphasizing the boundless power of God. While she may have hoped for a different type of explanation, the one she received was precisely what she required. It was this response that prompted her to declare, “Let it be to me according to your word.” Had Gabriel taken the approach of a biology lesson, Mary’s reaction might have been incredulous. The unconventional explanation was pivotal; it echoed the belief that nothing is beyond God’s capabilities, inspiring her affirmative response. Truly, God’s favor isn’t a mark of our status but rather a call to serve. It’s a notion often overlooked. Many times I’ve expressed this sentiment, and it resonates with most women.

At times, I find myself sharing with either Sam or my friends about how I’ve experienced what seems like an abundance of favor. I’ll mention things my boss said or specific events, claiming that God’s favor is evident in my life. However, it’s crucial to recognize that favor extends far beyond these seemingly significant occurrences. It’s not tied to our status or meant for us to boast, “I am divinely favored.” Mary, chosen by God, didn’t flaunt her favored status. Instead, she heeded the call placed upon her, embracing it as a call to service. When God selects us, it’s for a purpose that goes beyond our immediate perception. While those instances of favor we notice are indeed manifestations of God’s grace, they’re just fragments. The scope of God’s favor is vast and goes beyond outpacing others in some way.

When the favor of God enters your life, it has a way of disrupting your carefully laid plans. It’s important to be prepared for this. If your expectations aren’t aligning with reality, it might just mean that God’s favor is at work within you. So, if that desired job remains elusive, if your hopes for a spouse aren’t met, if that dream college acceptance letter doesn’t arrive, or if your finances aren’t unfolding as anticipated, take heed, for these situations might actually reflect the favor of God. It’s an interesting perspective, isn’t it? When things don’t unfold exactly as you envision, it’s a reminder that if everything aligned seamlessly with your designs, there’d be no space for God’s intervention. Remember, nothing is beyond God’s capabilities. While humans can achieve much, it’s God who surpasses all limits.

When Mary received the promise of giving birth to Jesus, there’s no mention in the Bible that she went about broadcasting it to everyone. Instead, the only person she sought was Elizabeth, who was six months into her own miraculous pregnancy. Mary chose to confide in someone who shared a similar divine promise. She had nobody else to turn to, no one she could openly discuss her situation with. Even when she informed the man she was engaged to, his initial reaction was to devise a plan to end the engagement quietly, as her circumstances were perceived as shameful. However, he later had a dream where God reassured him that this was part of God’s plan, a promise meant for their lives.

The journey of receiving God’s favor can often be a lonely one. You might find yourself without companions who truly grasp your situation, and it might seem as if nobody can truly understand what you’re experiencing. Just as Mary’s path was marked by isolation, when God’s favor is upon you, you might need to walk it alone, at least in the beginning.

The Lonely Journey of God’s Favor

Allow me to share that this season of waiting, even when it feels like you’re navigating it solo, holds a profound preciousness. This period, where you might perceive a lack of companionship, possesses its own unique value. The reason is that within this apparent isolation, you’re accompanied by none other than God Himself. He comprehends the exact nature of your journey, the struggles you’re facing, and the hopes you’re nurturing. It’s a remarkably beautiful aspect of the process.

Consider the analogy of a pregnant woman within our church. There are undoubtedly moments when she and her unborn child are alone. This period, akin to an incubation phase, is uniquely intimate. It mirrors the sensation of being solely with your promise and your faith. It’s an experience where it’s just you and God, fostering a remarkable closeness. While I might not personally understand this journey as of yet, I’m certain that these moments are indeed special and significant.

Perhaps you find yourself amidst that waiting season, a phase of incubation where tangible results seem distant. Still, I urge you to trust that God has bestowed upon you a unique plan, purpose, and promise meant to be cherished by you alone. Although my time is limited, I’d like to conclude with a thought: fear is the principal obstacle that hinders us from embracing the full extent of God’s favor. At times, when God assigns us tasks, consider this example: imagine being chosen to spread the message of God’s love as an evangelist. Numerous fears might arise—fear of rejection, for instance, as you approach someone with the message of God’s love and they turn you away.

They might respond, saying, “I’m not interested. I don’t require God’s love. My life is complete.” Indeed, the fear of being misunderstood is valid. People might not readily accept the message you’re sharing. You could even find yourself ostracized from the group you once belonged to, as your perspective no longer aligns with theirs. There’s a palpable fear of losing relationships and friendships, a fear that can paralyze us. This fear holds the potential to erode the experience of God’s favor in our lives—not erasing the favor itself, but corroding the joy it brings, particularly the joy of our salvation.

However, the good news is that fear doesn’t have to be the culmination of your journey.

2 Timothy 1:7 – for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

God has endowed us with the spirit of power, love, and sound judgment. Thus, when God’s favor rests upon us, we need not succumb to fear. Do not allow fear to cripple you. Remember, with God, all things are possible. Instead of fleeing from darkness, embrace it, for you have been rescued from it. Your purpose is not to remain confined to your current state; rather, you are meant to charge into the darkness as a bearer of light, as the world’s salt. You’ve been designated as a potent instrument against the dominion of darkness.

Consider this: when the devil turns his attention towards you, he does so with trepidation. Not the kind of trembling we’ve joyfully spoken of, but a genuine fear. He is aware of your potential impact on the kingdom. He recognizes the power vested in you—the spirit of love, power, and sound judgment. There exists no force that can thwart your endeavors. Hence, stand resolute, exhibit boldness, and fearlessly advance.

Take the plunge and wholeheartedly pursue what God is beckoning you towards. I’ve come across a saying that’s worth sharing: “Do it afraid until you’re no longer afraid.” Even if God’s calling nudges you to share the love of Jesus with others, though it might seem daunting, trust me, I empathize—I get nervous each time the Holy Spirit prompts me to do so. Yet, take that leap even when fear lingers, because eventually, a time will come when the fear dissipates. You’ll reach a point where the very thing that once daunted you becomes something you’re comfortable doing.

The Call to Sing and Rejoice in God’s Plan

Consider Mary’s experience. It’s likely she felt trepidation too. The task before her was overwhelming. Nevertheless, she boldly proclaimed, “Lord, if this is Your will, let it be done.” Following the reception of this profound and intimidating promise, she didn’t retreat into isolation.

Mary’s response to her daunting assignment is truly remarkable. Instead of withdrawing, she breaks into a song of praise, known as the Magnificat. In this song, she rejoices in God, her savior, showcasing her faith and surrender to His plan. Let this be a lesson for us all: fear should not hold us back. Rather, it’s a call to sing, to rejoice, and to find solace in God. When God summons you, He isn’t leading you towards a life dominated by fear. Quite the contrary, His intention is for you to experience absolute freedom.

Often, we find reasons to object. “God, I’m not a skilled speaker. Why choose me?” “I’m not qualified for this task. Why send me?” “I’m just a woman.” “I’m too young.” “My background isn’t ideal.” “I lack resources.” Such excuses can be veiled in humility but might actually stem from pride. Leave your pride and these seemingly humble excuses behind. Understand that God’s call isn’t to a life shackled by fear or cushioned by excuses. He beckons you towards a life characterized by confidence, boldness, a sound mind, and immense power. Our achievements wouldn’t be possible without God; He excels in crafting miracles, in navigating the impossible.

Today, if you find yourself immersed in what seems like an insurmountable situation, embrace it, for it’s precisely in these moments that your need for God becomes undeniable. Can we all stand, surrendering our hearts to God? Let’s pray together, inviting God to move within us, to shape our hearts according to His divine ways, so that He can enact the impossible.

If you’re waiting for healing, place your trust in the God of impossibilities, the One who wields the power of miracles. Open your heart to His healing touch. For those seeking improved job prospects or promotions, understand that His favor rests upon you. While it might not unfold according to your timetable or plans, remember that His ways transcend ours. His intentions for you exceed your immediate vision. If God’s calling beckons you toward a relationship that appears daunting or intimidating, know that He stands by your side. His favor extends not only to you but to your partner as well.

His favor rests upon your marriage. If God is beckoning you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace a radical path, move forward with confidence, for He walks beside you, banishing any sense of solitude. Banish your fears, revel in the joy of a partnership with God. Remember, nothing is insurmountable.

Father; we willingly submit. We relinquish our plans, inviting You, Lord, to disrupt and supersede our designs with Your divine purpose. Open our eyes to perceive the grander scheme, to step back from our comfort, and help us grasp the Kingdom’s calling that summons us. Illuminate our understanding, grant us the knowledge that it’s not merely about outpacing others. This isn’t Your summon. Rather, You’ve tasked us with establishing Your dominion here on Earth, Father, to manifest Your will as it is manifest in heaven. Thus, we embrace Your plans. We welcome Your favor. We yield to Your potential to redirect our intentions. Lord, make us prepared for Your summons, for the promises and assignments You bestow. We refuse to act independently, Father. Our desire is to move forward with the certainty that Your presence accompanies us, that You’ve certified us, that Your worthiness defines our own. Amen


About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

Recent Sermons