38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)
How do you respond when the Lord reveals His will to you? It may be through His Word, always the place to begin, by promptings through prayer, counsel from godly mentors, along with the providential circumstances of life. Regardless, how do you respond?
Are you reluctant? This means to be unwilling, unenthusiastic, and hesitant. You know what the Lord wants of you but you are unwilling, unenthusiastic and hesitant to submit to what He wants of you. Ultimately you serve but you’re not happy about it. You go kicking and screaming, figuratively or literally, as you submit to His sovereign leading.
Or maybe you are fearful of the unknown. Your fear is because of the many intangibles or questions you have in which there are no immediate answers. You submit but to say you are truly happy and contented is a stretch at best.
Or perhaps you submit willingly and gladly knowing that God can be trusted and that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
I often find that submitting to the Lord’s will involves a process of proceeding through all three of the aforementioned responses, along with many others. This process ultimately ends up with me being at peace because regardless where, when and how the Lord leads, He is always there.
Examining today’s text reveals to us Mary’s immediate reaction to Gabriel’s message and answers to her questions and concerns. She said, “I am the servant of the Lord.” She acknowledged her position before the Lord.
The word servant (δούλη; doule) in this context means female slave or slave woman. Mary recognized her humble positon before the Lord. She solely belonged to the Lord. The word Lord (κύριος; kyrios) means ruler, owner and one who commands. In other words, Mary acknowledged that she was a slave of the sovereign God of the universe. Whatever He wanted, that is what she was willing to do.
Mary then said, “Let it be to me according to your word.” This statement revealed her heart. She was willingly submissive to whatever the Lord wanted of her.
One commentator writes that, “Mary expresses her submission to the Lord’s will in regular Old Testament terms for submission or acquiescence (e.g., 1 Sam 1:18; 25:41; 2 Sam 9:6, 11; 2 Kings 4:2; 2 Sam 7:25).”
Dr. John MacArthur writes that, “Mary was in an extremely embarrassing and difficult position. Betrothed to Joseph, she faced the stigma of unwed motherhood. Joseph would obviously have known that the child was not his. She knew she would be accused of adultery—an offense punishable by stoning (Deut. 22:13–21; cf. John 8:3–5). Yet she willingly and graciously submitted to the will of God.”
Submitting to the Lord’s will may not always be easy. Doing the Lord’s will may be even harder. However, submitting to and carrying out the will of God for our lives is always best.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!