When we choose to believe God, we actually choose God above all else. It defines our love for Him and our knowledge of Him, and brings the greatest blessing of seeing Him work with supernatural power in our natural circumstances.
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)
The Spirit reminded me very firmly as I read this verse that there is no difference between Mary and any of us. She didn’t possess any kind of ‘divinity’ or supernatural ability. We all have the same opportunity and face the same challenges. When it comes to the things of God, we share the same field. There are no favourites or ‘exceptions’ who somehow have more going for them. He is as likely to use the shepherd boy as He is the king, the housewife…or even the donkey if push comes to shove. Fair enough, we don’t like the donkey analogy, but it gets the message across. So why, then, did Mary bear the Messiah instead of some other Jewish girl? It was her willingness to believe God, no matter how impossible the odds. Her faith overcame the enormity of the promise and her lack of comprehension.
To believe God is to choose God.
In every situation, we have a choice. We can either believe the evidence or the natural logic of the world, or believe God. On a purely human level, we could understand if she thought she’d heard wrong. Maybe even if she decided God was crazy and she wanted nothing to do with it, thank you very much. After all, she faced enormous social and religious repercussions if she went along with it. To not believe would have been a perfectly natural or human response. But the things of God are not natural. They are entirely supernatural. This is what God means when He reminds us that our ways aren’t His ways. Faith is believing for what we cannot see. It’s believing in the supernatural power of God, which is greater than anything we know or understand. Our choice is between the natural and the supernatural.
When we choose to believe God, we actually choose God above everything else. We make a decision that He is greater, more powerful, and more important than anything else. It’s not about believing the promise so much as believing the God behind the promise. We receive many promises in our lives, but sensible people only believe those from people they can trust. Even then, they can let us down. But the point is that when we choose to believe a promise it’s a statement of trust in the person making the promise. To choose to believe God is to choose to believe that He is able to do what He says and will do it. Faith challenges us to look beyond the familiar and natural to the unfamiliar and supernatural. It’s to look beyond the impossible and see who and what God is, and then choose Him.
To believe God is to know God.
Christians are often accused of blind faith. I’ve encountered this a time or two but have learned not to try to explain. The faith and faithfulness of God will ultimately defeat this argument more powerfully than I ever could. The reason for this assumption is that they do not know God. To them, faith in something ‘invisible’ and supernatural is foolish because they don’t understand what it is to know God. It’s like we’re believing in something that doesn’t exist. We who know God, however, know the power of His Word. When God speaks, He calls things into existence. Though we might not yet see them, we can be absolutely certain that they exist in the spiritual. We also know that He will manifest them in the natural. This is what it means to believe God. Relationship with Him means that we are able to believe what He has said.
Faith is a gift from God, but we also have His indwelling presence. Christ in us is the Living Word – the power of God to perform what He has spoken. The Word is living because it contains the power of self-fulfilment. This is released in our lives through Christ, who is every single promise of God made yes and amen. Mary’s response to God was to let it be, which is what amen. So in Jesus we have the faith contained in agreement through yes, as well as the fulfilment in amen, or let it be. It’s a reminder of God saying, ‘let there be’ when He created the universe. Our knowledge of God comes through our knowledge of Christ in us. The more we know God, the easier it is to believe God, no matter how impossible it may seem in the natural.
To believe God brings blessing.
Today’s verse reveals the blessing for those who believe God. We often limit our perception of blessings to those things we receive – the actual promise made real and tangible. But God looks further. The greatest blessing is to see the fulfilment rather than the fulfilment itself. Yes, it’s wonderful to receive the things God has promised. But it’s even more wonderful to see the God behind the promise and its fulfilment. When we choose God by choosing to believe God, there is no greater blessing than the evidence that He is all He said He is. Receiving reminds us of His love, grace, care, and faithfulness. It reminds us that He is the I AM, the God to whom all things are possible. Above all it reminds us that we are His and that He loves us and cares for us enough to bring His power to work for us.
This blessing comes because we believe God and choose Him above everything else. It comes because we shun the logic and wisdom of the world. In doing so, we yield self and, like Mary, desire that His will be done. Ultimately, our choice is between God and self. When we choose God – seek Him in everything – He blesses us with the evidence of His presence and power. All too often, we overlook the real blessing for the benefits we receive through His intervention. Yet the greater blessing is critical. It builds our relationship with Him, which builds our faith in Him, which enables us to believe God for greater things. His real blessing is a deeper and stronger relationship with Him who is Lord of All. To see God as He really is will transform our lives far more than the things we receive.
To believe God requires righteousness.
Mary stood out because she lived righteously. What this means is that she lived to do God’s will. Hers was a total surrender, not a ‘when I feel like it’ kind of obedience. This raises an interesting truth. Under the new covenant and with the indwelling presence of God, we have a greater righteousness in Christ. This doesn’t mean we’re better than Mary. What it means is that we no longer have to strive for righteousness. It’s freely available to those who repent and are washed clean by the blood of Jesus. To take this one step further, it also means we have less excuse to not believe God. We have Christ in us to empower our choice to believe. He has restored us to relationship with God and is able to provide everything we lack. If we don’t believe, it’s because we choose self rather than Him.
Forgive us, Lord, if we lack the will to make the right choice and allow self and our own intellect to get in the way. Transform us with the power of Your Spirit working within so that we come to yieldedness and obedience. Help us, like Mary, to desire that Your will be done. Above all, give us a desire to know You as you really are so that we may choose You in all things.