Fear Not (Mary)
“The angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God.” – Luke 1:30
These words were the preface to what would change Mary’s life forever. Up to this point Mary was a young teenage girl who was recently betrothed to a man, Joseph. She is probably consumed with thoughts about her impending wedding, becoming a wife and making plans on what her life will look like in the future. Up till this point we can assume that Mary lived a good life (she did find favor with God after all). Gabriel, an angel delivering his message from God, abruptly interrupted all of Mary’s plans.
Then comes the reminder of those words first spoken by the angel, “Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God.” Those words that she probably thought only had to do with the angel visiting her will be the very words that give her confidence in her current situation. Mary found favor with God and knowing that you have favor with the Creator and Master of all things cancels out fear. Mary clearly understood that she had favor because she sang one of the most beautiful songs in Scripture giving praise to God for what He had chosen her to do. Her very reaction to her situation shows that her trust was in God’s plan more than what she could see ahead of hers.
Many of us would probably love to have an angel come down from Heaven and tell us that we have favor with God but most of us would also never want to face the situation that Mary was called into. In that moment, Mary had to give up control of her entire life and let go of all the expectations she ever had for life. Often when God calls us into something great it requires great sacrifice. Most of the time that sacrifice is going to be things that we wanted and our reputation. One of the greatest challenges with Christianity is that the call of Christ requires us to lay down our reputations. In our modern world we see our Christian faith as an improvement on our reputations because we think as Christians we should be better people. However, it is often seen that our faith requires us to lay down our expectations, our plans, and our reputations so that we can shine the light of Christ.
I believe that God is in the business of demolishing the reputation of Jacob Crawford for the sole purpose that He can rebuild Christ’s reputation within me. When I no longer care about the reputation of Jacob Crawford, I am capable of going into my workplace and truly doing what the Lord asks of me because there is no fear of what people will think of me. I am free to operate however I feel the Lord leading without having to worry about how each person might respond. Instead the only matter that I am concerned with is that I am fully obedient to Christ.