Have you noticed that whenever God wants to accomplish something in the earth, He usually does it in divine partnership with a man or woman of faith?
When God purposed to raise up a people who would love and serve only Him, He appointed Abraham to be their progenitor. When Abraham’s descendants were threatened with starvation, God placed Joseph in position to insure they were provided for through years of famine. And when His people cried out to be rescued from oppression and slavery in Egypt, God raised up Moses to be His instrument of deliverance. Divine partnership.
And when the greatest work of God in all of human history was on the horizon, God’s commitment to accomplishing His purposes through divine partnerships did not change. In fact, it came to full fruition:
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
“God sent forth His Son, born of a woman.”
The Son of God could have put on flesh and stepped fully formed onto the stage of human history. But that’s not how God has chosen to operate in accomplishing His work among us. So, Jesus did not just dramatically appear before the world one day. He came through a carefully chosen divine partner, a young virgin by the name of Mary.
Luke 1:26-28 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
Mary was highly favored and blessed of God, chosen by Him as His divine partner to bring Messiah into the world. This would not be an easy responsibility for Mary to carry out. She would be misunderstood and probably scorned by some (“It was the Holy Spirit who got you pregnant? Yeah.”). She would be a refugee, having to flee to Egypt to avoid Herod’s persecution. And she would live to see her first-born child on a cross, dying in excruciating agony. So, this divine assignment was not without great cost to her. Yet, I’m sure that through it all, Mary would unhesitatingly affirm what the angel had told her at the beginning: by her service in partnership with God to carry forward His purposes in the world, she was indeed highly favored and blessed.
I believe that Mary is a very pertinent role model for God’s people today. Just as He called her to serve in a role for which she was uniquely prepared and fitted, God calls each of us to assignments for which we are His best available option. I believe that whoever and wherever you may be, if you, like Mary, are a committed and faithful servant of the Lord, He has already prepared for you a field of service in which you can accomplish great things for His kingdom.
For example, there is almost certainly somebody that you have contact with right now for whom you are in the best position of anybody in the world to influence that person for Christ. It may be a family member who, because they respect you, is influenced by your example. It may be a friend who will listen to you when they won’t listen to anybody else. It may be a co-worker who knows you are a Christian, and is covertly watching you, without you even being aware of it, to see how you respond to various situations that happen on the job.
In other words, we, no less than Mary, have the opportunity and the calling to work in divine partnership with God in bringing the deliverance and salvation of Christ to people who desperately need Him.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
It’s a privilege to serve! And when God extends to us that privilege, even though it may involve, as it did for Mary, some heartache or suffering or undeserved criticism, what the angel said to her applies with equal force to each of us:
“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you!”