Bible Society of South Africa

In step with God: Humble for his glory - 8 December 2023

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10GNBOpen in Bible reader

I was probably about Mary’s age when I was asked to sing the Magnificat (Mary’s song of praise) at the school Carol Service. Overawed, but reluctant to refuse our Principal, I agreed – with some trepidation – but learning Mary’s words captivated me and gave me insight into her profound sense of the magnitude of God’s plan, and her genuine elation at being his “lowly servant”.

Mary was a young girl like no other, wise beyond her years, with a fresh and trusting spirit, and a pure heart. Being engaged to Joseph, a descendant of King David, had not altered her deep reverence for God and is seen in the way she receives his messenger, the angel Gabriel. Mary immediately appreciates the importance of such a visitor and receives the news he brings from God willingly.

The person that God chose to be the mother of his Son would have to have been someone with deep faith and courage to endure, because from the very beginning much would be required of her as the mother of the Saviour of the world. She would be held accountable for her condition; endure a long journey at the most uncomfortable time of her pregnancy, and give birth in a stable. The family would have to flee the cruel King Herod and live as fugitives in Egypt, and later, her life would hold deep suffering.

To seriously be in step with God begins with a deep appreciation of how truly great he is and how very ordinary we are; our response to things that happen in life will always be motivated by what we’re most focused on – God or the situation – others or ourselves. Mary was in step with God’s plan.

Mary didn’t know all the things that would be expected of her when she gave her consent to Gabriel, but humbly, in faith, willing to hear and obey she embraced whatever God required of her because He was her heart: “I am the Lord’s servant … may it happen to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)

Being in step with God involves a humble life of growing faith as we rely on his wisdom and not our own abilities to face every situation. Humility, gratitude, and praise are inextricably linked in this as they keep us grounded and enable us to lead fulfilling lives as we find our worth in his eyes.

When we’re humble we, “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:8) and entrust ourselves and our talents to God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. (Ephesians 3:20)

Mary did that – will we?

Prayer: “Teach me your ways, O LORD; make them known to me. Teach me to live according to your truth, for you are my God, who saves me. I always trust in you … Forgive the sins and errors of my youth. In your constant love and goodness, remember me, LORD!” (Psalm 25:4,5,7) Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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