Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: After His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, had in mind to divorce her privately.
But while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for He who is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this occurred to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet, saying, “A virgin shall be with child, and will bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is interpreted, “God with us.”
Then Joseph, being awakened from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and remained with his wife.
Have you ever hesitated to say yes to God? If so, it was probably because you know saying yes to His promises can be costly. Mary knew there would be a price to pay when she said yes to His request for her to bear His Son.
Personally I believe she could have said no. She might have said something like, “You are awesome. You are beautiful. But you are scaring me. Please. I am a virgin. I do not want this. Find someone else.” She might have been overwhelmed by the prospect of shame, of ridicule, or perhaps of losing her betrothed. In the Lord’s manifest presence we may be stirred with profound emotion and receive lofty promises, but what happens afterward? After I said yes to God at the conference in Toronto, our circumstances became more challenging than ever. My husband, Rolland, came down with severe malaria. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Our financial situation became even worse.
Our Mozambican children were living in tents with worms and with rats biting their toes at night. Through all this I kept believing in the word given to me through Randy Clark—that God would give me the nation of Mozambique.
During that whole year I prayed for healing for all the blind people I met in that country. They all met Jesus, but none of them saw. Then, after one year, God opened the heavens.
The word started coming true. The blind began to see. The deaf began to hear. The crippled began to walk. Three of our Mozambican pastors raised people from the dead. Church growth exploded. Our history ever since has been filled to the brim with wild and wonderful tales.
When the Lord spoke to me about His desire for the entire nation of Mozambique to know Him, it felt bizarre for Him to ask me for help. We had experienced limited ministry success according to the world’s standards.
We had seen a few miracles, but by comparison this promise sounded too huge to contemplate. It seemed every bit as strange to me as God’s word had probably seemed to Mary, especially when our circumstances became much more difficult.
I am just one little mama ministering in the dirt. But I believe that if God can use a donkey, He can use me. I want to be a catalyst for God’s glory. I want to believe God can cause
His love and glory to shine out of my little laid-down life—and out of your little laid-down life. No matter the cost of saying yes to God, we can respond as Mary did, with a yielded cry of yes.
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