Posts Tagged ‘answered prayer’

His Word to You

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)

Here we have the amazing story of how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who told her she would become the mother of the Messiah. Naturally Mary was shocked and asked how such a thing could be, since she was a virgin. The angel did not go into a longwinded explanation, but simply told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:35). That was good enough for Mary and she responded with a powerful declaration of faith: “Let it be to me according to Your Word”.

Discovering Favor:

That simple reply is at the heart of the mystery of answered prayer. Mary came to believe that as a virgin she would become pregnant and give birth to Israel’s long awaited Messiah. There were probably a lot of young Jewish women that might have hoped for that privilege, but Mary didn’t just hope it – she lived it. She knew a secret, because God had revealed His Word to her. Yet, she would come to live it out, only as she discovered her favored estate with God. For Mary to have felt favored by God would seem normal and expected in Jewish households, but a divine revelation from the angel Gabriel would have certainly emphasized its reality.

Favor Establishes Faith:

Now there would be nothing absurd about Mary’s belief in God, because she was finding His favor in His Word to her. It was rooted firmly in the Word of God’s supernatural encounter. God’s Word to her made faith… reality and had made the ridiculous… reasonable. As the angel told her, “With God nothing will be impossible!” I can almost hear a shout of “Amen!” as she embraced the words. “I am Your maidservant! Let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Receive His Favor:

Most of us are not likely to experience a visitation from Gabriel, but we have encounters with the Holy Spirit waiting for our embrace right now. The Bible is filled with words for us from God and there are angels that accompany our activities everyday. As Kingdom Agents, we are designed to walk in the favor of God and establish an atmosphere around our lives that allow His voice to become recognizable.

Like a fragrance, Mary found that favor longs to be discovered. You can be told that it is there, but it must be received and experienced, to be sought out and appreciated. God’s Word to you is like Mary’s secret, dependant upon your willingness to recognize His favor.

Receive Your Gifts

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (Jms. 1:16-18)

I recently had a day dream of sorts, a picture of heaven’s Christmas gifts, left on the floor. Some were unopened, others partially opened and cast aside. But it was clear that “Christmas” had come and gone. Then I noticed an empty space where an elaborate tree had been… and I had the impression that somehow the guests had missed their invitation to the Tree of Life.

While I was pondering this, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “My people have yet to fully receive everything that I have given them this year.”

The writer of the Book of James gives us three valuable thoughts about God’s gifts to His Child. First he says do not be deceived… every good gift is from His heart. Second he tells us that it has come from the Father of Lights, which indicates there is illumination inside. Third he tells us that the purpose of the gift is to bring us forth, as the first fruits of His creatures. God is a generous Father! He gives gifts to bring us forth into the new season. When we take His gifts lightly, we miss the opportunity for fullness. We miss the impact of the riches in the Tree of Life.

As you look back on this past year, can you identify the gifts that He has given to you?

  • Gifts of Revelation
  • Gifts of People
  • Gifts of Answered Prayer
  • Gifts of His Presence

There may have been moments or seasons where you have felt the Holy Spirit invite you to walk more closely with Him. A doorway seemed to open into the realm of greater glory… being with Him, enjoying His Presence. You see that is what heaven’s gifts do… they are doorways into intimacy. They are doorways that offer us access to the Tree of Life!

I want to encourage you – to receive those gifts and take them into your next season!

Today, God is speaking to you, saying, “That gift was from Me… a personal gift to you from My heart. It has not been cancelled. Where the enemy has sought to rob or steal that gift from you, you can receive back more, for I am a God of restoration and you have authority in My Name.”

That revelation – pick it up again.

That person – invest again in that relationship.

That answer to prayer – press in, God is breaking through for you.

Today, you can respond to His invitation to walk in intimacy with Him, to experience His Presence in a greater way. It is not too late to fully receive all that God has ordained for you this year and beyond. And take it with you into 2014.

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